H is for Houseproud
This is a bit of a misnomer really. I say this because, no matter how houseproud you were before you had children, you have to let go of at least some of that need to have your house spic and span at all times.
Because it just doesn’t happen.
I say that as I survey what was a nice, tidy living room when I went to bed last night.
Now it’s something less than tidy. Quite a lot less in fact.
Now, I can’t really claim that I have ever been a neat freak, since I am a typical Sagittarian (although I am a bit obsessive about my books, computer files and writing notebooks).
It doesn’t bother me that I haven’t sorted out the pile of newspapers from the last week, or that the shoes are all chucked in a box by the front door, but I wasn’t prepared for what happens when two small children are amusing themselves for more than five minutes. (I know it was that long because that’s about how long it takes me to make a cup of tea and grab a sneaky biscuit – just to keep me going, you understand.)
Well, the dining room shows the remains of a banquet Motormouth and Mini made before they got distracted and decided to move to the living room. This was possibly because I caught them trying to ride the vacuum cleaner (I took the broom away as a clear and present danger for anything more than 6″ above floor level).
Having been thwarted in their rodeo game, they moved to the living room.
I decided it was a good time to sort out second breakfast for them and left them to it for a few minutes. I knew it was time because I was getting “Mummy, I’m hungry!” in both Motormouth and Mini speak.
I have to give them credit for being fast workers. By the time their sandwiches were ready they were happily occupying a fort. I could tell they were taking security seriously as well… they were surrounded by Motormouth’s troops and he was happily directing Mini in deploying his forces.
Then they retreated into the fort (cunningly disguised as the large cardboard box Motormouth’s new car seat had arrived in draped in one of his blankets) to eat their food.
It’s the weekend, so I have been in and out of the room, leaving them to play, whilst doing the washing, the cleaning and so on, and every time there’s something different.
We now have a major traffic jam developing by the living room door, a phalanx of dinosaurs is guarding the route from the kitchen to, well, pretty much anywhere, and the fort has developed an annexe. Motormouth has even turned interior decorator, using what looks like every cushion in the house to make the fort nice and comfy, if a little cosy for the two of them squeezed in there. At least the pillows are still on our bed.
Mini, in the meantime is hovering around the edge of activities providing musical accompaniment on her drum machine, walker, and, well, you get the idea.
And it’s not even lunchtime yet.
So, as for being houseproud, I decided pretty early on in motherhood that this house is a home for two small children that love, and need, to play. They need the opportunity to shape the world around them to build their fantasies.
So who am I to stand in the way?
No one. I’ve taken a step back and decided that they should have fun and be allowed to express themselves.
So what if I have to do a mini tidy up every hour or so?
So what if anyone attempting to cross the room risks life and limb in doing so?
I’ve decided that I need to make best use of my resources and focus on the important places (mainly where water is present) and the stairs.
And of course, I’ve dissected the phrase “clean and tidy”. Clean I need.
Well, that can wait until they grow up a bit more.
And it just so happens that it coincides with my natural tendencies.
- H is for Houseproud