There’s a banana skin in a an empty mug on the desk, an empty yoghurt pot with a spoon in it sat there too. By the door there’s a drift of hats, clothes, gloves, scarves, discarded coats and odd shoes. The kitchen, which was immaculate at about 3pm yesterday, is now covered in cups, plates, spoons, empty cheese plastic packets and our sink is scattered with coffee grains. It’s a bit grim.
How can a relatively tidy house turn into such an effing mess in 24 hours. I’ll give you one short, swift answer. Kids. I only have two, but it feels like I have 50 of them some mornings, because of the bedlam they generate.
This morning we’ve been preparing for ‘Rainbow Day’ which is basically a day that the school has organised for charity. Each school year has been asked to dress in a certain colour. Darlek’s year is yellow and Sausage’s year is purple.
With this in mind, I spent half an hour last night putting 8 bright yellow woollen hair wraps in Darlek’s hair last night. She wanted me to do all of her her hair but I told her my fingers would fall off. This morning the full force of the ocassion hit home.
Get this….in 45 minutes this morning I completed a marathon. I hit the ground running and flailed around like a crazy thing. Darlek wanted her hair putting in a bun; the dog wanted feeding; both kids needed breakfast plus drinks (none-alcholic, tempting though it was to sedate them); two packed lunches were made whilst the kids argued over who got the sole remaining banana and who got a tangerine; I dug around in drawers for any tops that were vaguely purple for Sausage; I tried to cellotape cut out yellow circles onto Darlek’s skirt because they were falling off; I located pairs of shoes scattered around the house; frantically tipped the hats and gloves bag on the floor in search of gloves, none of which matched; lost my own shoes and ended up in muddy wellies rather than go barefoot; lost and found the dog lead a fair few times and just generally had the morning from hell. All the while Darlek, who loves fancy dress, ran around trying to get Sausage to wear purple knee protectors that are usually used for rollerbooting purposes – because they were purple of course, and just badgered me for purple and yellow things. She even asked at one point if she could take one of the yellow tulips from a bunch of flowers on the side. I said the knee protectors were rather inappropriate and she looked very upset with me. However, although I said she couldn’t take a tulip, she could take a banana if she so wished, because it was yellow. Not quite as pretty stuffed in her hair though, so she refused.
I have no idea why, but there seems to be an unusually high occurrence of the word ‘banana’ today. I think it’s because I’m subconsciously going a bit bananas with it all.
I was at the end of my tether this morning. Whilst literally kicking through the pile of hats and gloves this morning, with my welly boots on, in a most unseemly and aggressive manner, I’d just had enough. Oh for a quiet life, a steady job, children that didn’t stick yellow stickers on their faces and want to wear knee pads to school. Just for calm.
After herding them down the road, while Darlek complained that her tights kept falling down and waddled like a penguin, all the while yelling ‘Come on! We’re late, get yer ass moving!’, I finally dropped them off at school and returned home.
My house looks like it’s been burgled by a stampeding horde of elephants. About 20 minutes ago I stood at the back door, fag in hand, looking like the windswept, bedraggled middle aged housewife that I am, thinking about how I just cannot face the clear up operation today and was it all worth it. The radio was playing Desert Island Discs and someone had chosen a song that I’d not heard in years and that was it…tears streaming down my face. It’s not easy to cry and smoke at the same time either, let me tell you. The song was ‘The Things We’ve Handed Down’ by Mark Cohen which I’ve included a link to. It’s a tear jerker.
Darlek has her dad’s strawberry blonde hair and my sense of humour. Sausage has gorgeous dark leafy green eyes just like his father and strops like his mother. We’ve given them far more than just an untidy house, we’ve handed down ourselves and our lives to them. What they jigsaw together from this untidy patchwork of a childhood is up to them. I wish them all the luck in the world.