There are three vases of flowers on our dining room table. One is filled with hydrangeas, which are beautifully drying out because their vase ran dry and nobody got as far as re-filling it. One is filled with limp, browning
iceberg (edit #1: roses are in fact) Margaret Merrill roses, which my mother gave me a couple of weeks ago and which are now getting a bit smelly. The last is filled with flowers given to me a week ago by a friend. They are still quite ok.
The rest of the dining room table is filled with play-dough – both the creative endeavours of my children and the dried up crumbs which stick like cement to the table top – my Nana’s old sewing machine, its avocado-green presence a constant reminder of the skirt I am meant to be making my daughter with the hacked up pieces of a (ruined, but I didn’t know it at the time) top I bought from an op-shop, the glass of kombucha my daughter constantly asks for and never drinks, the pancake that someone was eating for lunch, the kete my mother gave me my pounamu in nearly 20 years ago, which my daughter is convinced is a fairy’s handbag, an old tobacco tin housing my meagre collection of bent pins, two industrial-sized rat traps (because that little fucker has had the run of the place for too long and now I’m going to fucking GET HIM), a high-vis vest that Louis wore to get the fish and chips on Saturday, one of The Sound Guy’s old baseball caps, a used, scrunched up hanky, and a plastic container of unknown providence, which will therefore never be returned to its rightful owner.
People ask me what we do all day.
Sometimes I think that the only thing I’m teaching my children is how to be messy. I’m doing really well at that.
Then I think about the cake we just baked a for friend this morning. The ash that Joss sprinkled all over our dog, Isa. The morning tea we had with Grandpop, and the tool-belt I just made the children buy me for Mothers’ Day. And I remember that we are doing a lot more.
Householding has never been my strong-suit. When I was young we had a cleaner come once a month and approximately 9.72 times out of 10 I would quietly tell her that she didn’t need to do my room. Not because it was already tidy. But because she wouldn’t have been able to open the door.
I’m a lot better now. A lot. But, just, still not great.
When my dad came around for morning tea I was feeling super proud of myself because we were all dressed and I even had shoes on. And then I looked around at the chaos we were nestled in, and brought my pride in a notch or two.
I’d really love to be tidy. I even read old Japanese tidy-ness expert’s book. Well, I ready about 2 chapters. I guess that might be why it didn’t stick. For a while I got the emails from Fly-lady. I tried to map out my days to see where I could sneak in an hour or two of cleaning. I did find out that I was trying to squeeze in 19 hours of stuff into 10 hours of day. I have had a cleaner. She’s a dream. She’s an angel. One day a week my house looks amazing.
I did do the dishes this morning. And I’ve cooked two meals, one snack, one cake and made coffee. I bought my growing 8-yo some merino tops from the op-shop, and my husband’s birthday present and wrote a blog post. And I remembered to feed the dog.
So, I’m going post this, open Spotify, type in Flashdance, and clear the table. And then I’ll be in the running for Marvellous Mother of the Millennium.