I am terrible at housework. I am part slattern, part sloth – I am a Slothern, given to sitting with my nose in a book in an untidy room, oblivious to my surroundings. I hate housework, and not only do I hate it, it is a waste of time because it just doesn’t stay done. I would clean my house properly, but then I would have to have it hermetically sealed so nobody could make a mess of it ever again. Which would see us sleeping on the streets, so not really a cunning plan.
Someone once asked me if I have a ‘High Dusting Routine’. “No,” I replied “I stopped dabbling in drugs when I had kids, though I can imagine it makes dusting more interesting.” Turns out they meant do I have a set day for dusting the high bits of the room – on top of stuff and in the corners of the ceiling. Well, duh, why would you dust on top of stuff? Who cares about the top of stuff? I can barely be bothered to wave a cloth over the stuff I can see, only doing that when we can’t see the picture on the telly through the murk.
I know I am bad at this stuff because the only pets my three year old has are the two dead flies in the corner of the landing. He says hello to them on the way up and down the stairs and at this point removing their mummified forms would cause him much upset, so they can stay indefinitely.
I do wash up, but I do it while I am cooking – so as fast as I clean up the remains of lunch, I am simultaneously dirtying things with the prep for dinner. I don’t mind clothes washing, but I don’t do all that sorting of colours nonsense. We have learnt not to buy white things, for they will soon be grey.
As for ironing, I think we own an iron but am hard pushed to lay my hands on the blighter when a wedding or somesuch means I can’t just turn up artfully crumpled. We don’t have an ironing board, it’s just a table with a cover on it right?! Thank goodness for non-iron school uniforms and the powers of a good shake of a damp article before drying. The putting away of clean things takes an age though, especially when ably assisted by a three year old whose sole aim is to undo the segregated piles of belongings as fast as I can build them.
For general carpet cleanliness we have a Henry vacuum thingum. He is always cheerful looking despite being utterly neglected. I pat him affectionately on the head when in the bathroom, which doubles as his bedroom. The toddler detests the sound of the hoover, and it can only be done by first kitting him out in those headphones designed for kids at rock concerts, and even then he has to be in the right frame of mind – so much easier to wait until the weekend when someone (usually me) can take him out while someone else (usually t’bloke) does the hoovering. Mostly I use the hoover for sucking up spiders, as the end of Henry’s long arm is as close as I am prepared to get to the eight legged beasties. I have heard rumours this is not fatal though and that they crawl back down the pipe again sometime later – this alone is enough reason for me to avoid using it too frequently.
Sometimes people more interested in cleanliness than I pass on great tips for cleaning, with homemade mixtures of lemon, baking powder and vinegar. Well, I often have those things in the house, but for more important uses like G&Ts, cake making and chips – can’t be wasting that sort of precious resource on having non-smeary windows.
I am full of good intentions, but lacking in following them through. I am great at the occasional blitz, discarding all manners of items into vast bin bags to be taken to the dump and never seen again. I always imagine that my untidiness would be resolved if only I had the right storage, and will spend time, that would be better spent putting things back where they belong, browsing furniture stores for the perfect bookshelves and coffee tables that double up as toy trunks. Mostly I wish they would find a way of utilising black holes for invisible storage, so that at the end of the day you can chuck all the plastic kid crap into an unseen vortex in the corner of the room, then retrieve it via the means of ropes and pulleys in the morning.
Thankfully, from time to time, we arrange for people to come visit us – family, friends, leasing agents on their intermittent inspections – and this finally forces the occasional thorough cleaning spree. My slovenliness annoys me sometimes, mostly though I accept that I am just not that way inclined. Our house isn’t germ ridden or smelly, it is just cluttered and lived in and loved. Shabby chic or scruffy chick – similar no?
Love Miss Cisco XXX