After several conversations with my friend Barbara Good over at The New Good Life about our shared frustrations with life in general and the people, small and large, who inhabit our homes, we thought writing about it in very real terms would be quite good for us.
We will take turns giving each other a prompt to write about as honestly as bearable. It’s our way of combatting all the ‘isn’t my life shiny and grand and aren’t we happy’ lies that flood social media. Not that people necessarily MEAN to lie, but too often it’s only the happy good fuzzy warm bits that we see. This doesn’t help those who are always comparing themselves to what they think is other peoples’ perfection. I’m no less guilty than the next person, but it is something I’m becoming more aware of. So, enter my honesty. Good grief, you sure you’re ready for this?!
Barbara chose our first prompt. It’s ‘bloody floors.’ Here’s my honesty:
I am not particularly efficient at housework. I am capable, but not overly efficient. I always put it off. There is always something better to do, and my cleanliness standards have seriously dived since I’ve had children. I am particularly unreliable when it comes to the expanse of carpet that exists in my house.
We have only been in this house for just over a year, but the carpet moved in about 20 years ago and took over almost the entire place (save the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry). It’s good quality, but aged and has an infuriating characteristic because of this. Any drop of water or moisture or hell, I don’t even know what, that happens to fall upon it is turned into a dark stain within minutes. These stains don’t come out with vacuuming of course, no no. They require good old fashioned get-down-on-your-hands-and-knees-and-scrub type treatment. Needless to say, there are several of these dark stains on my carpet at any given time. Some small, many not. If you come over, look for them. See how many you can count. I won’t have bothered trying to clean them up for you unless you happen to pop after one of those relatively rare times when I crack it and clean various things.
There is also the crunchiness. The carpet in my house is crunchy. Not in a good way. This morning I crunched a bit of dried ham from yesterday’s dinner. Or maybe it was lunch. You’ll be pleased to know, however, that I did pick it up and while I was doing that, grabbed the chocolate cake crumbs and dried bits of grated cheese. Also from yesterday. The bits of food do build up under the table I must say. The dogs don’t mind.
And guess what I had to do to a section of my bloody floor? Chop a huge corner off some of the carpet! Yes! We have cats you see. This particular corner had smelled strongly of cat pee for a good while, despite being scrubbed many times, doused with borax, detergent, disinfectant, and bicarb (mostly at different times, occasionally all at once). It was driving me batty as I am now often sleeping on a mattress on the floor with Miss 10 months in that exact corner. I thought I’d sorted it the other day, but no, the night before last the smell has crept back. So, yesterday afternoon I pulled back the corner and saw that I was fighting a losing battle. The pee stain was much larger than I could see on the top and the underlay was SOAKED with it. It had to go. With the kitchen scissors, I chopped. Hey Presto! No more smell!
ANYWAY, back to the stains and the crunchiness and why there are there: I’ve just got the kids sorted with their baths or off to kinder or whatever, then I walk past the table and see the crumbs on the mat under the highchair. “I really should get those before they make it to the carpet” I say to myself. And I keep walking. Right. On. Past. then I walk into the lounge room and have to step over several toys (which I am very used to doing as they are ALWAYS there), right past the couch that is covered in washing. I keep going though and finally make it to my room. It’s pretty neat and tidy in here. Not necessarily sparkling clean as it is graced with the same carpet as the rest of the house, but tidy. I shut the door flake out on the bed, leaving the husband to deal with the protesting four year old and the baby who has found another bit of cat food to suck on.
And you know what? We’re having visitors this afternoon – a kinder Mum who has never been here before. She will see this reality of mine because I am not going to clean up for her. I would much rather get this written and then I’m going to bake a chocolate cake. I bet you she won’t notice the stains or the crunchy bits anyway.
P.S Don’t forget to check out Barbara’s floor frustrations here.
P.P.S I did also have to laugh a little at this prompt for no reason other than a couple of years ago I actually wrote a spoken word piece about having dirty floors. Here it is, in all it’s 4 minute and 13 second glory. Go on, you’ve got 4 minutes. It’ll make you laugh, I promise.