I wrote this a few weeks ago for the Gold Coast Bulletin. I thank my husband for the inspiration. Sleeping on the job … it’s a sackable offence isn’t it?
Intruders had ransacked my living room.
I’d only been gone 90 minutes and it was a disaster zone.
Lego EVERYWHERE. Clothes and shoes had been thrown around the lounge room. Blankets too.
What were they looking for? My secret stash of gin? My book of ‘Five minute dinner recipes your child will actually eat’? Those nude modelling pics I had taken years ago?
It looked like a flash cyclone had gone through the joint.
I repeated my mantra: deep breaths. Calm, two, three, four.
I heard noise and realised I was not alone. In the corner of the room were two, near-naked boys. Wrestling.
About two-metres away was their father – aka the babysitter, aka my husband. Snoring.
Daddy Daycare at its best.
I’ve long suspected men and women’s brains are wired very differently – the mess in my lounge room confirmed my suspicions.
In the time it took me to shop for groceries, my house had been transformed from clean, neat and ordered into a ghetto.
The differences between my husband and I are at their most profound when it comes to parenting.
I like to take the ‘Keep them under control at all times’ approach. I would rather prevent chaos than have to repair the damage later.
My husband, Mr Bean, prefers the, ‘Ignore, ignore, ignore. Chaos, mess, danger. Scream, threats, mad race to restore order’ method of parenting.
He says I should chill out, relax … if there’s a mess just tell the kids to clean it up.
Ahh yeah right, like that’s going to work!? I’ll die waiting.
My nirvana is to have a clean house for more than 30 minutes. Every Monday I am lucky enough to welcome a wonderful miracle worker into my home. She cleans, vacuums, mops, tidies and restores order to our home.
She finishes at 2.30pm and for the next 25minutes before I have to leave for the school run, I sit in silence and enjoy the clean serenity. Everything in its place and a place for everything.
Not a Lego Ninjago fighter to be seen. No Hot Wheels cars under the dining table. No dinosaurs in the kitchen.
All greasy finger marks have been eradicated, the crumbs of food have been vacuumed, and the mice and cockroaches have retreated.
Fast forward to 3.15pm. Enter the boys. Cue me: ‘Boys the house is clean, eat at the table. Don’t make a mess. Don’t spill your drink. Boys, boys would you just listen to meeeee!!!!!!’
3.30pm: Welcome disaster and mess, where have you been?
3.35pm: Crack open the gin … well not really (maybe). Only on a bad day.