Every Thursday morning I wake as if struck on the bare arse by a barb-wire flayer and launch myself into the horror of preparing four lunches and bags as I’m corralling, dressing, combing, feeding, hoofing, cleaning and cajoling my four children into the basic level of flare that’s acceptable for public presentation and the entire time I am certain that I won’t get it done by 8.15am, or that I’ll forget something, or put Lewis’s library book in Archie’s bag, or the nappies for Maki in Tyson’s lunchbox, or that I’ll fall over and hurt myself and have to call an ambulance to attend the house while I’m wearing nothing but underwear and a mask of tears.
And yet, here we are again with the kids ready, the bags packed and the house peeking it’s potential for cleanliness through the carnage of scattered clothes and toys and breakfast dishes like a cute little bunny peeking out of a burrow, and I have to accept that I’ve acquired a level of competence over the years that many of my peers working the domestic frontline (excluding all mother in laws) would affirm with a silent respectful nod of the head.
And as I sit here wallowing in my semi-brilliance I reflect on the interaction RM had with one of her clients just last week. ‘This woman with three kids said, I don’t know how you get everything done and get to work on time,’ RM told me, ‘And then I said, I just get myself ready, kiss RD goodbye and he does the rest.’
While she was relaying this comment I was feeling emotional with the acknowledgement I was receiving, but that was quickly replaced by pride when I looked into her eyes and saw the thanks and respect there, which was then replaced by the feeling of my flayed arse in her cupped hand and – dare I say it – the amorousness of a dog who has his nose to the air, straining for the scent of the bitch next-door.
My baby takes the morning train, she works from nine to five and then, she takes another home again, to find me waiting for her, and that very fact, friends, makes me feel sexy.
This current moment of assuredness is so complete that not even the report from this morning’s washing can slow the growing swell or force it to a wave destined to crash –
A rogue tissue wandered into Sector-Washing-Machine-G. Thankfully it took refuge in a large heavy jumper. Damage localized to a pair of school pants, a black work blouse, and pair of underwear. ‘I’m no hero’ the modest jumper said, ‘I just did what any other garment would do.’
I will simply award the jumper the medal of valor and once the kids are asleep tonight I will dedicate an hour of fluff-picking to my nine-to-five baby as she sits beside me continually shifting her position on the couch, observing me with a piercing glare and rubbing her legs together like a cricket.
*Note: If you click on the picture above you will see why RM is consantly hungry for me.