When did I become the household maid?

The situation is getting out of hand here.

Now, as a mother, and further as the stay-at-home partner, I accept that some degree of my ‘job’ is picking up after the offspring. The youngest one (16 months) in particular is a wee tornado at the moment, leaving a wake of mess. She pulls folded off washing off the unofficial folding table, she scatters crumbs like rain, and most of all, her particular phase at the moment is delighting in pulling small things out of big things. Thus, the spice cupboard gets emptied daily and the catfood is dispensed handful by handful. She does understand the theory, if not the reasons, behind tidying up. She delights in picking up all the duplo – because it’s much more fun to upend the box when they’re all in there to start with! She is, of course, a baby, and all of the above is more delight than annoyance, even though it generates a constant stream of work for me.

What I do find annoying, however, is that the oldest and largest child in the house has much the same outlook. By this I refer not to the going-on-six year old, but rather the thirty-four year old. Not a child I birthed, but the one I married.

Not that it’s all bad. I do get a weekly night out crafting with likeminded mothers.

Tonight I came home from one such evening, parched for a drink, and needing to make rice bubble bars that I’d promised Miss 5 I’d make to take on her school field-trip tomorrow. On entering the kitchen however, I find the rubbish from tonight’s dinner (takeaways) scattered all over the benchtop. On opening the cupboard under the sink to throw the trash away, I find a mostly full bin. Although I admit I grumbled to myself, I figured I could probably handle throwing the trash out and emptying the bin at the same time. But first I’d get that drink.

On opening the fridge, however, more calamity. The chilled bottles of water have been shoved to the very back of the fridge and buried, now supporting various precarious stacks of other items. On rearranging things in order to get my drink out, I notice several items which were due to be thrown out several days ago – that I’d specifically mentioned to the other half needed to be tossed, in fact. So I grab the items, also manage to find that we have two open mostly empty bottles of tomato sauce, suddenly space appears in the fridge, and everything in it rests in better harmony. The rubbish bag now bursting with recent additions, I walk it out, put the new rubbish bag in the bin, and put it all away. Now that there’s space in the fridge the empty bottles on the counter can be washed and refilled of water to chill, so I do that as well. I start the marshmallows for the rice bubble bars melting on the stovetop, and turn to load and run the dishwasher – because they, of course, have not been done, and after all, I’m in the kitchen anyway. The marshmallows then overheat, and burn, and I now have more food in the bin and another dirty pot. I’ve gotten my cold drink at least, but the rice bubble bars will have to be sacrificed, as I have no other marshmallows on hand. It’s now a good 40 minutes since I got home, and only now is the kitchen in a workable state.

My husband clearly thinks he has a magic house elf. Unfortunately, I know who it is.


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