Someone sent me one of those infographic things on Facebook the other day. It The caption read:
‘I think I will go to bed now…’
Underneath it had two columns, one headed, ‘Man’, one headed ‘Woman’.
Under the ‘Man’ column it simply said: ‘Man goes to bed.’
Under the ‘Woman’ column it said: ‘fills dishwasher, feeds cat, makes packed lunches for the morning, puts bins out etc,’ before:
‘Woman goes to bed.’
It made me smile.
As you know, on Friday, Jason and I went to Harrogate for the weekend. My mum and dad came to house/cat/child sit for us.
I never really get too excited about going away until we are actually well into our journey. Partly this is because I have been tripped up by disaster before and prefer not to get too far down the elated/distraught path. Partly it is because I usually have so much to do before we go away there is no time to start festooning the house with bunting.
On a regular day I usually get up at 7.00 and work through my morning chores:
- Empty dishwasher
- Set the table
- sort out and fold dry laundry
- Hang out wet laundry
- Refill washing machine
- Feed the cat
- Sort out the cat’s litter tray
- Make packed lunches
Before I sit down with my breakfast.
Sometimes, I also prepare the dinner for the evening if I know we are going to be pushed for time when we get home. On this particular Friday, on top of all the above I had also prepped a chicken tagine which I put into the slow cooker, to make sure that there was a hot meal for everyone that evening.
This list, of course, does not include the inevitable traumas of daily life with three children and a cat: the cat vomit in the middle of the hall just as you are about to leave the house, the incessant loss of shoes/jumper/p.e. kit, the torn coats, muddy footprints, demands for £20 in non-sequential bank notes etc. This stuff just ebbs and flows around the core tasks rather like Canute’s unstoppable tide.
As I was finally breakfasting on Friday morning I was making a list of jobs that needed to be done when I got back from invigilating an exam at lunch time:
- Strip and remake our bed for the parental units
- Make sure there are clean towels
- Take grocery delivery to ensure there is no cannibalism before our return.
- Leave money for Tallulah’s singing lesson.
- Make sure Mum knows where the present and card are for Tallulah’s friend’s birthday party on the Saturday.
- Make sure Dad knows where the party will be held and what time he has to pick up and drop off.
- Make sure Mum and Dad understand about what homework has to be done and when, and that they keep a beady eye on potential shirkers.
- Make sure parents know Tilly will be late home because of Yoga class, i.e. leave note to say do not send out police search teams until after half past four.
- Empty bins/recycling.
- Make sure everyone has the right house keys.
- Oh yes. Pack my stuff. Mustn’t forget that.
Jason came downstairs, ready to go to work. He asked me what I was doing.
I explained that I was making a list of jobs that needed doing before we went away.
He looked puzzled.
‘Surely all you need to do is throw some clothes in a bag and then we go on holiday?’