I woke up this morning to a beautifully clean floor. My bed socks slid across the floor, there was a scent of cucumber in the air, the bench was clear, the table clean.
I go to bed before Aaron most of the time, he's a night owl. He can even see in the dark which is funny because he can't see under normal circumstances. He has a place in the shed where he works at night, he likes it out there. He is writing a novel, and has been for almost two years.
I have strayed from my initial telling of my clean floor, I leave a chore list before I go to bed. That may sound bizarre in fact it isn't the way I want it to be, but it's what works that matters.
In my mind I have this picture perfect image of a Mum and Dad doing the dishes together, whilst the kids frollic in their white cotton Pyjamas reading stories and brushing teeth, a little like The sound of music. Actually if it were the sound of Music I'd have a Nanny and I wouldn't be writing this. Well it isn't quite so orderly here at bedtime. There is maybe half put on pjs, some unfinished diary writing, some jumping off the top bunk down onto the huge teddy or a stack of pillows.
In short there can be some shenanigans at this time of night.
There can also be some tender moments where one of the kids is reading to Eliza. The fact is that Aaron can be a little late home and therefore only one of us can make some headway in the clearing up of dinner, that is usually me. I don't actually really mind this time. I mean sometimes they can be a little hard work at this time of night, they're hyperactive, or down right having a melt down about somebody at school or what eliza has touched or made her own for that day. I know I don't really want to be involved in any of these goings-ons. I know that I have my hand in warm water and for about 20 minutes nobody is talking to me, that is heaven in my world.
Sometimes however I am picturing a different scenario, one that involves a glass of wine, a hello Honey how was your day? whilst we wash dishes together and talk. Instead, I do all the dishes and make the lunches for the following day. It is usually about 8.30 by the time I am done. I then leave a chore list with say three or four items, like take out bin, recycling, compost, folding, and maybe mopping of kitchen floor.
I have to be specific in my list, I need to say where the clothes to be folded are, I need to say which floor and then he likes a check box for each. Crazy, I know but it works, he likes it that way.
I have tried to argue that the kids don't see him do the housework and therefore that he is not actually being a good role model even though he is by actually doing his bit. I think it's important that Phoenix sees his Dad taking part in cleaning, I think it's important for the girls to see that women aren't the only ones who clean.
I know when I was growing up I cannot recall a single time I saw my dad do any dishes or cook anything. He did however buy groceries and he would be the one to take us to buy our shoes, I even remember being taken to buy a pretty yellow gingham swing dress with little goldfish along the hem. Odd the way that ought to have been something you'd expect your Mum to do, yet my Dad did most of that stuff. Probably because Mum never drove and still has never learnt.
I think that although I don't entirely like this set-up, I don't think I want to give up the morning surprise of a clean floor and a stack of beautifully folded laundry. I have told you about the way he folds haven't I?