Moreover, downstairs by the front door Dumpie has obviously spent far too long waiting (im)patiently for a scooter ride on many an occasion, and has thus had the opportunity to begin the laborious process of removing the white wallpaper and plaster from the wall. He has made great inroads and now huge bits of white crumbly material litter the doormat and make the wall look ghastly. With any luck, by Christmas he'll have burrowed a proper hole right through to the place next door - which conveniently belongs to the buildings Freeholders.
I could go on, but it's merely going to upset me....(the biro scribbles on the pristine white painted window frames which will absolutely not come off...the sunken bits of carpet in the monsters bedroom which will likely never give up their musty smelling stains on account of the bucketloads of water which have been ferried from the bathroom with great regularity...the orange-juice-stained pull cords for the kitchen blinds which Dumpie insists on submerging in his breakfast juice each morning...the gaping holes visible on our bamboo fence enclosure outside on the terrace, where Egg decided to break off sticks in order to see 'what was on the other side'...the small but noticeable dents in the various landings in our home which bear scars from having had my heavy 5 lb weights lobbed down at me from a pissy toddler one too many times...ah, I could go on, but why bother?)
I might as well accept that our family is not built for grace, elegance or refinement. No, three boys ensure that I spend approximately 80% of each waking day trying to keep utter chaos, filth and disorder at bay. (I include the 'big boy' here too, for his domestic habits don't seem to have progressed much since the teenage years...)
We are "The Housewreckers" and as such are capable of reducing a home's core value by at least 40% within the first year, with little or no effort. The only time I feel a sense of well-being in my surroundings is when the husband is out for the night and the monsters are tucked up in bed.
Then, I turn into some sort of demented Martha Stewart. I happily scrub, wipe and mop until surfaces are fragrant and gleaming. At which point, with a bit of strategic mood lighting, I can swan around to my heart's content, imagining I live in a lovely CLEAN home and am not the downtrodden washerwoman that I am sometimes mistaken for (for whatever else would compel my three fella's to heap pile upon pile of dirty and not-so-dirty clothes into laundry baskets, and thousands of cups, bowls and utensils into the sink...ensuring my hands most closely resemble those of a pensioner??)
I wish I didn't care. I wish I could just be a slob and adhere to the old, "If you can't beat 'em...join 'em" motto.
If only I weren't hopelessly terrified by rodents, I might just relax a bit and give in to the haphazard domestic rhythm of this household. Really, it's just the thought of a giant brown rat scampering across the kitchen floor which keeps me elbow-deep in soap suds and cleaning products.