Mama, Maaama! The child’s voice is raspy, incoherent almost. I put down the book I am reading this early morning and make my way to her place of rest. She waves her bottle at me and says, “I want Bobble.” I take the piece of equipment out of her hands and fill it. Then, go back to my book. 20 minutes later I take notice of the sound of an object being flung at the wall in my daughters room, then my name being bellowed again. I go into the bedroom to find my two year old offspring with no bottle in sight. I proceed to do a diaper change and dress the babe, once she is settled with her morning bowl of cereal I will find that bottle, I assure myself…I do not. Somewhere in the depths of that bedroom is a rotting bottle of half drank milk. Welcome to my torment.
My name is Lindsay Brown and my children are food harbourers. As some of you may know, we’ve recently had the flu bug grace us with his presence. In that time I will admit I have became rather lax in the rules department of our household. Our usual regulation of no food in bedrooms and the living room has flitted strait out the window…giving way to a much bigger and consequential problem.
I begin my disinfecting regime and am horrified at the revulsion I am finding. The carpet in our bedroom is sullied with liquid, dried yet still sticky from the multiple drops of Sippy Cups upon its surface. I look behind the ottoman that sits beneath my window and find a blue plastic pate, something of a red jell like substance is crusted upon it, and the smell is something I cannot stand much longer. I hurl the thing in the dishwasher and pray that this cleaning spree does not get worse.
The living room, the place where the children spend the majority of their time. I begin by moving all of the furniture out from the walls, this in itself creates havoc. I find a half eaten apple, the innards have turned a putrid brown color while the remaining skin has began to curl into itself. A cheese string that is rock hard is laying behind the T.V stand, how they got it there I will never know. I open the stove to my daughter’s toy kitchen set and find a cup of curdled milk stewing nicely. The flu bug must still be settled in me, because I feel the strong urge to vomit immediately.
Finally the cleaning is finish, or so I think. I settle down in my fresh house and think about how I can never let it get to this point again. All of the sudden I find myself ruthlessly ostracising my own skills as a mother and housekeeper. ‘How could you let it get to this point? Your family has to live in this!’ I try to rationalize with myself by saying that I was sick and I was just trying to keep the kids happy. No use, I find myself rebutting each plea I come up with.
By the time my husband walks in the door he finds a woman furrowed close to the ground, scrubbing a point on the wall that previously had a piece of dried booger upon it. “Wow hunny the house looks great.”
I slowly turn my head to look up at the man who is obviously trying to give me a compliment. “Do you know how disgusting this house was!!! It was revolting, there is food everywhere and snot on the walls, molded juice cups in the bathroom and god knows where her damn bottle has went!!!!” I am now looking as though I have endured the battle of a lifetime, my hair has came out from the tie that once secured it adequately. My clothes are soiled from the day of cleaning, and my make-up has created a marbled effect on my face because I have not stopped weeping since I started this undertaking.
Jamie then takes me in his arms, in spite of how ravished I look he plants a kiss on my forehead, and simply says, “Yes sometimes the house will be messy, and we will get it cleaned. You don’t have to get so upset about it.”
I am about to rebut when I realize how comforting his arms feel around me, I sink into his presence and know that what he says is the truth. For right now the house is clean…More than likely it will not be tomorrow, hell in an hour from now. But all I can do is try, there is no use crying over a few boogers on the wall.