I woke up with a start at 4:30am this morning to an empty bed and a silent house. After a few moments scrabbling around to find my phone, squinting at the screen and ham-fistedly navigating it’s user interface, I found my way to “Where’s my iPhone”, and discovered my other half about five miles away – headed towards the airport.
I finally got up at about 7am, made my way downstairs, had a shower, put the kettle on, and woke our eldest. She’s working today – the pre-school she works at has a “fun day” – I believe she will be either selling cakes, or attaching transfers to young children’s arms. The weather is not co-operating at all – it’s blowing a gale, and raining in fits and starts. I made her a bacon sandwich to start the day, and took orders for dinner tonight.
“Can we have potato waffles, baked beans with sausages, and chicken nuggets?”
“What are you – seven years old?”
“I know, right?!”
She grinned at me, and I rolled my eyes.
Over the next hour or so I wandered around the house picking things up, putting things away, and preparing the first of many loads of washing. Quite how I’m going to get anything dry is a mystery at the moment – given the apocalypse happening outside. I’m tempted to say “thoughts and prayers” might work, but you know my thoughts about that kind of thing (just in case you don’t – “thoughts and prayers” absolutely means you’re not going to do anything at all – because thinking something and saying a few words doesn’t actually achieve anything other than making you feel better about yourself – of course you can’t tell people that when they say they will pray about something, because they’ll get butt-hurt about it).
It’s still only 11am. I’ve already put two loads through the washing machine, tidied the house up, and done the grocery shopping. When I returned home from the shops I will admit to being caught out – everything was where I had left it – the house was STILL tidy. It’s kind of like Wonderland.
Anybody that lives in a house as chaotic and busy as ours will know that this situation is NOT normal. Things are never where you left them. Other people’s things aren’t either. That space you were going to put something down while moving something else will not be there when you get back – somebody else will have dumped something there. That bin that’s just been emptied at the front of the house will be full again by lunchtime. The grass you cut yesterday will be long again tomorrow because OF COURSE it’s raining cats and dogs now. The washing bin you just emptied is now full again, with at least five loads because you threatened your 15 year old daughter that if she didn’t pick clothes up off her bedroom floor, you would cut the internet off. Most of the clothes were last week’s clean washing that didn’t get put away when you gave it to her – they have been walked on for several days.
I could go on.
So yes, it’s kind of like wonderland at the moment. The house is quiet, calm, and relatively tidy for a change. I bought some donuts from the grocery store – they are still on the kitchen counter, and only the one I ate is missing. On a normal day, the bag wouldn’t have reached the kitchen counter with anything left in it – children would have appeared from all corners of the house. The only things that summons children faster than junk food is a dead internet connection.