Poor DH- whenever he starts to wind down and think of taking a break (ie: Christmas, Wedding, arrival of the PD), work which has long been dormant suddenly bursts back into life and he has to fight fires and take control of it all. I won’t denegrate Solicitors, but let’s just say that they are dirty words in this house whenever we have family time to look forward to. As with this weekend when, instead of spending quality time on the beach (wrapped up against the elements, naturally) and putting up the Money Pit Tree, DH spent the weekend in the office leaving me (sans help) to look after the Pocket Dictator. I genuinely have no idea how single parents do it because I am utterly exhausted. I started today feeling like I hadn’t actually had a weekend. I resented DH a little, to be honest. I had to take painkillers to get out of bed this morning and it took the PD and I ten minutes to walk the five doors to her nursery.
I came home, sat and drank a hot chocolate, and contemplated the week ahead. It’s a busy one, particulary given that there is only one weekend to separate us from Christmas. So busy in fact that I really can’t think beyond tomorrow, when the PD is having a Christmas Party for a dozen of her closest friends (a lot, I know, but to be fair she knows several sets of twins. Interesting fact: Bromley has the highest rate of twins in the country.)I was so deep in contemplation that I forgot about the Scary Carpet Man, who arrived whilst I was mid-snowman. I have talked about carpets before. I’m a little festishist about them. When we moved into our lovely new home last year, I knew that the sitting room carpet would not go well with small children and dogs, given that it was a lovely gold colour. A baffling colour choice given that we bought the house from a family with two small boys (judgemental, moi?) I have to get it cleaned about one every two or three months (did I mention the demise, for which I am NOT responsible, of the lovely carpet cleaner I made the DH buy me as a cost-cutting measure?) Anyway last week a man knocked on my door saying he “was in the area” yadda yadda, and before you know it he’s inspecting the sitting room and tutting about how the sofas are “very grubby (no disrespect, madam)”. At which point I would happily have thrown him out on his ear, but he took a personal call (OMG) in which he had a go at the other person for their “thoroughly incompetent service” then chose afterwards to explain the call. Meanwhile The Girl is trying to get out of the house with the PD, DH is ‘working from home’, the dog needs a walk and I just wanted him out of my house and found that he became gradually more forceful until I had booked him in for this morning and given him a deposit.
You have to say that whilst his technique was not very persuasive, it was incredibly effective. Not that it stopped me from thinking about calling and cancelling him. The loss of the deposit would have been worth it not to have what can only be described as Craig Revel Horwood- meets- Franck-the -Wedding-Planner in my sitting room. Then DH got swallowed by work and I got swallowed by mummyhood and thus the scariest carpet cleaner ever is in my sitting room 24 hours before 14 under-two’s decimate it. Not ideal timing. He greeted The Houseguest: “A bit of bleeding is it?” (Houseguest was bleeding radiators) which caused him to leg it upstairs and hide. Then proceeded to “fire up the machine”, add noise-dampening headphones (of the type you see on Pneumatic Drill Users) and get to work. Periodically he’d come into the kitchen, where I was back to making the aforementioned snowman (Pin the Nose on The Snowman for tomorrow) to fill up his bucket. Without his shirt. Eek. Apparently it’s hot work. I nearly died, quite frankly, and prayed for the Houseguest to emerge from upstairs and act as a chaperone. I did in fact text him to that effect out of desperation. Particularly needed after Scary Carpet Guy breezed out of the kitchen with a “I’ll just finish up and then we’ll sit and have a nice cup of tea”. Double eek!
Fortunately the DG household are not fans of tea. We have a teapot for when Granny M comes to stay, and we have weird tea (aka Herbal) for when Granny and Grandpa come to stay. When SCG emerged to clean the sheen from his body and claim his tea, I therefore took the small but distinct window of opportunity to get him out of my house and asked if he’d prefer Fruit or Green Tea. He asked for a soft drink “I’ll have a small bottle of water” to be precise. Again fortunate that we had run out and Tescos are not due until this evening, so I offered him tap. And asked to whom I should make the cheque payable. “Oh, we don’t do cheques, I’m afraid. I can come back tomorrow for the cash. It’s only £120.” Yes, and I’m f@cking Santa Claus……I hit the Get Out Of My House emergency button, pointed to the crutches that I was using, explained that the DH would not be home for several days and that he had not mentioned he would need cash when he booked the appointment so who should I make the cheque payable to? And as I thrust the cheque into his hand and limped him to the door nodded as he asked me to “tell all my friends”. And whilst I watched his (I kid you not) Smart car with it’s CLEANER number plate reverse out of the driveway, smiled. Should anyone need a stripper for their Hen Night, I’ll know who to recommend.
For what it’s worth, the carpets do look a lot less grubby. At least until tomorrow evening.