Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Carpet cleaning for romantic heroes

I have just been in the family bathroom, pondering the question of why there are tufts of black hair all over the floor. Given we are a family of blondes, tasteful blonde to disguise grey for me, platinum blonde in homage to Marilyn Monroe for DQ no.1, actually more grey than blonde for Simon and natural blonde in DQ no.2 and 3’s case the only candidate for the black strands is the dog. I do have a vague memory of DQ no.3 saying she was going to groom the dog and I am now making a mental note to check my hairbrush for tell tale black hairs as a certain nasty suspicion comes upon me.

One of the downsides of being married to Mr Activity is that when it rains and he is housebound there is a roughly ten minute period during which time I can distract him with the idea of a cup of coffee and a look at the papers and then he is off on the hunt for a major household project. As I am by nature incredibly indolent and have a fairly relaxed attitude to housekeeping (feel free to insert your own appropriate adjectives here) these bursts of frenzy never augur well. Sure enough within minutes of waking to a wet Saturday, he was muttering about the dubious stains on the carpets. I immediately denied all knowledge of the origin of these marks whilst simultaneously mentally cataloguing nail polish remover, dog, coffee, craft glue, blue tack and felt tip. Simon fired with the enthusiasm that is one of his most endearing characteristics, set off for the local superstore to hire a carpet cleaner, whilst I stomped behind in a sulky silence designed to convey that a morning spent in a pool of frothing bubbles was not my idea of marital bonding. However despite myself I did get into the whole thing and there was a revolting satisfaction watching the coal black liquid disgorge from the machine. Fortunately most of the downstairs of the house is wood floors and it is only really the DQs’ rooms upstairs that are carpeted – having all their possessions dumped on top of their beds by their Desperate Housewife of a father gave them the impetus to sort their rooms and in fact if anyone would care to drop by I can give you a rare tour of a perfect Homes and Gardens set of children’s rooms – but make it snappy I can’t guarantee this level of perfection for long.

One of the many things I love about having children is the opportunity it gives you to read and reread children’s books. As a family we’ve loved Harry Potter and are moving towards the Vampire tales of love and longing – summarised by one of DQ no 1’s 15 year old male friends as ‘Edward loves Bella, Bella loves Edward, and Edward wants to eat Bella’. I am currently wallowing in Noel Streatfield, Lynne Reid Banks and the K M Peyton Pennington and Team series. K M Peyton in particular has a nice line in moody, teenage male heroes who entranced me as a teenager. As I write this I am pondering the paradox that were DQ no.1 to appear home with one of these interesting teenage rebels I would immediately move into the protective mode and push her hastily towards the nearest, nice, calm, fits the mould, type boy.

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