I’d like to start with a small apology to all the gentlemen who might be reading this (yes: both of you!) This post will touch on the topic of – ahem! – hormones…
Most times of the month, I’m a fairly patient, laid-back, easygoing sort of person. But, twelve times a year, I transform into a short-tempered, moody, destructive maelstrom. Like a werewolf, but the sort that gets weepy watching superannuation commercials.
I’m a bit that way at the moment. I’m feeling rather down on myself at the state of my house. Two weeks of school holidays have taken their toll and the house is dysfunctional with mess. It’s all dishes and clutter and Lego and loom bands and crumbs and random artefacts that look important yet seem to belong nowhere.
And clothes. I think Strega Nona must have broken into my laundry and stirred my washing basket with her magic spoon. Now I have so many dirty clothes, they’re spilling out the door. It won’t be long before they take over the village…
I’ve been going a little nuts about it all. Mr Knightley’s delightful-but-Type-A friend came over today and while I knew I couldn’t get the house to the level that Type A would consider ‘tidy’, I wanted at least to lift it out of the state of embarrassing neglect that made us look like the victims of a sock-and-duplo explosion. As a result, I spent the morning venting and vacuuming and shouting and sweeping. I bit everybody’s head off several times and, internally, I was biting my own head off (“What is WRONG with me? WHY can’t I keep a tidy house? How is it POSSIBLE that this many items can fit in the space under one couch?”) . I barked at Matilda for leaving her hardly-worn clothes on the school-room floor (she’d changed her mind on what to wear today, it would seem), roared at Christopher Robin for leaving his shoes all over the house, snapped at Harry for singing an inane song ad infinitum , wailed at Annie as she painted the table with cornflakes-and-milk, and ranted at the house in general about how hard it is to be me.
Mr Knightley, who had quietly wiped down the kitchen stove and benchtops, convinced me to stop for a minute and then swiftly administered coffee and chocolate. It worked for a short time, but, really, I was beyond help. It wasn’t long before I was again storming about the place, sometimes muttering darkly, sometimes screeching like a car alarm. At lunch time, I snapped peevishly at Matilda, “that’s my seat! Can’t you see my soup’s there already?”, but then I realised she was putting a note in my place. Here it is:
If you can’t make out her handwriting, this is what it says:
“1 FREE NIGHT AT THE SPA
When you said “I was going to have a nice relaxing bath tonight but it’s too messy” (I did say that last night, in another PMS-fuelled rant) I thought I’d give you this to say thanks for letting me have nice relaxing baths when I’m tired and worn out. So I’ll clean the bathroom and you can borrow one of my Pippi soaps.
I felt rather small. I had been awful to everyone all morning and my nine-year-old daughter still had the grace to treat me with generosity and understanding. I gave her a fierce hug and cried copiously and surreptitiously into my soup. But I’m fine, really I am.
Just don’t show me any superannuation commercials any time soon…