Parental success: the kids are cleaning

The kids have sprung into action on the cleaning front – at last – because one of them had a friend around.

Cleaning products


It’s been a week of spring cleaning in our house. This is because we had A Visitor. Normally the kids don’t invite people around to the house. They say things like it is ‘their safe space’, but really deep down I think it is because the house is a little bit messy – mostly because of them, but somehow I get the blame, even though I seem to be constantly doing the washing up. I admit that housework is not at the top of my priorities, but my argument is that housework should be a team effort.

Anyway, in the last week almost every room has had some TLC shown to it. Daughters two and three were scrubbing the kitchen floor earlier this week. A heavy duty limescale remover was ordered on Amazon. I had to put the swimming goggles on to administer it. I painted paint sealant in the bathroom, daughter three scrubbed the bath, me and my partner got up early on Saturday to take some of the bits of furniture that line the upstairs corridor to the dump which involves a new booking in advance system which has caused huge upset in the village, only son’s walls have been painted [gone the Harry Potter posters. He is apparently too mature for HP] and just before The Visit daughter three strategically placed joss sticks all over the house.

This is partly because we are in the midst of cat wars. My mum’s cat has come to stay for a few weeks and she doesn’t like other cats, particularly not very enthusiastic and possibly sexually predatory male cats like Lil Kit [who is now nearly one and not quite so little, but very adorable]. He cannot fathom why she doesn’t like him. She just spits and growls in a corner and then all hell breaks out as Lil Kit chases her up the stairs. She is perfectly fine, however, so long as no other cat is present. She is in fact our old cat. She had kittens and then rejected them all. This is problematic because said kittens are still around, although they don’t like coming in the house, mainly because one of them has never recovered from maternal rejection. So they get fed outside and my mum’s cat growls and hisses at them through the window. It’s almost like being in Cat Eastenders.

Anyway, back to the cleaning. I have been project managing a 60-minute makeover for only son’s room. This involved wallpaper stripping [not very successful wallpaper stripping as the under paper didn’t come off despite much scraping and use of wallpaper remover] and painting, but also ordering more mature posters eg Radiohead. The slight problem was that when they arrived they were slightly smaller than poster side. In fact they looked more like postcards, although they said they were posters so I maintain that it is a violation of the Trade Descriptions Act and not my fault due to not looking at the small print on eBay and going for the cheapest option. We are also moving furniture around to give only son more space. In return, all I ask is that he open a book. I’ve tried all types of books, including audio books, and the only one he is even slightly interested in is a book of reportage – in particular a report on the background to the capture of Osama Bin Laden. I was thinking more the classics, but any reading is good.

Only son’s room makeover was inspired by his sisters. Daughter two has painted her room bright orange and is creating wonderful art objects out of clay to adorn it. Daughter three has gone for a Bedouin tent look with a variety of curtains hung around her room and pictures of cool jazz musicians on the walls as well as George Michael.  There is a mural of a giant mushroom with an eye and an assortment of nick nacks from the local charity shop. The only room in the house that lets the whole side down is me and my partner’s bedroom, which is a sea of clothes because my partner has bagsied at least three quarters of the wardrobe.

The big news of the week is that daughter three has finally got a bedroom door after a mere seven years of waiting. She did used to have a door, but that was before an unfortunate incident with her sister, which involved her sister slamming the door and getting stuck in her room and having to be evacuated through the upstairs window and a full-frontal assault on the door after we realised the school uniform was still inside, leaving just the frame in place. The bad news is that we have no idea how to install said new door or the handle which apparently doesn’t come with the door. Why? This has sparked a bit of a door revolution. Daughter two has dismantled her failing door handle and only son – who also lacks a door – has begun his own campaign, given his room lies at the centre of Cat Wars. Lil Kit has learnt how to open the door on the room next to only son’s by slipping his paw under the handle and pulling it down. Only son has been barricading my mum’s cat in using a bag of pots and pans and an old bicycle. So far Lil Kit has the upper paw.

One day we will have a Visitor-worthy house, but for the time being we are enjoying our new-look, spring cleaned ‘safe space’ and I have suggested to only son that he paints his own Radiohead posters, while listening to War and Peace on the audio books.

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