Reflections do not exist as simple thoughts, they are trapped within a web of emotions. A web that protects them from exposure as the intangible creatures they really are. A web of emotion that gives each thought its validity … its reason to exist, for without emotion, thoughts are but simple words.
7.00am – Monday Chaos reigns supreme, as usual! Once again I am reminded of my shortcomings. Bugger! I have slept in and missed my favourite time of day (which just happens to be when the kids are still asleep. An amazing coincidence!). Not a good start and I have this nagging feeling that it was only yesterday when I declared, with passionate dedication, I was going to be more organised and do the dishes after dinner. Self-discipline has slipped through my fingers like wet soap, once again.
I stand in the middle of the kitchen, surveying last nights dinner remnants. It would seem I fed the entire defence force (although I have no memory of it), not my meagre family of four. The large pile of plates, forks, knives, pots, pans, cups and glasses lay testament to my elusive discipline. Not a good way to start the week. I saunter into the lounge room. What? More dishes? Surely, we don’t own this much crockery. I am convinced they reproduce in the stillness of night.
Nestled amongst the debris sits my youngest daughter, curled in her sleeping bag, sandman-eyes glued to the television. “I’m hungry,” she says, without a break in her eye contact with Pokemon. I am about to instill in this small child of mine the importance of manners and respect when my eldest daughter drags herself into the lounge-room and reprimands me for not waking her earlier. I rebut her with indignance. “Hey, I didn’t even get to wake myself earlier and now I’ve missed my favourite time of day. And why can’t I have a good morning mumsy, did you sleep well? Or good morning mum, I’m starved and I love you to death, can I help with breakfast?”
“Morning mum, I’m hungry,” they chorus in unison with four eyes now glued to Pokemon. I shrug, heartless, for this day will not begin until I have had my heart starter. My children, as angelic as they are, can wait. I listen to the percolator gurgling (I did say this story was from a far, far distant time) and it’s a truly delicious sound, far nicer than the kettle and I think to myself, one day my kids will be old enough to make me a cup of tea or coffee!
When I was twelve, my bedroom was beside my mothers and each morning, I would wake to a thump on the wall and the muffled sound of mum pleading with me to make her a cup of tea. I discovered, at an early age, that making tea was a loathsome job and to this day, it still is but I like to drink it so what else can I do? I shall console myself with thoughts of sweet revenge, like my mother before me. Take heed my young ones, your days of sloth are numbered!
The coffee is good, but I am mourning and sulking. I like to wake before everyone else and enjoy the spirit silence, along with the birds, so sleeping in is most annoying. And now the kitchens chaos screams in chorus with the television. Turn that bloody thing down!
After an extraordinarily disorganized and hectic start to the day, with loved ones begging me to drive them to school and me saying no, I will pick you up this afternoon, they wave a poignantly cranky goodbye and walk off to their world of education. Whilst I? I stand alone, in the doorway, listening to sweet silence and think of all the possibilities this day and I may create, together. After the housework, of course! The rabbit breeding crockery, copulating cups and fornicating forks (not to mention the knives!) must be severely dealt with before I can contemplate any kind of creation. A chaotic kitchen creates a chaotic mind! Well, it does for me.
Midday – Monday I walk around my peace filled house. No sounds of children fighting, husband calling, dogs yapping or cats meowing. I am in my sacred haven, proudly surveying my queendom. A place for everything and now, everything in its place, just the way I like it. It is time to pamper myself. My skin, still grimy from housework is ready to be refreshed.
I think baths were the best thing invented. How sumptuous it is to sink a tired body into hot, steamy water. It’s the night baths I love the most when I can indulge in candlelight, a large glass of port (hey, I like long baths) and of course, soft music and bubbling bubbles. It’s a rare treat with kids in the house though. Daytime baths are a boon too when the cherubs aren’t home. When they were younger, my children had this insatiable desire to bathe with me and it was one of my pet hates. I could possibly have had better tolerance if they refrained from poking me in the breasts and making remarks about my saggy boobs. Although, they do continually tell me how soft and cuddly I am, so I suppose I could be more patient with poking, prodding, and the odd giggle when referring to my ‘furry bits’. I suppose too, I could also concede to their wails of protest when on the eternal quest for a svelte body, they’d cry despairingly, “but mum, you won’t be soft and cuddly anymore”. Who am I to deny my children their home comforts? Enough about baths!
The house is tidy, the body is clean. It is time to do! What sort of constructive creative writing do you have in mind? How are you going to justify calling yourself an author? Hmm … no answer? Perhaps a cup of tea first. Am I procrastinating? No, Confucius said to be desirous of having things done quickly prevents them from being done thoroughly. Small advantages, he said, prevents great affairs from being accomplished, and I am desirous of a great literary affair. I, therefore, give myself permission to have a cup of tea, whilst I reflect on this great affair. Besides, the act of sipping tea is conducive to ponderance and ponderance is conducive to writing. I’m certain of it.
Now, let’s see. I could continue my children’s novel in my anorexic belief that not only will it be good enough, one day it will make me a famous writer. Ahem! Or I could inspire my literary efforts with Lessing’s latest masterpiece? An afternoon of quiet reading sounds nice! Then again, the weeds have violently assaulted the azaleas and I desperately need a battle plan. No, I’ve just had a bath and my fingernails rarely look this clean. Or maybe I could …
3.30pm Monday Give yourself permission to be late sometimes. Life is for living, not scheduling … Linus Mundy.
Time has eluded me, once again. I realize, with annoyance, I should have left to rescue the cherubs from school, fifteen bloody minutes ago and although they could walk, I did promise to pick them up. They are going to be cranky!
It is intensely irritating when running late, every possible delay tactic is hurled at me, without mercy, to prevent any chance of catching up. Streams of traffic, right and left, when needing to turn right is one of them. I have been known (on more than one occasion) to turn left instead, then turn right at the next street, negotiate a U turn, then turn left into the street I had originally intended to turn right into. Clever eh?
Uh oh … they are standing alone at the school gate and their body language says it all. Alas, I am the bad mother who has forgotten to pick up her children on time. There is joy, however. I can park right outside the gate and miss the chaos of multitudinous perfect mothers picking up their perfect children. Yay! Perhaps I could tell my children I was abducted by a psychotic probing alien and have only just managed to escape? Nah! Perhaps I could tell them there was a hold up at the bank and I was … nah!
As I’m driving back home, I wonder if arguing between sisters were an Olympic sport, we’d need another house to store their gold medals. On arriving home, the rush to the front door and two children pushing through at the same time is quickly followed by a flurry of flying school bags, hats and a loud chorus of that time honoured old tune “I’m hungry” and I cannot resist. “Hi hungries, I’m mum.” I just love the groans and rolling eyeballs when I say that. Or when they ask, “what’s for dinner,” I say, “whatever you can find in the fridge.”
As usual, I am the last through the door where the cat, the dog and two schoolbags passionately greet my feet. Luckily, I have a sturdy sense of balance. I ask the cherubs to notice the cleanliness of our house and with gentle loving voice, request their assistance to “bloody well keep it that way”. “Yeah mum, whatever!”
9.30 pm Monday I won’t go into detail about the family time before 9.30 pm. You’ve all been there. You know the absolute joy of slaving over your cauldron, oops I mean stove, to nourish your family with a healthy degustation of exquisite delights, night after night after night, while they create chaos in the loungeroom.
Or trying to answer their questions about complex maths problem solving when you didn’t even pass basic arithmetic and really don’t need to have such inadequacies made obvious. So I will ‘cut to the chase’ … I’m off to bed.
Like all good mothers, I check on my little darlings. I bend down to kiss these sleeping cherubs, and I can’t help but wonder, how can they look so innocent? So pure? So perfect, when they are asleep? I thank God for letting me see them in this state, for otherwise, I’d have no idea.
My husband, satiated in front of the television with port and chicken-filled belly, gently snores his serenity. All is quiet once again. I silently pad through the kitchen and give the build-up of dirty dishes my dirtiest look and wonder at my resolve to wash them nightly. I lay in bed, reflecting on my theory of fornicating crockery as another day ends along with my creativity. Tomorrow I will be disciplined … and creative!