I’m staying at my parent’s house for four nights with the Sprogs. This is stressful for someone with anxiety problems because my parents’ house is very, very tidy and myself and the Sprogs are not.
I find myself uttering unfamiliar phrases such as “Dad, where’s the dust-buster?” when the Sprogs scatter bits of shell and sand all over the bathroom floor after going to the beach. Whereas if we were at home I’d just shrug my shoulders and think “ah, it can wait til the cleaners come”.
I’m also constantly saying things like, “use a plate!” and “don’t touch the walls!”
In other out-of-character behaviour, I’ve been making the bed and tip-toeing around the kitchen, nervously trying not to disturb anything, rinsing glasses after using them and wiping crumbs off benches.
I’m sure our visit is stressing out of my parents too. When we arrived I belatedly noticed the bottoms of Sprog 1’s feet were BLACK. I was off shopping (always my first port of call within minutes of arriving and offloading the Sprogs) so I suggested to my father that they might need a wash. On our return he announced that whatever Sprog 1 had on the bottom of her feet had gotten all over the carpet. Mum and I took sharp intakes of breath until he explained the marks had come straight off. Though I suspect mum would have been out there with a magnifying glass once she thought no one was looking, surveying the damage.
On the plus side, everything is very clean, which is lovely. No grit under your feet, no slime in the refrigerator, crisp sheets on the bed.
And the snacks are a revelation. A pantry full of chocolate, nuts, rocky road, shortbread, crackers. Mostly from Aldi, but everyone assures me they’re the best kind. Fortunately my diet doesn’t start until next week.
Oh, one last problem area is noise.
My parents moved into a new house recently. It was built by a couple who didn’t have children. This means there is no door in the hallway to the bedrooms and lots of hard echoey surfaces. Kinda loud late at night when the Sprogs are trying to sleep and the grown-ups are trying to watch tellie. Early mornings are equally problematic.
Sprog 2 wakes early, Sprog 1 wakes late. If Sprog 1 wakes early, she cries when Sprog 2 damages her sandcastle at the beach.
So I try to keep the house as quiet as possible first thing. Letting Sprog 2 play a free Spongebob app on my iPad is the best way to do this … There goes the blogging …
Sorry there isn’t a pic but my parents don’t have broadband and Mum is convinced I’ll drain her 1GB monthly allowance on whatever archaic other method of internet they use if I get on their laptop.
My 8 yo old recently scuffed black shoe nugget into my parents pristine carpet. My dad has a thing for clean shoes so just before we went to their house, I polished my son’s boots to a military shine. I, like you, left the house asap for some “me” time (grocery shopping without the kids, wacko!), and returned to find mum on her hands and knees with 3 or 4 different sprays AND the vaccum AND buckets and scrubbing brushes… and an 50cm smudged black line through the neutral-coloured carpet. It took a week of her ministrations to remove it – although we can still see the mark. When I was a child, mum used to clean one room per week from top to bottom, and continually circulated from room to room – as a result our home was spotless. It’s a standard I can never hope to meet – so I don’t try anymore!
Gulp … I feel your pain.
Now very grateful that Mum and Dad have wireless broadband that the entire family hook up to as soon as we walk into the house – with a massive download limit. With 4 grandkids with a Minecraft obsession and various laptop/tablet arrangements (including my parents’ mulitple iDevices) it could get very nasty otherwise.
Fortunately my mother is a fan of that wonderful 80s flooring – SLATE! very forgiving, doesn’t show the marks or dirt, and very low maintenance. The carpet in the rest of the house is a nice charcoal. The rest of the house is spotless but at least my mother is a realist!