Thursday, May 23, 2013

I am woman, watch me wash...

Housekeeping I: Dusting 

I cook, sweep,  clean,  wash... therefore I am woman. 

Another day off with no call from the ed agency (hence more cleaning). I'd prefer to be making money than sweeping the floor. I must get last week's time-sheet in. The phone went off this morning at the time Joe (from the agency) used to call me to say there's work on (7.30). My heart stopped as I tossed pocket Auden onto the bed, threw on a dressing gown and dashed to the phone:

...Could it be? Does he want to tell me I'm fired? Could it be the centre saying everything's been sorted and you're hired? Unlikely. 

Thought flashes as I dress and dash. 

It's B's drama teacher wanting to speak to B, who's already out the door to uni, tonight's drama class is cancelled. 

I will text her. Hopefully her phone has power. 

My heart keeps racing through the conversation. The drama teacher thinks she's woken me and apologises twice. I hate double apologies, the second one confirms the fakeness of the first.

I still haven't texted B (now midday).

I will ring Best Dressed (kindy) today. I can't just leave fate to sort it. The agency is bound to have bad-mouthed me to the centre yesterday. I can't entirely blame them, I was sweary - quite 'unacceptable' - to use the agency's word, but still, the situation warranted it (almost).

Son C (almost 20) has a day off uni. I force him to read the RS Obama article right through. It's a good solid article and it's long. He's in danger of forgetting how to read anything that isn't on-line. I want him to read it where I can see him, not in his room with the door closed. He fiercely rejects my interventions and impositions on his will and time. You can't make me, he says more than once, and I know how wrong it must seem to him. But he promised me he'd do this one thing for me for Mother's Day and that was more than a week ago. I remind him of all the meals and the cleaning and the working to pay for his privileged lifestyle that I do and how he makes a slave of me if, in return, if I don't have any influence over him. Next thing he lumbers upstairs, grabs the magazine, and lumbers back downstairs in less than a minute to sit with  article open at Obama in suit, tie and winning smile, at the dining table, and reads.

I sweep the floorboards. I have to tell him it's not a speed-reading competition to get to the end quickest because I can tell he's trying to race read. I tell him I'm going to refresh read the article after him so that we can discuss it. He agrees with a harrumph. 

Earlier I took a photo of the cup cakes in the tin while preparing C2's school lunch. I go upstairs to upload that image and write a blog post around it. I hate it when people watch me read...

C1 comes up to get me in a while, forty minutes or so, and I show him my blog post. We go back downstairs to make coffee and discuss the Obama article. 

C1 says he can't understand why a picture like that (of the cakes) would inspire a blog post and I might as well give up now. I ask him about Obama and he mentions the two girls, which shows he's read the article thoroughly. We discuss the 'Progressive firewall' theme of the article's take on Obama's presidency. This leads us to discussing the Progressive era in American politics in relation to the essay on the turn of last century muckraking that sister B has just handed in for her History paper: 'The rise and fall of America'. 

I brew the coffee and choose a dainty-male plate for C1 and place an iced cake upon it, smack bang in the centre, wearing the plate like a fancy, circular skirt. I choose a dainty-lady plate for me and place a cake in the centre of it. We sit and eat cake with dainty silver forks. It occurs to me that I have not sat down and talked, dainty or otherwise, with my first-born for any length of time, without a screen between us, much less over cake!, for as long as I can remember. 
A dainty-male plate

C1 exclaims over the brilliance of the cake (red velvet) and I suggest that this smacks of hypocrisy, given his earlier comment about the redundancy of my cake post. He says, on the contrary, he can see every reason to eat cake, just not to write about it and photograph it. He's right, of course.

I am off to cleaning the downstairs bathroom that I haven't looked at with a wet cloth for months. The Jif's down in a jiffy and I'm off, on my knees, still discussing Obama and cake with C1 through the open door while I get my wet cloth into mould-trap corners to shine up the bathroom white. The washing machine whirs in the background, tired and energetic-sounding all at once. It's programmer is acting up; just keeps filling and won't progress onto the wash cycle. I might have to get a man in. I listen for washing sounds. Our water bill will rocket if it keeps filling up and never gets around to washing.

C1 comes into the bathroom while I clean so we can properly continue the discussion to the smell of bleach. He's brought my laptop downstairs and taken a look at the rest of my blog (not in the bathroom). He comments favourably on a couple of the images. High praise from the Me-generation cynic.

He's found the viewer stats for his preferred news site, evidently the audience is mostly male, 25-54 yrs.  He works out the age average: 39, and makes his point with a proud scoff. His news is not kids' news (any more than my news is Old news). Still I got him to read quality magazine copy. 

The cats are fighting. Hchhrrrr round the kitchen island at each other, like villains in an old B-crime movie, except female and with claws, instead of guns. Mother and daughter, no less. Mother (TT) has entirely 'forgotten' that Trixie is her daughter. Human's don't forget. How awful if we did!

It's pouring like a trap-door opened up outside. The washing will have to be garaged. 


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