domestic bliss, in pink

Yesterday was almost domestic stay at home for a day motherhood bliss. Almost. Hanging washing on the line with the buss of bees droning in the distance and the fragrance of several types of blossom floating past. Grace helping or playing nearby and being the most charming child imagineable. Going to the library and swimming lessons. Wearing underpants for two days in a row. Without being asked. Just taking her nappy and tights off in the morning around ten and appearing in a socks and underpants combo.


And until yesterday, the little accidents were of no consequence. Then there was a doosy. Sh*t from waist to toe, wriggling child, freaked out mother and washing like you wouldn't believe. And I thought my scraping days were over. Never mind, I didn't totally lose my cool and while Grace was in the bath before her nap, we had a lovely chat about not doing pooeeys in your underpants. But I'm not sure that she quite understands the signals of when she needs to go. It's all happening but probably not in a totally linear way. Like I'd like. Still, she's timed it well. Because I think I'll be doing some extra washing for a while. And like, trying not to be so uptight.

I helped Grandmother

I love this book, maybe because I love the work of Jeannie Baker. Haven't been able to get Grace interested yet, but probably she'll come around one day. This one's from the library so it won't have the long lying around time that seems to have worked with other books I'd like her to let me read to her.

Helpgrandmotherfrom "Grandmother" by Jeannie Baker, Scholastic 1978

I like how the grandmother seems conventionally grandmotherly, she looks grandmotherly (in a dishevelled kind of way), she sews, knits and dotes on her grandaughter. Together they walk through the garden, hand in hand and the girl visits the statues that grandmother says she carved long ago lurking in the gorgeously overgrown garden. I like a grandmother with a past, I do. 

The girl helps her grandmother collect the washing from the line, along with some lavender. You get the sense that domesticity is carried out on a pleasantly minimal level. Sufficent to be comfortable and charming, not so much as to be onerous. I could live a life like that. One day. Maybe.

last days of winter

I did three loads of washing today, changed all the beds and (sort of*) cleaned the bathroom. There are towells and sheets ready to put on first thing in the morning. And maybe if I get the washing out early enough, and if it doesn't rain, they will perhaps be dry in a day (as noted by thirdcat a week or so ago... the weather change being a week or two later here). Completely. No airing required. Exhale.


Today's washing dryed, moreorless, even though there were a few anxious moments at playgroup when I looked out the window at the dark spitting clouds and thought, oh, for fuck's sake, my washing would be dry now.** All the other mothers and carers were playing with their delightful children and I was sitting on a peewee chair in the corner, as far away from my child as possible, keeping my quiet, seething resentment of the day quiet. My two weeks of holidays will be more domestic in nature than I had planned. Normally this would be fine, desirable even. I could sew and be well, domestic, with little trips off elsewhere by myself doing frivolous things. But now, at this at moment, I want to be spending each day transforming our new house with paint and painstripper. Even if it's tedious at the time. I really did imagine I'd be doing more actual work on the new house, but it makes more sense for me to keep home fires burning while G plasters, builds, mends and prepares walls for painting. Especially since we want to move in one day soon and his skills are so superior to mine in this regard, it's laughable. And I'd forgotten how hard the home shift could be, how thankless it can feel, how much I can swear (and yell) in one day. Which doesn't help.

Of course doing all this washing means a festival of folding. Crap. Splutter. Curse. Maybe I should clean out the linen cupboard(s) while I'm at it.

* thourough cleaning being hard to do in a house you are going to leave very soon and when your three year old is head butting you. And ripping books. Grrr. I think we had another day like this not long ago?
** Yes, yes we need the rain and lots of it, but can it be not on my washing for a little while?