The Angry Clean

Big family little income may 2016-1
Miss12 wasn’t keen for a photo of her wardrobe. So I took a photo of her in her PJ’s in front of it. I don’t think she thought that through.

“Can you hang those back up in your bedroom?” I asked Miss4 while pointing at a pile of kids coathangers left over from Tracey sorting the washing.

“Okay!” she said, springing eagerly into action.

She’s the only person in the house who gets excited by the idea of doing stuff like this.

“Why don’t we clean things up?” Tracey had suggested to the family earlier, reminiscent of the way governments suggested their young men wear khaki in the early 1940’s based on their birthdates. i.e. We had no choice. “This house is a brothel!”

“Talk about a pub with no beer,” I joked as I considered how long I could put off joining the hunt for carpet in the lounge room.

“I’m considering cancelling the next keg delivery unless you get your butt off that chair,” Tracey joked back.

“You’re funny,” I said.

“Try me.”

I didn’t.

I don’t know if this is an isolated thing or everyone experiences it, but we have identified and named a phenomenon which occurs when we have to race around the house picking toys, shoes and often clean clothes off the floor instead of doing what we really want to do, like binging on the latest must-watch series. We know it’s not the other person’s fault, but we’re not happy, Jan, and want them to know it.

We frown.

We get cranky.

We snap at each other.

We call this doing The Angry Clean.

Our kids have spotted it too, and tend to be a little more likely to help out on occasions when this occurs without enough warning for them to call Nanny and ask if they can go over for a visit.

We soon had the four older kids sorting toys and gathering up the bits of perfectly good A4 paper they’d decided, for no discernible reason I’ve ever been able to ascertain, to reduce to hundreds if not thousands of tiny little triangles.

In less time than the avoidance of doing it would suggest, we had the place looking reasonable again. Tracey took the washing which couldn’t be saved to the laundry, Miss12 ferried the toys back into the rooms, Miss6 wiped the coffee table and lounge down, Miss9 packed away the pencils & books and Master11 tried to tell everyone he was doing more than them despite his hands barely leaving his pockets. So he got to vacuum after everyone else had finished.

Finally it was done and I could sit down again and refocus my attention back on Penn & Teller.

My bum almost touched the lounge before Tracey was waving me into the girls’ room and asking if Miss4, by any chance, had put the coat hangers away.

I confirmed I’d asked her to.

“How did you ask her, exactly?” Tracey wanted to know. “What did you say?”

“I told her to hang them up in her bedroom,” I said, thinking I was about to be called on to relight The Angry Clean bomb under our youngest – and being disappointed about that because the little darling had been so keen to get involved and the only one who actually genuinely wanted to help. “Didn’t she do it?”

“Oh, she did exactly as you asked,” said Tracey.

As the photo below illustrates, the fault is all mine.

Big family little income may 2016-2

“Raising a family on little more than laughs”

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