15 October 2007

My Imaginary Housekeeper

The mess can get a bit out of control at my place.

Sonny-Ma-Jiminy is now two and a half and he's programmed for mayhem. I put his toys away into his toyboxes; he takes them out again. I put all his trikes and trolleys under the deck; he takes them out again. I put his ukulele away where I can't stand on it; he takes it out and places it where I will accidentally step on it and mindlessly kick it again and again. For example, behind me on the kitchen floor or just outside the shower door before I get out dripping wet.

Chubbity Bubbity is quite dependent on Mummy at 6 months old and she prefers me to devote at least 50% of my ARMS to her. Which means I'm usually doing my housework one-handed except when both my arms are devoted to her care, when nothing gets done at all.

My husband is frequently busy at work or enjoying his own "down-time" (and who doesn't need down-time?)

Puppity Doggity, in her defence following my recent post about the BBQ Grease, is fairly easy to look after however she tends to walk thousands of clover burrs inside on her foxlike brush of a tail. But overall, she contributes little to the general domestic chaos at our place.

And me - well, I tend to procrastinate a little bit. And when things are really untidy, I just look at the List Of Things To Do and I procrastinate a lot.
At any given time I have plenty of jobs on my List Of Things To Do, whether the list is in writing or just a mental note. Large jobs, small jobs, easy jobs and the jobs I'd run away from home to avoid. It's usually a long list and although compiling it lifts the burdens from my mind, attacking items on the list is not enjoyable and nearly impossible to juggle, especially when Chubbity Bubbity is awake.

Now, we're not particularly rich. It's unreasonable to consider spending large amounts of our money employing a housekeeper to attack the tasks on my List Of Things To Do. But I've decided to make myself feel a little better by imagining that I can.

There are three qualities you need in an Imaginary Housekeeper. The first is kindness. I don't want anybody coming into my house and being unkind. The second is a willingness to do anything you ask her to do. I want to be able to leave any job (large/small/easy/run-away-from-it) in her hands and know that she'll do it without complaining. And the third quality? I'll tell you later.

My Imaginary Housekeeper is a lovely Spanish lady called Consuela. Our arrangement is simple: I pay her a lot of imaginary money to come and complete items from my list. It's an imaginary burden on our imaginary purse, but I imagine that I do it. And every now and then I walk past the List Of Things To Do and see a job that is down for Consuela to complete and I think, "Oh poor Consuela, she really is quite busy. I'll just quickly get that one thing done and then she won't have to do it. And maybe I'll save some money today because Consuela will be able to leave early."

And before I know it, I'm getting the housework done and saving imaginary money everywhere. It's a win-win situation. Just tonight I put away three baskets of folded clothes that had been washed, dried, folded and presumably left for Consuela to put away. After about a week of fossicking through baskets of folded cloths for underwear and shirts, I realised that Consuela (being imaginary) wasn't going to get to it so I saved myself a bit of money and did it myself. Just as I should have done in the first place.

The thing is, if I HAD done it myself in the first place, it would have been drudgery. This way, it's not drudgery - it's part of the lovely win-win situation I've created by saving money by getting to it before Consuela does.

And that's the final quality you need in an Imaginary Housekeeper - a little touch of laziness!


Crazy Sister said...

This revolutionary approach to housework has changed my life, lowered my blood pressure and saved loads of imaginary money.

Instead of flipping out when my Crazy Toddler Girl tips filthy water on my embroidered, padded rocking chair, I simply murmur serenely, "Poor Consuela."

Givinya De Elba said...

You've been using my Imaginary Housekeeper??!!!one1!!

Crazy Sister said...

Consuela cleans a great window, but steer away from her white sauce.

Givinya De Elba said...

Was funny reading through this again, especially the bit about SMJ putting the ukulele in places where i'll definitely step on it. The morning after I wrote this, I woke up, jumped out of bed and landed straight on the jolly ukulele.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering if Consuela has time to come via my place between her trips to the two of you. Any chance??? Jen.

Givinya De Elba said...

I'm not sure you'd want her - she's been so LAZY recently. I've had to do all the housework myself!

Givinya De Elba said...
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