I grew up with tales of Mr Nobody. He was someone that broke things, lost things, pinched unsuspecting bottoms and caused general mayhem all around. Chaos was his modus operandi.. Mr Nobody was also convenient to blame…which raises another thing to ponder… Once we reach a certain young age, if we suspected we are going to get “in trouble” for something, or anything even vaguely smelt like pending trouble – the immediate and inital response was “I didnt do it.”
The question usually asked is WHO did such_and_such????? …the response inevitably was s a rash of “I didn’t” ‘s – which didnt answer the question. This is particularly interesting when you stood right there and watched one of the “I Didn’t”‘s do it….whatever IT was.
What I have found is that this behaviour has followed me into adulthood. It is a subconscious reflex to stay painted saintly (when we are all merely human) and I have seen myself and caught myself doing this same thing ( at my age – even…) when confronted.
I have analysed the why’s… and it is knee jerk to avoid trouble. It is usually to continue an image of how I want to be ( and not always how I am…) and it is always to someone who is judging me.
But I digress….
As well as Mr Nobody I have discovered Maria the Unpaid Maid. She is the one who magically in our busy lives washes dishes, fills kitchen cupboards, does all the washing for everyone, leaves the loungeroom looking tidy…..
Let me tell you a secret – I am Maria the Unpaid Maid., and dont tell the kids – but I am also the Tooth Fairy AND the Easter Bunny ; and lets not forget Santa Claus!!!!!!!!!!!
I see motherhood/parenthood as a responsibility to keep young lives safe as they grow, to guide them through social narrows and rapids, and to also embody for them all the attributes they need to develop to survive and keep clean and healthy in this life.
I am also conscious, especially with Geni and Leonnie, that the household example in their dad’s household is an adult one of “Me, First” and entitlement while the kids are left unsupervised in the care of whatever eldest child is around roaming the house or the yard while the adults have a separate room where they drink, smoke and general shoot the breeze with no mind or care for the younglings. He is also a hoarder so the place looks like hobo central; garbage bags with years of outdated, tatty and discarded clothing and toys piles in corners under things and around.
My place is the antithesis. There is a place for everything. Kids come FIRST, especially before me. They are listened to, each have their own private space and respect. Order lives here, and if we are not wearing, have grown out of or do not use anymore clothing or excess bedding we donate to charity or other family members and NEVER old stuff. Once a week I set aside an hour or two and do from end of this place to the other. Fingermarks off walls, skirtings, doors and handles cupboards stove top down to floors. If it is done weekly we are all committed and out so much that except for a bit of top tidying it stays that way.
Maria autoMAGICALLY does the dishes that are left and piled by my two princesses who never seem to realise Maria does things, or even who does things or might do things – they just realise they get done. While I was washing every dish used yesterday ten minutes ago, I was thinking about how nice it would be if they filled the sink once in a while and washed up after themselves, but we can’t put old heads on young shoulders can we?
I know example is absorbed by osmosis. Their older sisters also left me despairing as they followed similar patterns and yet they can clean and tidy and organise like the best of them. Despite all the current evidence to the contrary with this batch of young, I KNOW in my heart they are learning.