Thursday, May 03, 2007

It's Definitely A Team Effort

It is so much easier being a 21st century housewife when you have a really wonderful husband or partner. At the end of the day, running a home has to be a team effort or it just doesn’t work, even if you are the most amazing housewife on the planet. I know I am incredibly lucky to have someone who so willingly shares the load, but sometimes I forget just how much easier he makes it for me to pursue the career of housewifery. This morning was a perfect example.

I am not a morning person and no amount of caffeine will make me into one. So the mornings when we have to be up before 7am are really not my cup of tea at all. Today was one of these as my son A needed to be at an early morning school activity by 7.30. Of course, as things are wont to do on those wonderful early mornings, things began to go wrong almost from the start. We all had to get up (perhaps the biggest challenge of all!), showered and dressed. Our fabulous elderly cats (lovingly referred to as “the boys”) needed to be fed, watered and medicated. Both our lovely old gentlemen are on tablets, Jake for his heart and Elwood for his thyroid. If you are thinking these are odd names for cats, they are an homage to The Blues Brothers of the late 1980’s, Dan Ackroyd and the late John Belushi. But I digress.

Having fed the cats and opened the door so they could have a wander in the garden, I rushed to shower and dress. Finally in the kitchen with soaking wet hair and no makeup, I began to prepare A’s lunch. A wandered in, slightly dazed and began to make his breakfast. On his way to sit down at the kitchen table he stopped rather abruptly, turned and in a vaguely accusatory tone said, “Did you realise one of the boys has been sick in here?” Not waiting for a reply, he turned away and went to eat in the family room. I looked up to see that not only had one of the boys been sick, they had thrown up their whole entire breakfast completely undigested. This happens from time to time. Jake has a habit of wolfing his food down and his poor little 17 year old tummy just can’t cope with the sudden onslaught of nourishment. It is a horrible sight at the best of times, but particularly when one is attempting to make a tuna salad wrap at 7am.

Deciding I could not cope with the sick at the moment I resolved not to look at it anymore but rather to carry on making A’s lunch and deal with it later. At this point my husband G came downstairs about to leave for work. “I’m in a rush,“ he announced as he gave me a kiss. He then looked round, saw my wet hair and dishevelled appearance, along with the rather amazing piles of cat sick on the floor. “It’s okay,” I said in an attitude of false confidence, “I’ll deal with it after I’ve taken A to school”. It was now 7.15, and although school is only 5 minutes away by car, things were not looking good for a 7.30am arrival – particularly if I was going to manage to go out looking like something that would not embarrass my son (or me for that matter!). It is very hard to keep up any notion of street cred if your mother drops you off looking like something the cat dragged in – and with my soaking wet hair and face devoid of makeup, I was doing a pretty good impression of just that. G was clearly in a hurry as well, and I know he had an early meeting. He got as far as the door before he turned round. “Look,” he said, “don’t worry, I’ll take A to school.” He then proceeded back into the kitchen and whilst I finished making A’s lunch, my incredible husband cleaned up the cat sick!!! I cannot begin to describe my gratitude.

Five minutes later, he and A were on their way out the door and all three of us were smiling and laughing. There is a pretty good chance that the extra five minutes G waited to leave will have meant that he will have to sit in traffic for an extra half an hour and quite possibly be late for his meeting, but he never said a word about it. If you are a 21st century housewife, I fervently hope that your husband or partner is as loving and supportive as mine is, and if he isn’t, my fervent prayer for you is that he will become so!