Children are always getting under foot when you have more important things to be getting on with. Sticking their head between your legs while you’re trying to chop onions or wash up; pressing buttons on the computer when you’re writing an important email; lining up an army of toys across the floor just as you were about to hoover; insisting on asking why the sky is blue when you are on the phone to the bank.
But there are some jobs that are just so mundane you would do anything to put them off. Suddenly the idea of doing that preschool jigsaw puzzle or reading a Mr. Men book for the hundredth time doesn’t seem so bad.
A procrastinator by nature anyway, here are the chores that make me a more devoted parent…
1. Cleaning the fridge
One of those labour-intensive, pernickety jobs that you put off and put off until it can be put off no longer. It will take ages, your efforts will go unnoticed, and it will be just as dirty again within a few days. Guidelines recommend ‘deep-cleaning’ your fridge every three to four months. I’m looking at twice a year at best. And when I see this chore has finally crept to the top of my To Do list, my knee jerk reaction is to declare, “Let’s get out the Playdough!” Ditto the oven.
2. Sorting through boxes in the spare room
The boxes that have not been opened since you moved in. It must have been worth packing up to keep in the first place, mustn’t it…? And yet you can’t bring yourself to shove it in the loft because you know that once you open that Pandora’s Box, half of it is destined for the charity shop. Those old clothes you haven’t worn for years and don’t even fit you; the handbags you used to take out when all you needed was a lipstick and a front door key; kitsch Christmas decorations. What to do with the contents of that box is niggling away at the back of my mind as I sit here playing dressing up with a two-year-old, trying to forget about it. Hang on…..
3. Washing windows
What is the point of wiping away greasy fingerprints and snot smears for them to be replaced in an instant by your willing ‘assistant’, who then kicks the water bucket all over the carpet. I am assuming this would be the outcome if I ever tried to wash the windows. And so we head ever closer to a ‘frosted’ effect, that will surely become fashionable one day.
It just keeps coming back again! And the thicker it gets the more you can use it as an educational tool for writing letters and numbers in.
Tax returns, switching energy companies, paying bills, applying to schools. It’s all just so time-consuming and dull. Who fancies a game of Hide and Seek? My head will be in the sandpit.
For some a hobby, for others a reason to go out to the park and forget about your bare walls, painted a horrible shade you’ve never liked and always meant to change.
7. Reading a bad book
The standard by which our Preschool Parents Book Group now measures a title is not in stars, but by whether you would prefer to look after your kids. A good read will keep you so gripped you can easily ignore any clamour for your attention. But when you’d rather join in building a tower out of blocks than push on to the end of a chapter – it’s time to get a new book.