Domestic Goddess

October 30, 2009


One truly glorious aspect of being home all day with The Mushroom and The Baby is watching The Mushroom attempt to be a housewife. She really does try very hard, God love her. She could sit and play with The Baby all day long, that’s not a bother. It’s actually doing anything else other than playing with The Baby all day that flummoxes her so almightily. It’s brilliant to watch.

“What’s for tea?”, asks my Dad, home from work and adopting the care worn expression of a man who has been up since before dawn. I must add, though, that this sounds much more dramatic than it actually is, as dawn up in the Prairies, in winter, is about lunchtime, so any time in the morning is ‘before dawn’. He does, however, get up mighty early. Certainly earlier than The Mushroom and The Baby. And, er, me. Anyhoo…

“Spaghetti and salad.” The Mushroom replies, busying herself with pots whilst The Baby stands and grins, happily attached to The Mushroom’s leg.

“Spaghetti and salad?”, queries my Dad, “Really? They don’t go!”

The Mushroom turns to look at him. “I made perfectly clear when we started going out that I can only cook things made out of mince.” She stirred one of her pots. “And I wasn’t lying.”

No, she wasn’t. There are eight packets of minced beef in the freezer. Yesterday, they had lasagne and salad. The day before, cottage pie and salad. Day before that, burgers and salad. One can spot a theme here.

When The Mushroom worked, before The Baby, she got away with doing next to no housework or cooking on the grounds that she worked longer hours than my Dad and – and this is a direct quote – she ‘always had creative ideas floating about’ which prevented her, apparently from seeing that the rubbish needed emptying. Allegedly, her head was so full of theatre that this just meant she couldn’t do housework. I loved this reasoning. Had it been me, I’d have pushed this as far as I possibly could.

‘Why have you gone to the toilet on the carpet?’

‘Did I? Oh dear! I was far too busy thinking about how to stage Act I of the ‘Duchess of Malfi’ to remember to go to the bathroom! I’m so sorry!’

My Dad, grumblingly, accepted this. I think, however, that he was expecting some sort of Road to Damascus conversion now that The Mushroom’s job is to take care of The Baby and the house. Sometimes, he is gratified to come home to what appears to be an immaculate house, a dinner – albeit a dinner made of ground beef – cooking on the stove and his metaphorical slippers warmed by the radiator etc. What he doesn’t see, of course, is that the dirty dishes are in the cupboard underneath the sink and that the rubbish bags are in the wardrobe, but hey ho.

The Mushroom’s attempts at domestic organisation were, thus, tested by the news that my Dad had invited a colleague and his wife to dinner.

“Shit!”, says The Mushroom, “Why did you do that? We don’t have a dining table!”

“What’s this, then?”, replies my Dad, tapping his hand on the brown, formica square in the kitchen.

“It’s a brown, formica square, honey.”, she replies, “It looks like a prop from a 70’s drama. It isn’t a dining table. And what can I cook?”

“Anything you want.”

“Lasagne?”

“No.”

“Spaghetti?”

“No, love.”

“Meat balls?”

“No, no, you can’t do meat balls.”

“Chilli?”

“Er, maybe. How about chicken?”

There is a pause.

“I don’t cook chicken, love.” The Mushroom replies, looking increasingly frazzled. And a little bit violent.

“I tell you what”, says my Dad, “Why don’t I cook? And we can pretend you did.”

The Mushroom breathes a sigh of relief. “Okay then.”

Peace is resumed and The Mushroom stirs more pots. I count three, which is worrying as spaghetti only takes two, max. I have no idea what’s in the third. My Dad plays happily with The Baby. I lick my belly.

“What are these people like, anyway?”, asks The Mushroom.

“Oh, you’ve met his wife.”, replies my Dad.

“Have I?”

“Yes. Apparently, you’re going to hear an Evangelist speak on Sunday with her. She’s picking you up at twelve.”

My Dad smirks. The Mushroom cannot throw anything at him because he is with The Baby. I continue to lick my belly.

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One Response to “Domestic Goddess”

  1. face said

    Zeebs, your Dad’s a b*****d. Apart from the cooking.

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