Our house would seem to have the same dietary preferences as washing machines. S asks me on almost a daily basis if I have seen any of his slightly garish socks, bought to be distinguished as his own and to expose me if any are found in my drawer. All have vanished. Other household items are also consumed with tape measures appearing to be a particular favourite. We have hundreds but can never find one when we need one. I even had a secret one in my dressing table drawer. Gone. Plug sockets, bought to replace the ones hanging off the wall in our bedroom. No more. A brake lightbulb for the car. Disappeared. Last night it was the fixings to a blind.
S set up his collapsible step and drill ready to put O’s blind back on the wall. It wasn’t ten minutes before he came back into the kitchen, “Have you seen the fixings?” He asked. I picked up some from the window sill, a crazy place to leave important things with an 18 month old in the house. I knew these were not for O’s blind however, they were from the spare room blind which fell out of our crumbly walls over Christmas. He disappeared again and I waited. He reappeared. “These aren’t the ones.” S went through all of the drawers, fruitless as everything which was once in this room has now gone and the kitchen stuff has replaced it. The missing fixings could be anywhere…but the thing is, I should know where. When the blind came down I asked S if he knew where the fixings were. “Yes, I know” came his reply. But it turns out they were stored in a little drawer unit which I have since turned into book shelves and a shoe rack…so the fault, it would appear, is mine. “Do you know where they went?” He asked. I looked back at him squarely. Without a word he packed up his step and drill. “They’ll turn up” I think we both said, or thought, or hoped. They will…a week after we have bought another blind. C’est our vie.
The builders impressed me today by turning up. The snow was thick on the cars and our road looked icy and to give them credit they were not here five minutes before the kango started going and the trips from the extension to the skip with buckets of rubble started. I made them coffee….they have still not brought their own kettle even though I have put supplies downstairs for them so I have no idea how they function past 8.30am when the cold must start to bite. O and I remained upstairs in the warm and relative comfort of our temporary kitchen and did some painting.
After a while the foreman called up to me and warned me that the water would be turned off shortly. It was no problem as we were moments away from going out for the day. However the car was snowed in so the only option was walking.
“Can you do me a favour?” I asked him. “Can you hold O while I get the pushchair out of the boot?” and I passed a wary child over.
By the time I had wrestled the pushchair out of the boot and up the icy path the foreman was getting lots of smiles. I took O back and started to fasten him in.
“I think he likes me” he said
“He seems to like men” I said “he loves all of S’s friends”
“I don’t blame him” said the foreman. “we talk less”
I continued fastening.
“At least, we talk less rubbish” he quantified.
“Talking of which” I stood up. “This waste. I’ve had a few ideas over the weekend which might mean we don’t need to move the waste after all though I need to talk to our plumber” I indicated the snow outside “though he isn’t likely to come today. When do you need to know the final position?”
“Not til Wednesday” he said. “Wednesday will be fine, but don’t do anything for my sake. It will only take a maximum of 45 minutes to put the waste where you need it, so make your decision based on what you want rather than saving me any work”.
Secure in the knowledge that all this work is happening for our sake, rather than his, we left for our snowy adventures.