‘Can we get a man in?’
(OH NO SHE DIDN’T!)
I carefully and quietly murmur this, knowing that I will somehow have crossed the line between Venus and Mars, in an unforgivable way.
I immediately avoid eye contact as his head whips up, and look instead with feigned interest at the murky water slowly seeping up my pajama bottoms from my tired ankles, all the way up to my grazed knees.
Knees which have started to creek and click with such regularity I am wondering how much it would cost to trade them in for a bionic pair.
Not only would this help with my day-to-day endurance test, the endurance test I sometimes laughingly refer to as ‘life,’ but it would also mean I could actually call myself the Bionic Woman and mean it.
Ooo, now that would be so cool.
Plus I would then automatically qualify for my very own soundtrack meaning that I could run in slow motion whenever the fancy took me.
Running in slow motion is underrated considering how much fun it looks.
It’s a lot easier on the lungs too, although it does take a while to get anywhere.
As the water aims for my hairy thighs hiding beneath my once dry jammy bottoms, it dawns on me that not only am I living in the house that Jack built but I am also doing so, barely surviving in a body controlled by a brain that wont allow me to walk in a straight line without falling on my face, in the most horrific of circumstances.
A brain that lets me down so often, and stabs at my heart with such ferocity it is all I can do to not bend over and howl in pain the moment the sun creeps in through the crack in the badly fitted curtains. (Not a euphemism! Although in fairness if it was, it would be an accurate one. Anyway…)
He spins unsteadily on the water, like a terrible ice dancer filled with self belief auditioning for Britain’s got talent, from where he was stood staring agog, morning hair sticking up at all angles and eyes deeply hidden beneath two years of no sleep, staring in confusion at the dials on the machine that is supposed to wash our clothes.
A machine, which evidently can no longer be arsed to do the job, it was built for.
A machine, incidentally that I can totally relate to.
As he stumbles in his attempt to stay upright on the slippery floor and avoid an Irish broken tailbone, he propels a fan of water all over the child who, of course finds this absolutely hilarious and giggles loudly from where he is now sat, pounding his fists in to the soapy puddles and watching the ripples spread far and wide to every corner of the kitchen, with glee.
‘Maybe I should just bath him on the kitchen floor from now on, Seen as he wont let me bath him in the actual bath. Maybe that’s what Supernanny means when she talks about finding alternatives’ I think to myself with my 5am brain, cursing the moment we hit ‘2’ and the angel I gave birth to, developed a personality sent to me directly from crazyville Arizona.
Doodle as ever, is also in attendance, stood beside the child, an important input in to family goings on, he is now thigh deep in the water but seems unfazed by the commotion, simply nibbling at his bone shaped biscuits as they float past.
The Irish one roars at me without words, the dancing half-light of the early morning bouncing off the dampness of our situation creating a rainbow halo behind him.
‘No woman!’ he admonishes being careful not to fall on the child, and looking bizarrely, a lot like Jesus.
He needs to trim that beard, I think to myself again, as I picture myself bludgeoning him on to a cross in the name of my sanity.
We don’t have a free hammer though actually, and I think a hammer is an essential tool when one needs to bludgeon something, and as it is currently being used to prop the bed up that plan is a no go.
‘I can fix it! I fixed it myself last week, and I will do it again! Watch me Fecking fix it. AS LONG as I am the man in your life, no other ‘man’ (he spits this word out, like it is herpes) ‘shall cross this threshold to fix any one thing. I am bloke! I am THE BLOKE! I am the one who sorts things, and therefore I am king of all things in this kingdom. I am THE FIX IT KING! And this is easily sortable. A man? Tish! what do we need a man for???’ His disgust is palpable.
God I love that mad bastard.
I sigh. Can’t bludgeon him today then. Not only is the hammer pre-disposed but also where would I get the wood?
I sigh again.
A deep sigh, belonging to a woman who woke up at 5am to find the ‘fixed’ washing machine had vomited its guts out on to the kitchen floor. Again.
A deep sigh, belonging to a woman, who for the last five months has been using a bent fork to close the washing machine and a length of rope ripped from an iPhone battery to open it.
A sigh belonging to a woman who for the last year has had to beg the light switch in the bedroom to work, trying over and over again to flick it from just the right angle, because of a; (and I quote)
‘A Dodgy electrician who fitted it in the first place who (clearly) cant be trusted to be called back in, because he has made it irreparable (of course he has) for a civilian not electrics trained (Irish) man and there for it is ‘fine’ if you flick it from this angle, I fixed it, look it will do!’ (No it wont blood do! ARGHHHHHHHHH)’
A sigh belonging to a woman who because of this ‘dodgy electrician’ has arrived at work on more than one occasion wearing navy blue tights coupled with a completely black ensemble… an occupational hazard of getting dressed in the dark, and as I am sure you will agree, wardrobe suicide.
A sigh belonging to a woman, who now has wet knees, ankles and thighs, who was forced to use the hoover to unblock the bath drain, and then got a bollocking from Dyson for doing so. (LIKE THE ONLY THING THAT WAS ACTUALLY FIXED GODDAMN IT!)
A sigh belonging to a woman who can no longer cope with a back door that has a pillow in front of it ‘to stop the rain’ seeping in and to prevent a community of ants seeking refuge from the stormy conditions outside.
A pillow, dear Irish one, may be a deterrent to a puddle, but it is almost certainly not a deterrent to a focused and motivated army of ants.
One day I seriously worry that I will go to sleep snuggled under my two duvets (-Because the boiler is temperamental, but ‘its ok Lexy, just put a jumper on!’) and will actually wake up 6 hours later (a full nights sleep these days) in the garden by the oak tree (who’s roots are now heading towards our bathroom causing the sewage to block up –and god help me he is about to buy a chain saw), the GOD DAMN ants having clubbed together and carried me outside in my sleep.
I will bang on the door in bitter regret as they sit on their ant bums on my sofa watching Living TV that I pay for, before one of them will get up and slide the broken curtains shut, my Starbucks mug in his claw, while shaking his antennas at me as if to say ‘you had your chance to exterminate us but you refused to get a man in, so therefor we now rule.’
‘Just tell me what is happening on Grey’s anatomy’ I will shout in desperation ‘please!’
The Queen ant will ignore me from where she is stood in the middle of the living room shaking her behind and singing Beyoncé’s ‘to the left to the left’ wearing my new bikini.
I can picture it now, Addison will be brought up carrying five times his body weight by a colony of ants while Doodle will be saddled up and kept as a slave and used to carry particularly heavy stones for the ant pyramids.
It will be ant mutiny I tell thee! Ant mutiny at 23 Mental road.
Sure you are bobbing for biscuits now Doodle, but you have no idea what is about to happen!
‘Ok’ I mumble, wondering if water skis are a sensible purchase at this point and seriously considering emigrating across the Mexican border without telling him and setting up shop in a shack with a heavily tanned, mustached handy man eating a burrito.
It’s because I love him that I don’t argue.
I don’t want to demasculinate him, or whatever the therapy word is.
But how the hell am I supposed to clean my knickers now?
Do you think perhaps I could get a man in and then pretend he has fixed it all? Drug him or something, and then tell him that it was he who fixed it?
‘Can you get me a crow bar please babe?’ he asks perched on his sodden knees, prying at the washer with his Irish fingertips.
I sigh stepping over the commotion, in to the dry and badly lit hallway (the bulbs need changing and he refuses to buy a ladder.)
It is the sigh of a woman who is deeply in love with a mad man, but who really needs some relationship advice, a new house and the number of a man who can work quietly and discreetly around a drugged up Irish man, and fix stuff!
Drugging is ok right? RIGHT?
I think it is, given the circumstances.