I’ve not blogged for a few weeks. You hadn’t noticed? Shame on you!
I’d like to say this coincides with Janet breaking her ankle, but that would be to suggest my empathy has a shelf life of more than a few days, and we all know that not to be true. Or at least you would if you’d seen her struggling to juggle two crutches, a bowl of soup and a cup of tea, whilst I didn’t so much as look up from my phone.
Now, before you label me as some sort of heinous, uncaring monster, I had offered to help but it was immediately rebuffed, although for the purpose of balance (no pun intended), Janet would like it to be known that this was because she’d still not forgiven me for dropping her in the shower the night before. She says dropped, I prefer to think of it as a momentary lapse of our shared grip.
But it has been a tough few weeks. And not just for me, you should spare a thought for Janet, too. What, you already were? See, there’s a lesson I’ve taken from this whole episode; when people offer their sympathy it’s worth letting them finish before assuming their sympathy was meant for me.
I’ve also learnt that there’s a time and a place to offer advice on how she might get to work with a broken ankle, and three hours into a four hour wait in A&E probably isn’t it. In my defence, it’s really difficult to portray compassion in a text message, especially when your emoji skills begin and end with a wink.
But this isn’t all about me. No, really, it’s not. There are positives we can all take from the last few weeks. What can I say, I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy, and not just because I asked Janet to carry it through from the kitchen.
For a start, her injury was the result of falling down the stairs whilst carrying a pile of ironing. Evidence, were it needed, that ironing is indeed the work of the devil and should be avoided at all costs.
As such, I’d like to take this opportunity to retrospectively change my plea for sending the kids to school in creased clothes from one of wilful neglect to that of concerns over health and safety.
And whilst my blogging may have suffered, it’s been to the benefit of many other areas of my life.
Because with Janet being housebound, she’s proven unequivocally that nothing improves the productivity of a house-husband quite like having an on-site supervisor.
Under her watchful eye, gone are the afternoon power naps and extended lunches. With her fulsome support I’ve finally managed to kick my Homes Under the Hammer habit and no longer suffer from the withdrawal symptoms associated with missing an episode of Doctors. And never before has my desire to find a full-time job been greater, albeit I think I can confidently strike ‘care in the community’ off my list of suitable careers.
But perhaps the greatest change has involved the housework, because no amount of Twitter toilet breaks can uphold the myth that it takes me three days to half-heartedly clean a two-bedroom house. No amount of coffee breaks can excuse the lack of a regularly mopped floor. And no amount of procrastinating with a Kleeneezy catalogue can disguise the irony of it being read on a crumb-ridden carpet.
I’ve also been shamed into doing more around the house, because while I was away with the boys for half-term, Janet, with her plaster cast leaden leg, somehow managed to achieve more in a week than I’ve managed in three years. New curtains were hung, sofa covers washed, cupboards were de-cluttered and the bags of old clothes that I’ve been promising to sort were, I can only assume, dragged to the charity shop.
And on top of all this, we returned from our week away to find the house cleaner than it’s ever been before?
As such, I’m now prepared to forgive the fact that she cheated on me, or more accurately my housework, by bringing in a professional cleaner, because if I had half the work ethic she does, I’d be a better man by far. We’d also have a tidier back yard and regularly hoovered stairs, but to quote the fabulous doctor that treated her ankle, one small step at a time, eh.