I am many things, to many people, but I’ve never been the wife of a house.
The sun is shining on the happy children in my garden and I’m on the sofa, keeping one eye in them and surveying the mess with the other.
From my spot on the sofas can see:
A Nintendo DS, a Charlie Higson novel, a Power Rangers’ mask, two teddy bears, an ‘activity book’, a spare hoody, a school jumper, today’s paper. These items are all actually on the sofa with me.
The floor is covered with tinsel and battleships pegs. Lying or sitting on the tinsel and peg bedding are:
A dressing up ‘aviator’s jacket’, a toy handgun, playing cards, the drawer the playing cards are kept in (when they’re kept in something), NERF bullets, a dolls house, a Power Rangers suit, quoits, a school polo shirt, a ‘stroky’ book about kittens, the box the tinsel came in, a fire engine, a game of hangman, a hoody, a set of birthday cards that have blown off the fireplace, 4yo’s PJ’s, the box the battleships pegs came in, a painting (made in school) that has blown off the fireplace, birthday chocolates, a yellow plastic beaker, a toy T-Rex, a double-ended lightsabre, an action man (naked), a witch’s hat, another hoody, a NERF gun, a single-sided lightsabre, a toy ambulance, digger and cement mixer, a rugby ball, a ‘telescope’ made from a cardboard tube, another NERF gun, Darth Vader, Batman on a batbike, a cuddly dog, a home-made sock-puppet, a doctor’s outfit, a nurse’s outfit, a pretend stethoscope, a pretend doctor’s bag, a clockwork robot, a recently rediscovered babytoy that jiggles and plays music, puppets from a puppet theatre, a child’s cardigan, a single jigsaw piece, an egg that glows different colours, a wand made of glowsticks.
There’s a beanbag with the remote controls on it and a stool with a cowboy hat, a toy gun and a rubber tipped ‘bullet’ of the type that sticks to windows if you fire it.
On the coffee-table, there’s a ‘Something Special’ magazine (cover-guy, Mr Tumble), a pop-up book, girls’ nail varnish (the kind with glitter in that washes off with soap), a puppet theatre, a plastic box with dead bugs in, a blue plastic beaker, two Power Rangers’ weapons.
I look at the mess and I listen to my happy children as they run in and out and grab and drop toys for their games. The mess is fine.