I dither for longer than is strictly necessary. I opt for the scrubbing brush rather than the carpet cleaner because it is quieter. I take one last look at them all before I leg it upstairs to the bedroom to eliminate, or at least diminish the paint, pooh, chocolate stains. These are not the kind of stains that improve or evaporate over time. Without the noisy carpet cleaner, I can hear whatever it is, that is happening downstairs whilst I am up because the walls and floor are made of paper. The friction of the brush bristles elicts beads of sweat. Inefficiency, housemaids knee and tennis elbow delay me. I return breathless seven minutes later.
They have broken the lock on the television and are occupied watching an advertisement. I lean against the door jam making an inventory of potential breakages and damage, during their unsupervised time.
I hear a nasal demand to 'buy whilst stocks last,' that two small people echo with perfection. My eyes drift to the screen; a handy dandy cleaning machine, that does not require parental or adult supervision during it's working cycle. I wait for a price but I'm distracted by the mantra circling the room, 'buy now while stocks last, buy now while stocks last, buy now while stocks last.' Each echo has a corresponding giggle. I am uncertain which bit is the funny bit?
It's enough to make me seriously consider nipping out to the shops to buy it there and then. Am I an advertisers dream or a challenged cleaner? I debate whether the shoe and sock nightmare is worth the effort, when the voice of doom cuts through my calculations, “you can't buy it, it will be too noisy, they'll never stand for it, you'll never be able to actually use it!” I look at my 9 year old daughter, the voice of sanity.
I grab a screwdriver and start poking the lock on the television door as junior starts up, “we go buy dah machine for dah cleaning?”
“Er, it costs too many dollars,” I lie. He disappears and I hear a crash with an accompanying ‘oopsie.’ He reappears with something behind his back, a surprise no doubt. “Here you go!” he announces brandishing the dust-buster in my direction with a cheesy grin, “you can be using dis little noo noo instead.” Great problem solving, such consideration! “Der you go, now you can go and be playing upstairs wiv it where it won’t be hurting my ears.”