I discovered today that my children actually have affectionate terms for our over-flowing washing basket.
"Look" said the younger to the older one, as he crammed an armful of dirty clothes on top of the already erupting collection. "It's got its hat on again!!"
He then took the time to explain to me that when the basket is over-full and the lid perches precariously on top, they have decided it looks like a face with a little Chinese hat on.
I felt a slight twinge of self-awareness and shame that this is an event that happens so regularly they have had time to speculate in this way. Surely they should be outside, wholesomely employed deciding if the fluffy clouds look an ice cream or an elephant, rather than debating the ethnicity of the laundry container's headgear??
I was slightly comforted by a friend's confession last week of similar laundry inefficiencies. Her son, she explained, loves the smell of musty towels, burying his head in them and breathing in what he considers to be the lovely aroma. She can only assume that he finds the smell comforting and familiar - which would be sweet if it was her home baking, rather than unwashed cloths.
We might feel slightly better if we were both captains of industry, flying the flag for women in the workplace whilst juggling our home responsibilities with our marathon running and saving the world. Instead, we are two partly employed mums whose children are busy at school but who still find it hard to fit in the housework around all the other things we would much rather be doing!
As I'm trying to weigh up where I should go with various different work options I've been considering if I would indeed be better off using my time to really "get on top of the house" - something I promised myself would happen once my youngest was in full-time education. I actually quite often enjoy the days I do spend doing housework, but I wonder if that is only because I don't have many of them. And there is also a lurking suspicion that even given an infinite amount of time I would still never quite "get on top of things" but would always be thinking of new house-related projects that would of course give great benefits (if I ever actually finished them) but would mean the ironing could wait just one more day...