“Please can I have my study back?” I ask Belle, picking my way through the teddies lined up on the floor, notebooks at their feet, where a game of ‘schools’ was abandoned some days ago.
“Argh!” she replies. (It’s more of a snort and groan in one, but it’s hard to put into a word.) “But then I’ll have to carry all the teddies downstairs, and then come back up and carry the notebooks down, and then come up again and take down their school tables!”
“Um… yes,” I agree, “that is rather the point.”
Five minutes later though and we were regretting our insistence that Belle took everything down herself. The red leather ex-nightclub cube seats she had been using as desks left a selection of interesting red stains on the walls as she manoeuvred them down the stairs. A more cynical mother might wonder if she did it on purpose, like when men deliberately make a hash out of the chores they don’t want to be asked to do again.*
Normally I’m not really the type to care much about stains – I’m much more of a ‘rub it quickly into the carpet with my foot’ kind of person – but since we moved to Bristol, and had to put down a mahoosive deposit on our rented house, suddenly stains seem a lot more important. I can’t think why.
Recently we came back from a night away, to a selection of mysterious stains. It turned out that Bee had ‘had a few friends over’ while we were gone. Coffee stains on the table were easy to identify, and the smell of beer from the carpet gave us a clue there, but the waist height purple lines all around the dining room walls had us baffled for ages.
We were sure they weren’t there before, but we just couldn’t think where they could have come from. And then I spotted my purple hula hoop in the corner of the room…
Funnily enough, the supermarket doesn’t stock anything designed to get hula hoop marks off walls, so if you have any stain removal tips please do let me know.
*Pure sexist slander.