Coming clean on Learner Dad

“It’s like nobody even lives here,” I breathed, looking around the living room.
It was two years ago and I was visiting Learner Dad’s house for the first time.
And what a fantastic surprise!
The bed was made impeccably, the tables dusted clean, and the kitchen and bathroom were spotless.
He seemed to be the cleanest man I’d ever met.
It didn’t change when we moved in together.
“Watch your feet,” he’d say, as he vacuumed around them, before loading the dishwasher.
I’d happily soap my pregnant belly in the sparkling shower, secure in the knowledge I’d found THE perfect man.
Sure, he didn’t change the sheets very often and, besides sensational roasts, his cooking only extended to Honey Mustard Chicken Tonight.
But I loved washing and cooking, so we made the perfect team.
Then something happened.
Two things actually.
I went on maternity leave.
And Learner Dad gave up housework.
“Oh yes, they give all that up when you have a baby,” a married friend told me recently over dinner.
“I think, because you’re home all day, they just let it go to you.”
But when Learner Dad recently asked if there was anything he could do to help, I took him up on his offer.
“I’ve cleaned every room but the bathroom,” I replied (I HATE cleaning the bathroom).
“Right,” he said. “Leave that to me to do on my day off.”
His day off came and went.
“I’ve done everything but the shower basin in the bathroom,” I said, as his next day off approached.
“No worries, I’ll take care of it,” he said.
But that day came and went too.
To be fair, Learner Dad’s free time isn’t spent playing golf.
He doesn’t go out to the pub or on a day-long bike ride.
No, he spends almost all of his spare time with his children.
He might not clean the bathroom but he gives Li’l Fatty baths.
He doesn’t vacuum the carpet but he rolls around on it with Master Seven.
And he’s always happy to cook dinner if it can be thrown on a barbecue.
And then clean up afterwards.
To be honest, I have plenty of time for housework.
I just don’t like it very much.
My mother once told me her biggest regret was worrying about it too much.
That you don’t end up remembering all the dust on the coffee table.
What you do remember is the little strolls you took around the garden with your babies.
The first time he saw a butterfly, or sat on a swing.
I’m sure the same applies for Learner Dad.
But, when my maternity leave is up, perhaps then it’ll be time to clean up his act.


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