– Today is Tuesday, right? The cleaner should be here by now. I wonder what happened to her. Has anybody seen her? She is not here, is she?
I amuse myself thus, talking half to myself half to other family members who are busying themselves around me, making coffees, buttering toasts, packing lunches. I don’t expect any meaningful response to my musings.
– She is in Poland this week. She went for 10 days, she is going to Zakopane, and she is also going to the place she is from, I forgot the name of it.
I stop stirring my cappuccino, everybody else freezes too. All eyes on my husband.
– How on earth can you possibly know this??
– Honorata and I chatted last week. She told me. She will be back next Tuesday.
He gets up and makes his grand exit, leaving the rest of us to pick up jaws from the kitchen floor. Being up to date with domestic logistics has never been my husband’s forte, to say the very least. Until now that is. Clearly. Last month ushered in a few ground-shifting changes to our family daily routine. Husband has been working from home. Nobody knows how long the current arrangement is going to last, least of all, I suspect, my husband. For the time being we treat it as an interim order of things, and carry on as normal as we can. Husband walks the treacherous path of the Working From Home jungle with surprising skill, even if it is sprinkled with a dose of coy curiosity of a newcomer. He is showered, dressed and at his desk by 8am. He goes on short walks around the neighbourhood twice a day, he makes sure he breaks up for lunch, and he switches from sedentary (Google Chrome) to horizontal (Netflix) at 6pm sharp. He makes us hot dinners mid-week and he takes our son for driving lessons mid-morning. He has worked out where our local mobile vet lives, and he knows all the builders in our street by name. In fact, now that I am thinking about it, it makes perfect sense that he should know where and how long for Honorata went on holiday.
Where does the work-at-home husband scenario leave me? Interesting question.
I have never been a domestic goddess, my husband was always much better in that role. His cooking and sewing skills had always made me look amateur. But now that his day no longer includes 3 hour commute, he is posing a real threat to my one and only remaining title, the MD of the Family. If he is already more familiar with our cleaner’s summer plans, keeps up with which offspring is off to where, why and what time on Saturday and remembers to buy milk, then whatever next?
Tonight comes a major test. Rubbish bins need to be taken out. To date, he has never remembered to observe this weekly ritual unprompted. My future in the family hangs in the balance.
It’s safe to post this tonight. He never checks social media or blog sites during the week. Unless….?