Why are men heroes just because they do a bit of washing up? Verity Lush
Where are the thanks when the woman does the dishes?
When a man completes a domestic task, such as washing up, it seems he is then classified in terms that border on heroic.
Congratulations are heaped upon him and a small Mexican wave may take place, performed in jubilation by the other members of the household. When a woman does the dishes, the cleaning, the tidying, the meals, the ironing, the school run, the finances, the shopping, and scrubs the loo, it’s taken for granted.
This is a generalisation but some days I even find myself thanking Mr Lush for having helped out with the kids. Why? He does not expect praise, does more than his share, and I work part-time, but they’re his kids, so why do I say thanks?
My girls will get a taste of their own medicine one day...
Empty Nest Syndrome: something that women, apparently, suffer from once their kids have all left home. For me, that day is at least 13 years in the future.
When it comes, and my dear little children have set up their own homes and chosen soft furnishings with care, I intend to be there. Armed with Weetabix, Marmite, jam, and other sundries.
I shall be sporting wellington boots. I’ll have worn these previously to a wood and, if possible, have trampled through a vast quantity of dog poo.
Around my waist there will a utility belt, where I will be carrying my arsenal of permanent markers, super glue, and several biros.
Upon entry to the humble abode, I shall make my way to the living room – on a scooter. I’ll ride down the wooden floor while dragging the break across it, holding one Marmite-smeared hand on the wall as I go.
As soon as I spot a sofa, I shall disembark and land, with a flourish, upon it. There, I shall bounce in the manner of a rubber ball. My poo-smeared wellies will embed themselves in the upholstery and, once destroyed, I’ll make my way to the kitchen.
I’ll take some milk from the fridge, swig it from the bottle, and then pour some on my Weetabix. Once it’s mushy, I’ll use a large spoon of the wooden variety to take ladles full and splatter it across the cupboards. Then I’ll work some glue behind the handles so it gets them where they least expect it.
By this point, upstairs will be beckoning. My dirty hands and I will smear our way up the walls, and I’ll sprinkle great handfuls of fluorescent loom bands as I go. Loom bands in the carpet, loom bands tucked in the underwear drawers, loom bands in the beds. Yay. If the timing is right, I may even use the toilet and leave it unflushed for their friends to find.
Finally, from my backpack I shall produce five alarm clocks, each ready to go off on the hour every hour from midnight onwards. I shall deposit these in the most discreet places, and leave knowing that my work there is done.
Welcome to my world, girls, welcome to my world.
The students are what make teaching worthwhile
In my job, I’m lucky enough to work with some extraordinary families.
Teachers are in the privileged position of seeing families and children at both their best, and worst, of times. We are also lucky enough to be able to help those children, and their families, to become the best they can be.
I love my job, and I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I first saw one write on a blackboard in 1981. I love the people, the experiences, the subject and the passion.
I often see past pupils and several have mentioned reading this column so, if that happens to be you this Saturday, thank you for making my job what it is. The best part about it is the students – just as it should be.