I’ve only ever had one job up until being made redundant last year. I was a journalist, from the age of 19 until 46, so I thought I’d have to give this week’s Listography a miss.
But then I asked myself: What is a job? Does it require an exchange of labour for financial reward? Or can it be something that involves effort and endeavour without the recompense?
Well, being a Housedad is the hardest job I’ve ever done, and within that, there are several sub-sections that can easily qualify as ‘Worst.’
1. DRYING A URINE-SOAKED MATTRESS WITH A HAIR-DRYER AT 3am.
Not mine, I hasten to add. I’m not quite ready for incontinence pants, even if that prospect looms large on the not-too-distant horizon. No, this was due to my then six-year-old son and his unfeasibly small bladder and his total inability to control his late-night stream. He’d turn up in our bedroom at 3am, flick the lights on and look down at his soaking pyjamas with a woeful ‘Whoops, I did it again’ look on his face, so I’d drag my corpse from my pit and set about my Housedadly duty while he snuggled up with his snoozing mother without an apparent care in the world. Thankfully, he’s grown out of it now, but for a few saturated weeks it was hell.
2. FISHING A BABY’S ARM-SIZED POO OUT OF THE BATH
Again, not mine, but the youngest’s who found himself caught short at my mother-in-law’s one bathtime. I watched it happen, as if in slow motion (excuse the pun), as his little face turned purple as he pushed this monster out of his body to my low-pitched screams of: ‘Nooooooooooooooo!’
3. IRONING MY WIFE’S FRILLY-FRONTED SILK WORK TOPS
These frills have no reason to exist other than to wind me up. I burnt one once, deliberately, hoping to never be trusted with the task again. But instead, my dearly beloved just taught me how to iron them properly. Who’d have thought that irons had different temperature settings, eh?
4. PUTTING THE SLOP BUCKET OUT
Since the switch to recycling waste, my twice-weekly job is to take the kitchen food waste of potato peelings, egg shells, teabags and chicken bones downstairs to the Master Bucket. The first time I did this, I simply removed the decomposable bag and carried it down the stairs, only for it to burst open, sending steaming muck flying everywhere. It took three goes with the steam cleaner to get rid of the marks.
5. FRIDAY NIGHT SCHOOL RUN AND DROP-OFF
My stepdaughter goes to a different school to her brothers – about a 20 minute drive away. I’ve got used to the logistics by now, but Fridays are still a pain. Because on Fridays, she goes to another school to do after-school gymnastics, which involves packing the boys into the car, driving up to her own school, parking up, then dragging two tired little boys on a 15 minute walk to the gym school, then dragging them back to th car, then driving home, then giving them tea, then getting them all ready to leave the house again to take my stepdaughter to the train station so we can liaise with the train her dad gets on his way home from work, before dragging the boys back home again. When I was working, Mondays were the Dread Day and Fridays were for going to the pub and Thanking God It’s The Weekend. No more.
• What are the worst jobs you’ve ever done? Head over to KateTakes5’s Listography and share yours – or simply have a laugh at others’ misfortune.