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IT finally happened last weekend: spring- cleaning, nest-building frenzy. Up until then, I'd listened to other heavily pregnant women telling me about how they'd just redecorated the house, scrubbed all the kitchen cupboards and so on, without being able to join in with my own tales of housewifely efficiency. All I wanted to do when I wasn't at work was to sleep, though I could just about rouse myself for a bit of interaction with my son, by helping to colour in his Thunderbird colouring-in book ('Mum, you can do Lady Penelope's car, because you're a girl. It's pink, OK?')

But last Sunday I woke up very early and was overtaken with a strange desire to impose cleanliness and order in my home. I got out of bed and went into the bathroom: there was limescale on the taps. I went downstairs and there was dust on the kitchen skirting board. I went into the living room, and the floor was covered in Lego and plastic dinosaurs and a Thomas the Tank Engine train set. There was a Californian bass player in the spare bedroom, and there were guitars everywhere - at least 16 of them. My husband, who is a musician, had brought eight home from the studio the night before, and they were breeding. And there were more and more small bits of paper lying around with telephone numbers scrawled on the back that couldn't be thrown away, and old magazines and bills and plastic bags and Biros that didn't work. It was spreading, covering every surface; it was out of control. My God, there was no room for a new baby in the house]

I did the washing up, and some ineffective dusting. I piled up various pieces of paper, and shoved them on a shelf. It didn't seem to have made any difference. So I went to the shop and bought some super- duper very expensive bathroom cleaning mousse, which had been advertised on the telly the night before. I sprayed the mousse on the limescale, as instructed; then I rinsed it off ('no rubbing required'). The limescale was still there.

I went into the bedroom and woke up my husband. I said the house was a mess and he had to put his guitars somewhere else. And where was I going to put the baby? He told me that he would clear the Californian and the books out of the spare room and paint it, and the baby could sleep there. 'It's too dusty]' I wailed. He told me that the room wouldn't be dusty when he had removed the books. I started crying.

I went back downstairs and threw away some old bits of broken plastic toys. I found a large cardboard box and put two books in it, to take to the Oxfam shop. But I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. I shouted at my husband, and he told me to go to bed. I went to sleep, weeping. When I woke up he had tidied up the living room. I felt like my life had been transformed. Now all I have to deal with is the limescale.-

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