I live with an untidy person.

Sometimes the house (and I mean the *whole* house) looks like a scene from the very worst C5 documentary. You know the type of thing, I’m sure.

Or you can probably imagine it.

Well, you’re not trying hard enough. Imagine far, far worse than you already are.

You’re probably close now, in a ‘close but no cigar’ kind of way.

Her untidyness has, on more than one occasion, been the cause of arguments.

Several times it has taken me to the edge of leaving the house and checking in to a hotel for a good night’s sleep.

Walking from the top of the stairs into the bathroom, and from the bathroom across the landing and into our bedroom and then into my side of the bed has been, oh so regularly, impossible without treading on things (clothing mostly) every single step of the way.

Our beautiful, one-year old kitchen that cost us so much money, is frequently turned into a battlefield-aftermath scene from Saving Private Ryan. But with fewer bodies.

With all of the mess, though.

I tidy.

Every night without fail, and some mornings, I attack the worst of the downstairs mess, while everyone else is upstairs, sleeping.

I wouldn’t have to tidy, if she would only tidy up after herself. But she can’t. She doesn’t know how.

She genuinely doesn’t know how to tidy up behind herself as she’s going along.

When I’m clearing the top of our lovely, large, 1″ thick oak-topped breakfast bar I will frequently find dirty cutlery, empty-but-leaking juices cat food sachets, under many layers of paperwork, tea-towels, school text-books, unopened letters, local newspapers, last month’s parish magazine, and dirty breakfast-bowls.

The mess is constant, indiscriminate, and spreading.

Spreading because her daughters are learning by watching.

She never cleans up whilst she’s doing things, and doesn’t ever clean up behind herself, so it should come as no surprise at all to learn that neither of her daughters even know how to clean up after themselves.

I’m not being forced to live in the mess of one untidy person, I’m living in the mess of three untidy people.