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The hapless homemaker – Not a perfect 10

My homemaking skills are not what they could be. Thanks to the women's movement, when I was a child one did not waste time on domestic skills. Add to that my own tomboy distaste for the domestic arts (like sewing) and you have one hapless homemaker as a result.

Take cooking for example. Now I'm a pretty good cook and can whip up a roast with oven-browned potatoes, gravy and Yorkshire pudding with ease. I can please my husband with some good hearty meals and decadent desserts without inviting the local fire department each time. But I simply cannot go into the kitchen and make anything without hurting myself in some way.

Even if it's just to butter toast, I will come out with a burn, blister, cut or singed hair. It never fails.

Ergo, not only do I wear an apron to protect my clothes but I also wear chain mail when slicing tomatoes and an insulated asbestos suit when baking cookies. I've been known to scare the beans out of my toddlers that way. One minute I'm taking my life in my hands over a hot stove and then next minute I run to find out why so-and-so is crying still dressed like a firefighter complete with a mask and chicken apron.

It does discourage door-to-door salespeople, so it's not that bad.

Yet, even with all these precautions I take, I still manage to get hurt in some way while making a meal.

The kids are starting to take bets. They've even got chalkboards set up to keep track of the odds.

So it serves them right when they poke at what I've served and ask me what it is. "Spaghetti and meatballs...but let me know if you find my finger. I accidentally sliced it off when I was preparing the sauce."

"Cool!" (The boys.)

"Mother!" (The girls.)

My husband just shakes his head. He's learned not to point fingers.

Laundry? Don't get me started. Nothing gets by my super-shrink powers. My husband is not impressed with his purple socks and pink underwear. Who knew the power of bleach on black socks and the inconspicuous red sock mixed in with the whites? I still haven't figured out how to get the seven melted crayons out of the dryer vents.

And what's up with dry clean articles? Whose idea was it to put that notice on such a tiny bit of fabric that I only check AFTER the garment has come out of the dryer. Did you know a grown man in a shirt four sizes too small looks curiously like the monkey at the wharf with the man playing the organ grinder?

So, I'm a hapless homemaker, but I've got a good heart and my family knows it. The kids just showed me their chalkboards: 9, 9, 8, 9 and a perfect 10.

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