Monday, September 6, 2010

A dirty little secret.

It's just past 4pm and I am sitting in my PJ's watching rubbish daytime TV. Yes, I know it's Monday. I didn't even bother getting dressed this morning. We went to a christening on Saturday and I spent yesterday suffering (or as a man would put it dying) with a sore throat, a bad headache (and no it wasn't just a hangover) and a really bad cough. I wasn't feeling well at all. Neither was Noelie. She had a bit of a runny nose and, I suspect, a very sore throat too, as she kept screaming whenever she swallowed as well as coughing for a bit.

So Mr Foodie took the day off work (thanks force majeure) so that he could look after me, Noelie and, of course, Marie. He has been pottering about today, hoovering, cleaning, cooking. He took Marie to school, made her lunch, collected her. He also took to fighting off the little buggers that we have found around our house.

For the past week or so, little bugs have been making our house their home. It turns out that they are fleas. Yes, I know, it sounds horrible. I'm itching all over just thinking about it. I bet you are all depicting me as a filthy person whose house is a dump.  But we are not, I swear. I wash the floors every second day, I hoover everyday. Our cats don't go outside (apart from one who escaped the other day for about 15 minutes). So, how come we have fleas in the house?

It looks like the guy who was living here before us had 3 dogs and a rabbit, hopping around in the house. As per our neighbour, he left the house filthy dirty. So much so that the landlord called in a crowd of industrial cleaners. So could these buggers have been left around the house and awakened by our cats and ourselves? More than likely. Unless we brought one in from outside without realizing. Oh! the joys of the countryside!

So now, our house is a war zone. We have sprinkled flea powder on all the carpets, we have treated our cats, we have sprayed flea killer everywhere. I haven't seen any in a few hours now so hopefully, that will have done the trick. Every single teddy bear, bed cover, item of clothing etc is now being put through the washing machine. The weather is after turning cold too, and these little buggers don't like the cold so the windows are being left open.

I have been wondering if I should write this post for the best part of the week now. Because, like head lice, fleas are associated with dirty people. If you say to somebody that there are fleas in the house, people automatically assume that you are dirty, that your house is dirty etc. But, I now know that it has nothing to do with being dirty. I'm not dirty, my kids are not dirty, my house is not dirty. I am a borderline maniac when it comes to cleaning. I bleach everything. A bottle of floor cleaner doesn't last 2 weeks in my house, I wash the floors that often. I spray my counters 4 or 5 times a day, before I cook, after I cook, before I go to bed. So why, why, why are people associating fleas with dirty people? I am scared of inviting anybody in, in case one of them is still alive and jumps on a guest. I am completely paranoid now. Anytime I spot something small and black anywhere, I jump up to catch it.

It's been our dirty little (jumping) secret for the past week. We are doing our best to get rid of them and I know that we will but in the meantime, I'll turn into an even worse cleaning maniac than I already am. I just hope that you'll take my word for it: it doesn't just happen to dirty people.

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