There was a gentle tapping on our window.
We still hadn't fixed the door bell, the batteries were still being used to project pictures of Winnie the Pooh on the ceiling. As I peered through the blinds I froze when I saw our nice next door neighbour. (But guess what, we now know her name because she kindly sent Tommy an Easter card and helpfully wrote 'from Maureen and Terry at number 97'.)
"Oh no, she wants to use our toilet!" I said in a very high pitched voice to hubby, after spotting Maureen waving at me. It's not something which frequently occurs. My neighbours do own their own lavatory, but as they were in the process of installing a new bathroom, Maureen had asked if she was caught short she could pop in to use our loo.
"Of course you can," I remember saying, mentally noting to myself that during these days the bathroom and house must be spotless at all times.
However, I was not planning on my neighbours new bathroom taking as long as it was taking. I admit, dear readers, my house is by no means dirty and messy but I had lapsed. I figured all was safe and it was no longer necessary to be a domestic goddess. With a six month old baby it is virtually impossible to be obsessively cleaning, but I do try. Particularly with the threat of my neighbour visiting.
"Well we can't ignore her," said Mark.
Alas, I wished that we could. Because all I could think about was Tommy's soiled clothes in the bathroom sink, swimming in pool of Vanish remover. And had I remembered to chuck bleach down the toilet, and scrub the taps with Flash wipes?
I looked at the staircase and wished I was Superwoman and could whizz up the stairs, remove offending items from sink and clean the house from top to bottom, before opening the front door with a huge beam on my face.
I'm not Superwoman. Mark opened the front door.
"Nikki said it was fine to use your loo should ours be out of action. Do you know they are still plumbing! I've been crossing my legs all morning but I can't wait any longer!"
"It's fine, come in," I was trying to hide the hysteria from my voice and the horror from my face.
For not the first time, the soiled baby sleeper and vest were racing through my mind. Embarrassed I explained the dilemma and hoped that as a mother and nan, Maureen would find it in her heart to forgive me and understand the situation.
Maureen said she completely understood and disappeared upstairs.
I pulled my stressed face at Mark, who calmly told me it was okay, as I was rushing around like a loony, placing Tommy's toys in the wicker chest, etc.
I have this rule, dear readers. If, at any point of the day, I would be ashamed of my abode if anyone should pop in, I have to insert Tommy in his play station (don't worry he loves it, and I would not do this mid-feed or nap)and clean and tidy. It's a habit of mine I'm afraid.
Due to the fact we were literally about to leave the house for the family fun day at our local pub, and we were already running late, I had to break my rule. Plus I wasn't counting on Maureen's toilet still not working!
Just as I was stuffing Iggle Piggle in the toy chest, Maureen reappeared, her eyes darting around the house, taking in her surroundings. She was making me nervous. What else could she catch me out with? Had I forgotten dirty dishes? Left laundry in the washing machine? My eyes frantically followed hers around the house.
Once I was sure there were nothing else to make me look like a slob, I apologised profusely for the contents of the sink, and my relieved next door neighbour finally left.
"Typical!" I exclaimed, after shutting the front door.
How's my luck? All week the house, well mainly the bathroom, had been bordering on immaculate. Oh apart from the day Tommy knocked his mushy sweet potatoes and carrots everywhere, that was messy. And very orange.
"It's no good," I said, leaping up the stairs with a bottle of bleach and Flash wipes, wondering where to dispose of Tommy's clothes. I couldn't risk another surprise visitor or stop thinking about the state of the bathroom, "We will have to be even later for the family fun day!"