Several pregnant couples have asked me to name my one must-have item once a baby arrives. And at first I said, ah you don't really have to have anything much, except some boobs and a couple of nappies.
But now I have a better answer. A dishwasher.
If you are expecting a baby, or thinking you might one day have kids, this is my heartfelt advice: Get a dishwasher.
We do not have one of these, nor the space in which to fit one. And man have I come to despise washing up. Washing up takes me away from Orson, from my husband. It's time I might be reading a book, or relaxing. Actually no it isn't, even a dishwasher can't perform miracles. But it's time I might be cooking dinner, or showering, or brushing my teeth.
Ten months after the birth of my son, I reflect that I enjoy parenthood, perhaps more than I thought I would. Especially the latter bits. The first few weeks of juggling a soft, snuffly, but mostly inert animal I found mostly just tedious, as I'd suspected I would. Now that my little monkey plays games and explores and makes discoveries, the days are mostly unbridled joy, excepting those days when I'm so tired that my face feels like it weighs a ton. Its a shame really that maternity leave ends just when being a mummy has got really fulfilling.
Be that as it may, the other fruit of my reflections is that I. Hate. Housework. Domestic drudgery is amongst the worst forms of torture I have ever experienced (its up there with working in a call centre, yes really.) I hate hoovering, I hate picking up toys, I hate cleaning the highchair tray. I even hate cooking and grocery shopping now. and yes, I hate washing up.
So, mothers-to-be, and fathers-to-be, and in fact just everyone: Do yourselves a favour. Get a dishwasher.