I’m a newly married young woman in a newly built home. A neighbour comes in for a chat and, as she enjoys a cup of coffee she spies a small spider scuttling across the kitchen floor and quickly steps on it. We both look at the small brown splodge that is all that remains of the spider.
‘What will I do with it?’ asks the visitor.
Do with it? I think, what does she mean? Do with it?
And it is only then that I realise that this is my house and I am the one responsible for keeping it clean - and a squished spider on the floor must be dealt with – by me.
Yes, of course, I had swept the floor and cleaned the house several times since we had moved in, but I had not previously encountered incidental dead spider splodges.
It might seem very strange – and it does seem strange to me now, as I look back on early days - but at the time, the dead spider incident was a revelation of sorts.
In years to follow, years that included messy babies, toddlers and children of all ages, I no longer wondered about who was responsible for cleaning muck off the floor.
I had learned that lesson.