One day my house will be clean. I will not need to move the stroller, straddle the errant construction vehicle and dispose of a large stick to unlock the front door. The rug will not be gritty with playground sand and the front hall will be entirely absent of shoes, wet socks, school backpacks, rumpled coats, damp mittens and forgotten juice boxes. I'll cross the living room past a coffee table, rather than the scattered contents of Kidk'nex, marble run parts, Connect 4 counters and wooden train tracks. The pictures will hang straight and the sofa cushions will be on the sofa.
My feet will not become sticky by the mottled off-white carpet in the dining room. Instead I'll stride across a hardwood floor in high heels without squishing Cheerios. Gone will be the sticky finger prints that pattern the lower three feet of window panes. No Playmobile soldiers will peep out from behind the plants. No home readers will hover on the sideboard.
Only crumbs will linger on my kitchen floor. Not a blue frog, broken lead pencil, lost trousers, crocodile rubber boots, blue striped ribbon, junior toothbrush, lego units and a nutmeg pod; as it is tonight. I will have ironed all the beads, baked all the Shrinky Dinks and the plasticine animals will have hardened. Barbie will have left the fruit bowl and Skeleton will have found his leg. When the phone rings, the handset will be in the holder.
One day we will have hardwood flooring the family room. We will have forgotten the Berber carpet once held a perfect melted imprint of the iron and evidence of each batch of play dough baked and rolled. The table will be of standard height and the chairs comfortable for an adult to sit on. Perhaps the photos of happy children will still brighten the walls. But the artwork on the notice board will have more words; less feathers, googly eyes and puddles of glue.
Upstairs, I will slide into bed without removing Fluffy, Linus, Woof-woof, Leapfrog, Goat, the trains and an occasional metamorphic rock from under the duvet. The shower will be empty of pink cups and plastic jugs. The spaceship will be a sauna once again.
It is unlikely that I will find a plastic severed leg under the sofa or rubber vampire bats sleeping in the lamp. I will come down for coffee and not find the cereal boxes stacked into a pyramid. I will read all of the newspaper at breakfast, on the day it was issued.
One day, I will have forgotten what it is like to live with 3 small children. One day, I will believe absolutely that the noise, the mess, clutter and chaos will end.