My Mom is a huge advocate for “do the work now so you can have fun later”. In a lot of aspects, her theory is right on the money. Really it should be a big winner for most every situation except for cleaning with children. I have found that no matter how well I clean in advanced it never lasts long enough to get to the event date and time actually clean. Between my own spills (Mr. G can attest to my utter clumsiness), and Mr. G’s tendency to leave everything where he used it (I am talking shoes, socks, dishes, appliances, etc.) we have a difficult time. When you add the Toddler and Munchkin or as I would like to call them… The Human Tornadoes… we have absolutely no chance.
Yesterday I cleaned. When I say cleaned, I mean CLEANED. I am talking bathrooms, bedrooms, oodles and oodles of laundry, dishes, kitchen, living room, the whole nine! It lasted until about 5:30p yesterday and all hell broke loose. The Tornadoes hit HARD. Luckily I was able to get one (the Toddler) to help me clean up before bed. But, now it is the next morning. The living room has stuffed animals everywhere. The play room is no longer tidy (but it is the play room, so I give that one a pass). The kitchen which was once pristine now is littered with Fruit Loops and the kitchen floor is finger painted with blueberry yogurt.
I would be upset… I really would… but I guess what I have come to the realization that for the next 6 years (or more probably) our house won’t ever really be clean. I talked to Mr. G last night and he was saying how nice it is to have a clean house and how we should do this once a week. I looked at him like one of those anger management tools… those dolls you squeeze and their eyes pop out. You must know the kind. That was me. I was gawking at him like, “WHAT?!?!? Once a week?!?!?” I told him like once every two week is reasonable. But, I notice that every time I clean it is almost harder on the kids than it is on me, They are upset from be not being there to play with them. Plus, they seem more exhausted than me because of the crying and the fussing from me having them stuck in one part of the house while I mop.
Then the other huge factor for me… it’s harder to keep a house clean with your kids in it, than to just clean it initially. Between the Toddler’s sprinkling of the “blocks that can kill” (most people know them as Legos, but Mr. G and I know better) and the Munchkin’s trail of drool or food spatter we can never keep it clean. The clean house is short lived and very fleeting.
Today I will spend the better part of it cleaning up after my boys. Today I cringe at the thought of lunch time. Today I fear the inevitable blow out. Today I dread playtime and the mountain of toys I will find in the living room. Today I hope to have a clean house suitable for adults.
Tomorrow, things can go back to normal and they won’t be scolded for dropping apple sauce on the floor or for wiping their drool on the couch. Tomorrow it will be ok to live in the land of Legos and army men. Tomorrow we will smile when they take the bed sheets off to play ghost. Tomorrow I will be happy to have a kid house filled with messes, laughter, toys, experimenting, etc. Tomorrow I will welcome it all and relish in the joys of my Human Tornadoes…