Miles run today: 10
Words written in my novel so far: 35,605
Goodberry’s sundaes I ate yesterday: 1
I hate cleaning. I am of the firm belief that you don’t get Cool Points for dusting under the bed or exacting flawless baseboards. And I’m pretty sure people won’t stand over my grave and say, “Wow. Her house sure was clean.”
Unfortunately, my children have a.) learned to make do with substandard/imperfect house-cleanliness and b.) learned to see massive cleaning jags on my part as the sign of the Rapture or an upcoming party.
Sometimes I get a weird feeling that I need to clean the master bath or mop the kitchen floor. I have to go with those impulses, because they don’t happen very often.
So there I am yesterday morning, leaning into the shower, wearing only minimal clothing so the bleach doesn’t get all over my real clothes. And I’m sweating and scrubbing and getting all Cinderella on that soap scum.
My son runs into my bedroom, does a flying leap onto my bed and moans, “I’m boorrrred.”
That maybe was not the smartest thing to say. I lean back out of the shower and say, “I’m sure you can find something to do.”
Most adults would see this for what it was: the last stepping off point before Bad Stuff Happens. He did not.
“Aaaahhhhhh. What can I dooooo?”
“Oh! Guess what? I have something!”
The cheery, Mary Poppins-like tone of my voice lulled him into a false sense of security.
He perked up and slightly lifted his head off the bed. “What?”
In my minimal clothing, carrying a dirty paper towel, I led him into his bathroom. “See this? It desperately needs cleaning. It is calling out to you for help. Let me get you the tools you need.”
Like a young Bambi, my son followed me to the cabinet that houses cleaning supplies. He was intrigued, looking at each container of Scrubbing Bubbles and Windex with mild interest.
I got the toilet cleaner and started its magic and set him to work on the sinks. Then I went back to the arduous task of restoring our shower to normality.
A few minutes later, he yells, “Mo-om! The toilet still has blue stuff in it!”
So I scrubbed out the toilet and handed him the spray to clean the top part.
“Ack. What? You mean I have to… touch it?”
“Yes, Grasshopper. Do you think fairies magic away peepee?”
He looks at me with a dawning realization that the grownup world is not what he imagined it to be. He walks out of the bathroom and sees his sister at the computer. He points at her with disgust. “What is she doing while I’m touching the toilets?”
Her eyes turn to him, the wounded look of betrayal in their depths. “Was I supposed to be doing something?” Her blue eyes widened a few inches.
“Make her do something,” he says imperiously, as he returns to the toilet.
She leaves the office as I suggest that she clean the glass front door. “Noooo. No. Please. Not that.”
“Okay. I have something better,” I say, and as I walk away, I can hear the wheels turning in her mind. Oh, shoot. Maybe the door isn’t so bad.
I hand her the wood floor cleaner. “The downstairs floors. Need cleaning.”
“Mommy? Why? Why are we doing this? What’s happening?”
Only in my house would cleaning take on such an Armageddon sort of feel. Under siege, the Woodman household must rise to the challenge… the young members in turmoil, the patient Queen of Avoiding Housework helps her progeny learn life skills.
At this point, as long as the house was clean, we might as well throw a party. Who knows when I’ll get the cleaning bug again?