Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Un Milagro

I am sitting in a house that is (almost) perfectly clean. My shower is sparkling. The microwave has no crusty food residue spattered on its ceiling. My garbage cans are washed out. The massive package of toilet paper has been unloaded and stacked neatly next to the towels in my linen closet. The windows are clean--no smeary fingerprints blotting out the sun.

Yes, a miracle has occurred. My house has never, ever, ever been this clean. Not at the same time. A room is cleaned up here and there, but by the time I make it to the next section of the house, the previously tidied room is no longer pristine. It's just the nature of kids and living in a house.

After my melt down a few weeks ago, a friend gave me the number of the women who have been helping her in her home for years. And not just that--she gave them my number and they called me. After the emotion and anger of the day faded, my resolve to hire someone dissipated as well. Shouldn't we be working together as a family to take care of our home? Shouldn't I be teaching my children the satisfaction of a job well done? And what about the money that I would spend to pay someone else to clean my home? Guilt, guilt, and guilt.

Well, they stopped by last week so I could meet them and they could take a look around. And when they said they could come by one time each month, I breathed a happy sigh. Perfect. Yes, perfect. I wasn't outsourcing all or even most of the cleaning to someone else. We would still be responsible for most of it.

But, to know that someone would do those chores that get postponed to infinity--for me, they are things like scrubbing the dried on food from the booster seat. Moving the furniture to vacuum underneath. Dusting the picture frames. Wiping off the fridge. Wow. That's just emotional money in the bank for me.

So, the ladies came by yesterday. They worked for several hours. My home looks amazing. We were out with friends last night, so the kitchen didn't get messy with dinner. We got home late and the kids went straight to bed, so no new messes. I told AJ how much I would love for him to remove the children from our house for one entire day so that I could stay home by myself basking in its order.

I know that it won't last, but, boy does it feel good right now.

I think I'll go clean our lunch mess off the counter. I want to draw out the pleasure a little longer.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First week of summer break

MJ got out of school last Tuesday, so we have officially made it through a whole week.


First week of competition on So You Think You can Dance--a family favorite. AJ's brother asked him if he felt at all ashamed of his complete and utter love of the show, and he proudly said, "Not a bit."

Too bad that we couldn't all watch it together, though. Instead of going to Texas, AJ went to the hospital. He had an infection in his leg, source unknown. Symptoms included: high fever and shakes, a swollen and bright red foot, and angry streaking up the leg. The cure--three nights in the hospital with intravenous rounds of antibiotics. He came home on Saturday afternoon with a prescription for an oral antibiotic. He is still limping around, the foot is still red and swollen, but the infection is dissipating. Thank goodness for antibiotics. Happily, we were able to watch the results show on Thursday night from his hospital room since my neighbor was kind enough to take care of baby Z. 15 month-olds and hospitals don't mix together well, we found out.

We made a big list of everything we wanted to do this summer. The kids included the zoo and swimming. I included practice piano, reading time, and chores.

And to help make it through the summer, I checked out Siblings Without Rivalry, a book from the dreaded self-help category. I am going to try to give it a fair shake though.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I'm never going to be the best

at "homemaking." No matter what Julie Beck said. I don't like the cleaning. I don't like the neverending chores, the way my kids make messes behind me. I don't like the way that the house is never all cleaned at once. I don't like finding legos, bobby pins, rice kernels, and paper scraps underfoot, and that no one will take responsibility for it, but ooh, I hate having to be the one to either pick it up myself or ask someone else to do it. I don't like my children's resistance to doing even the smallest chore of a mess that they made. I don't like the way that I am the only one who seems to care what the house looks like. I don't like being the taskmaster.

I am thinking about outsourcing some of the drudgery. It was a very bad day today.

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