Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cleaning Enigma

I’m always scared to change the sheets in the kid’s beds.  This may sound like something weird to be scared of but I am.  It’s not because there are any boogie monsters (although maybe the odd boogie) hiding under the bed.  It’s not because I’m scared to find surprises in the sheets.  It’s not even because I’m lazy.  It’s because of the children’s ability to sense that once something is cleaned they immediately need to dirty it and the work has to be repeated ASAP. It NEVER fails.  I strip all the beds, change all the sheets in the house and if not one than both of the kids have a night time accident and in the morning it has to be done all over again. 

Then this morning, over my cup of tea, I realized that this is so true with EVERYTHING in their lives.  Anything that gets cleaned immediately becomes a point of interest and must be dirtied instantly.  I’m absolutely sure that my son can’t poop in anything but a freshly changed diaper.  I’m sure the draw of a freshly cleaned pane of glass is the most tempting canvas for fingerprints.  I am sure the kitchen table has an invisible sign, only seen by children, that says please throw all food as far and wide as possible, bonus points given for rice.  I am sure that clothing, toys and all furniture should just be made to hose down.

I am a little bit of a clean fanatic.  I’ve actually relaxed quite substantially since having kids.  I mean don’t ask my husband to verify this piece of information because he still thinks I’m nuts.  In fact when we’ve discussed getting a house keeper in the past to help he thought that it would be a waste of money because I would probably go along behind them and clean again to my standards.  I think he’s being unreasonable.  I mean I at least have stopped taking a ruler and straightening out the towels accordingly.  I’ll have you know that my towel closet is A) not color coordinated at the moment and B) there are some towels that have crossed over the line of not being folded exactly right.  I wish I was kidding but I’m really not.

Being a clean fanatic with kids is really stressful.  In fact if you don’t let some of the craziness go when you have kids then you’d end up in the loony bin.  I’m especially finding it hard now that we’ve moved to a house of enormous proportions.  I mean it literally needs to be cleaned in stages.  My husband also works away.  He is gone for several weeks at a time.  I’m not sure when it’s harder to clean either.  I always find myself wishing that he was home when I’ve been cleaning all day and am constantly trying to corral the kids into a safe zone, mainly to avoid wrath of mom-in-cleaning-mode and stopping them doing what they do best (dirtying things immediately after).  Then when he is home I find the mess is substantially worse.  He’s almost as bad as one of the kids.

Not much irks me more than someone messing the bathroom up immediately after I’ve just sanitized it.  My husband, much like the kids, immediately has to go mess up the bathroom by shaving, washing his face, brushing his teeth and taking a crap.  You might think that’s typical bathroom behavior until you’ve seen him preform those tasks.  He definitely goes at it just like a person who’s never had to clean a bathroom in his life, which he probably hasn’t.  There is water from one end of the bathroom to the other and spots of toothpaste on the mirror, globs of paste left in the sink and poop stains in the toilet.  Then there is the hair.  Oh my goodness.  All those tiny little hair clippings from the razor get stuck in everything! This all coming from the person who is completely disgusted by finding dust on the dashboard of the vehicle he is driving. 

Maybe I’ve solved the mystery, it’s a genetic thing and NOT from my side of the family.  My mom definitely is still using a ruler to straighten out her towels!

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