I have reconciled to the fact that my house will never be as clean as I would like. Not only do I spend half my days homeschooling and canning as much produce as I am able to get my hands on, I have three children who happen to be the three most filthy humans on the planet.
You don’t believe me? When my youngest daughter was two, she would cry when we washed between her toes in the bathtub. “I need that dirt to be happy!” she’d sob. And don’t get me started on my other two offspring. The only thing that stands between them and a guest slot on Hoarders is their cruel, tyrannical mother who won’t let them keep candy wrappers from Halloween of 2009.
Occasionally, the clutter and mess in my house get too much for even my iron-cast stomach and upon waking I declare “Today we are cleaning this house until it shines like the top of the Chrysler building!” (for approximately three and a half years, the movie Annie was my life.)
My children hear my intent for cleanliness and immediately begin hiding their small paper ‘treasures’ under their mattresses in hopes that I will not find them. (I usually do since I know where to look. One day they’ll wise up and find a new hiding place and then I’ll be sunk.) We then spend the next few hours snarling and sweating as everyone cleans, while I grunt out orders until some surfaces actually do sparkle and the smells of pine-sol waft throughout our house.
Today, my friends, is such a day. The unsanitary conditions in the children’s bathroom, along with the alarming levels of clutter throughout the entire house have started making me twitch. So today I have resolved to not only make applesauce and study poetry with my children, but to officially clean the three bathrooms and liberate the floor in my bedroom. (Officially clean means there will be cleaning products and sponges involved.) The children will not only do art and write haikus and couplets today, but they will organize their room and put everything in its place.
Because I am feeling overly ambitious, not only are we deep cleaning today, but I have informed the children that they must get rid of fifteen things that are in their possession. As I speak the children are wailing and donning sackcloth as they sort through stacks of paper, artwork, and broken toys.
(And the people all said, “Hallelujah!”)
If you don’t hear from me in a couple of days, alert the authorities. The dust bunnies have grown huge, and might be capable of carrying off a chunky adult who smells like applesauce and pine-sol.
Wish me luck.