Friday, April 28, 2006

The Neverending Mess

I knew having kids would be messy and chaotic and that it would be lots of hard work thrown in with the silliness and cuteness and fun. I really did. And I thrive on all of it. Honestly, I do. And I adore my girls more than anything but...

... I think the little trolls are the messiest little parasites on Earth! HOLY FRICK how do 3 tiny people make such huge MESSES?!?!? I never thought that the majority of my days would be spent cleaning up after them. I had these fantasies of tidying up together and putting books and toys and stuffed animals in cute little shelves and storage units. I figured it would be quick and easy and I could train the girls to be sweet little obeying children who would smile sweetly when I said it was time to clean up.

Right. As I clean up one mess with hair flying into my eyes, perspiring from the effort of scrubbing and bending down and up and down and up they're off in another room making another mess. I get done with one mess and they're in the room I just cleaned, as if I cleaned it for their mess-making pleasure. Stop that! No! I just CLEANED that! Hey! I just VACUUMED over there! OMG how did she manage to move the couch???

I spend a huge chunk of the day cleaning. Some days the house looks great, sometimes it's just tidy and managable, but other day it looks like WWIII. And Manny walks in thinking I did nothing. I get the cold shoulder and the chilly comments "Can't you control them? Can't you keep your own kids in line long enough to clean the house a little? Take some pride in your house!" Um you did not just say that, you jerk.

So I've decided, on the advice of a friend, to clean SMARTER and not BETTER. You already know that I have some OCD tendencies. And I'm the sort of person that when I clean, I really clean. It's not just surface cleaning or peripheral cleaning. I get in there and CLEAN. Thoroughly. No half ass job for me. So it takes me longer to clean certain things. I also organize and I have to focus on one task or I get distracted and move to something else. Anyway, I've decided that cleaning smarter means that I let the mess happen, and rather than clean it immediately I clean it "later." And I do as much of the cleaning as I can right before Manny walks in. Or I make sure to make it look like I'm cleaning when he walks in. That way he can "see" what I've done.

Notice that my keys are on the kitchen table.
Walk to kitchen table to put keys away in the Key Spot.
Before picking up keys, notice junk mail.
Pick up junk mail to throw it away but the trash can is full.
Take bag out of garbage can, go outside with it, and notice that the door is squeaking.
Run into the basement to get the oil can to get the door to stop squeaking.
Trip on load of laundry on the way to the utility table in the basement.
Add some laundry to the washing machine, but I'm out of fabric softener.
Run up to the bathroom to see if there's a new bottle of fabric softener.
Find toilet paper unrolled all over bathroom floor, and it was the last roll.
Go to the Key Spot to get my keys to run out to buy a roll of toilet paper.
Uh oh, where are the keys???
And darn it, I swear I was busy for the whole last hour, so how is it I didn't get ANYTHING done?!?

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