Saturday, February 28, 2009


I'm meant to be vacuuming at the moment. The vacuum is actually sitting in the living room where I turned it off after two seconds of high-quality dirt sucking, but as I had already dusted everything (baseboards included) I think I can sit down for a few seconds.

The reason I'm dusting and vacuuming rather than harassing the Children into doing it is because we made a deal. They would clean the garage and I would clean the entire rest of the house (their bathroom excepted. I'm not stupid). It might sound like a terrible deal, but I happened to know several things:

a) the house had been thoroughly cleaned two days before, and two days before that and therefore most of what I was going to deal with was surface clutter.

b) the surface clutter was, by and large, owned by the Children and therefore I wouldn't actually have to clean it up but would simply lump it into great Piles of Shame and point them in the general direction.

c) going in the garage has, for the past month, given me a fit of the vapors.

The problem with the garage is that it houses the washer and dryer (as well as a few large items which are not ours and cannot, therefore, be shifted) and my Children, while cheerfully willing to do their own laundry have set up a particular system for dealing with clean and dirty clothes. A Child will decide it has nothing clean at all - not even the kind of clean that happens if you leave all your clothes in an enormous heap on your closet floor and shut the door on it for a week. Said Child then piles its laundry basket with its entire wardrobe and staggers into the garage to load and start the washer. A day later another Child will recognize the grubby state of its clothes and head out to do its own wash, discovering (of course) that the washer is now full of cold, soggy, clean clothes belonging to someone else. The original laundry Child is reminded of the state of things (and will be honestly surprised) and will wrestle its damp belongings over to the dryer. Of course the dryer will be full of the clean, dry, wrinkled clothing of still another Child who has been comfortably using the dryer as an adjunct closet for the past two days. With its arms full of wash, the first laundry Child will use one hand to haul all the clean clothes from the dryer and pile them on top of the appliance.

However, this means that when the second laundry Child comes to dry its things both the dryer and the top are packed with clothes and the second laundry Child, for some unknown reason, then sweeps all clothing not belonging to it onto the floor. Then all three Children happily tread on a nice, even covering of once-clean clothing as they head into the back room, fish out canned food or Ramen (for hikes) etc. while I go outside to do laundry and have to retire with a bottle of smelling salts and a small silk fan.

So, I'm more than happy to dust, vacuum, mop and wipe down because about ten minutes two Children took me into the garage and proudly showed me the beautifully neat and tidy floor and the now pristine work table.

Definitely worth it.


Mujja said...

...but will it last?...not if it is at all like our house....if I didn't close doors firmly on all possible mess I would be swooning like a victorian in no time... but well done for winning this small battle!

Megan said...

It's lasted! Well, for a few days so far anyway. Now, how the heck do I get these great lumps to STOP leaving their socks strewn around the house??