Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kids, Cleaning, & Chaos

There’s a quote that says, “Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens and happy kids.” On any given day, I can promise you that 80% of that quote is accurate in our household. The whole “happiness” thing is usually hit or miss. But I think the concept is spectacular! Spending time making memories with your kids is more important than keeping a clean house. And it is a rule I have chosen to live by. Not that I necessarily want to spend more time with my kids, but I so badly don’t want to clean, I’ll gladly use them as an excuse to avoid the task! I’m only kidding. I love playing games with them. It keeps me young. My self-image, however, has taken a bit of a hit. I never get to play the beautiful princess—I am usually relegated to the role of “Big Ugly Witch” (which I must say I’ve mastered over the years). I also really enjoy hide-and-seek, which we play for multiple hours on end, everyone using the exact same hiding spot every…single…time.  And although it can be a bit monotonous, every 5th time or so I shake things up by hiding under the blankets on my bed and get a good 10 minutes of quiet before they find me and I’m back into the fray. The kids usually choose to hide under piles of clothes and toys, if that gives you any indication of just HOW messy our house is on a daily basis.
                  I often think I have the messiest house on earth. I recently found that MUST be true when our 4-year old took it upon herself to clean the bathroom. Charli (who is learning about money by earning little allowances for helping out around the house) left to use the restroom and never returned. So, like a good mom, I set down my bon-bons, got off the couch and went to look for her. She was drying off the countertop of what appeared to be someone else’s bathroom. It was so clean! No toothpaste globs in the sink. No soap scum around the knobs. I was amazed…until I learned just HOW she cleaned so thoroughly. Let’s just say Michael’s toothbrush probably tasted a little funny the next time he used it.

That was almost as surprising as the time I walked into MY bathroom and found Charli standing there holding a towel and wearing a deer-in-the-headlights look. I was hoping she had cleaned it too, but I was very wrong. Our conversation went something like this:

                  Me: What are you doing?
                  Charli: I wanted to use your big girl potty.
                  Me: Oh, okay! But why are you holding that towel?
                  Charli: Sometimes when I pee, it goes down my leg.
I quickly hung Jim’s towel back on the rack, helped her wash her hands, and had a prompt discussion on proper wiping technique. (Jim, if you’re reading this…I’m sorry.)
                  I guess I’ve come to grips with the fact that my untidy house will never look like Martha Stewart’s, and I’m ok with that. There is nothing I would rather do than spend all my days hanging out with those rugrats. But hey, maybe if Martha had little kids at home she’d spend more time playing with them and less time playing the stock market!  J  Just a thought…