Friday, October 5, 2007

It Was Clean Before Dinner

The house was clean at 4:00. I cleaned it while the girls took a nap. All of the stuffed animals that were strewn about the house, the five hundred crayons (many of them half chewed) and the little pieces of paper that had been peeled off of them, the tea set, the cheerios in the cracks of the couch, the soggy discarded goldfish crackers, the puzzle pieces, the train tracks, the sippy cups full of old milk (or at least that's what I think it was), the piles of sand of mysterious origin on the hard wood floor, the wet laundry on the steps, the toilet paper all over the bathroom, the clumps of cat fur that had been wrenched from the poor beast--all of it was clean. And then they woke up.

And Addison had a poopy diaper. And Ella wanted to play with scissors and glue.

Common sense failed me, and I decided to make a dinner that involved a million ingredients and just as many carefully timed steps. I tried to whisk the corn starch over medium heat, but I couldn't get Addison off of my leg. Every time I removed her from my person and set her down in a different room she came right back again. I put her outside and told the cat to watch her. She Houdini-ed her way back in and spit up on her way to find me. Damn cat. "Mommy, Addison did a spit up!" Ella yelled from the hallway. Before I could get to it, though, Addison crawled through it. For God knows what reason Ella had dragged a plush chair out into the hallway and was sitting in it presiding over the hallway when her sister's lunch came back at us. In her exuberance to let me know what had happened, Ella tipped her chair over right into Addison's path. So great was Addison's determination to reattach herself to my leg that she wasn't going to let any obstacle get in her way. And so over the chair she climbed, making sure to drag spit up across its lovely green furry cover.

While I was trying to de-vomit and re-fluff the chair, Ella took all of the cushions off of the couch and made a game of flinging herself off of the couch onto them. She had a captive audience in her sister, but when the sport went extreme, as sports so often do when it comes to 3-year-olds, Addison found she needed to take cover and got stuck under the coffee table. I freed her. She suctioned onto me. I tried to remove her from my leg with a crow bar. She proved to be stronger than the steel.

Ella dumped out her blocks. I didn't get there in time to "Be careful not to overcook the shrimp." The cat vomited on the playroom rug. Dinner boiled over. Ella spilled glue. The chicken broth hardened on the smooth top range and started to smoke. The shrimp turned to rubber. And still Addison clung.

I was trying to clean up the cat vomit before Addison crawled through it when Steve came through the door. His jaw dropped. And all I could say was, "It was clean before dinner." The look on his face told me he didn't believe me and, as I surveyed the landscape, I realized I wouldn't believe me either.

Just Barely Cookin':
If you are kidless (or just brave)and would like to try your hand at Skillet Shrimp Scampi with Fettuccine, you can find the recipe here. It's really very good if you can chef it up without distraction.

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  1. ROFL - If I ever happen to forget what it was like to "TRY" (notice the emphasis on TRY) to have a semi-clean house with little ones everywhere, I will come back and read your post. You still have me giggling. (Sorry, I know it wasn't funny to you at the time.)

  2. Yeah that sounds about what every night at dinner is like here. Why is it always around dinner time everything falls apart? My favorite is when Ellis is caged into the family room and screaming at the gate, with a pile of toys that Clara is trying to give him to make him happy, me running around trying to remember what I was doing five minutes before as the pot of water is boiling over and Matt comes in the door and asks "What is going on here?!?!?"

  3. You POOR thing! What a day!

    And hooray for the banned book thing. I was a founder of the "Banned Book Club" in my college days. :)

  4. Good home also only stays clean for at least an hour...the kids are always running around from room to room piling up their messiness...and preparing dinner is a true task in itself with my 2yr old and 4yr old trying to help well they call it
    thats why the restaurants make money off of us moms who start something good and then it just flops and gets burnt because we get distracted so easily and exhausted from being depended

    Well I'm learning to get ahead in the game of housekeeping and cooking..I prepare my food as soon as I bring it home from the store like wash veggies fruits and cut them up or bag em and I cook early while kids are still asleep or napping if not I always have back up plan like pizza or fast food.....
    Having a neighbor who is old enough to play with your tots too can help a bit...well I'm no expert I was just thinking this morning.."now how can I get these children of mine to put their dishes in the dishwasher"
    Thanks for sharing in such wonderful detail...yes I enjoyed your honest post..hugs and have a great weekend!

  5. Been throught that more than once's. You do something. Before you know it. It is messed up again. Great posting. Take care.