Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hit the Floor! (if you can find it)

Mom's coming to visit! Better find the kitchen floor! Where to begin? How about paper towels? Ahh, much better now that those globs of smooshed banana and playdough are gone. Now to move on to other solids--for that, we need a broom.

Well, well, well. Let's see what's in our little pile here. Sandwich crust? Check. Shredded napkins? Check. Dried up old pasta? Of course. Pieces of string cheese? Got it. Old leaves? Yup. And some mystery foliage, to boot (at least I hope that's something that came from outside). Is that a chicken nugget? When did we have that? Cornbread? Okay, that I don't even remember making. And I'm not even sure what that is...

Hey, at least I'm saving money by sweeping--I think I can reconstitute a box of cheerios with the bounty I've found on the floor. And if I can get them back in the package, we're good to go on graham crackers for a while.

Okay, mess, under the rug you go! But wait--there's no room in the inn! I guess I need to climb the stairs to get our only dust pan out of the linen closet. Does using it to sweep up kitty litter mean that I have to wash it before using it on the kitchen floor? Eh. I'll spray it with some Mr. Clean.

Sweep, sweep sweep! Dump overly strained dustpan. Put the rug back in its place. Wait, where did that pile of dirt come from? I just swept you! Oh, well, here we go again. Sweep, sweep, sweep! Dump. Replace rug. Ahhh, I see the problem--the rug expels a year's worth of dust every time it hits the floor. Better go outside and shake it out. Shake, shake, shake! Hey, I didn't know there was supposed to be a solar eclipse today! Oh, wait--the sun just was blotted out there for a minute there as the cloud of dust from my rug dissipated. Maybe I better throw this thing in the washing machine. Or maybe take it to the car wash.

Let's see, now that the solids have been removed, it's time to work on returning the floor to a shade of white--any shade will do. This is a job for my trusty Swifter Wet Jet! I'll start with the most offensive region--under the highchair. Squirt, squirt, squirt! Scrub, scrub, scrub! Not even a dent. Better give it a little more juice. Squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt! Scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub, scrub! Well, at least it's a shade of gray now--that's an improvement! The cleaning pad's filthy, though. The side of the box says it's supposed to clean at least two large rooms, and I've only done about four square feet. Oh, well. Replace the pad and... squirt, squirt, squirt, squirrrrrttttttt. Wait a minute, what's that sound? Oh, no! The Swifter is out of cleaning fluid! Now what??? Okay, calm down. What would Cinderella do? Never mind her--I remember some sort of non-sense hearth sweeping as part of her story. Just breath in and out. I can do this. I'm going to need a... what's the word? I think it begins with an "m"... That's it! A mop! Where do I get one of those? I saw my mom use one last time she was here, so I'm pretty sure I own one (unless she brought her own with her, which is a distinct possibility). Maybe there's one in the garage. Let's see... What's that sticking out of the still-empty boxes that are supposed to be housing our Christmas ornaments? Booo. It's only a hockey stick. How about pinned behind the lawnmower? No, that's a flagpole. Somewhere in the heap of stuff that's supposed to be for the garage sale I'll never have? Bingo!

Now, do I really have to get out a bucket, or can I just rinse this thing in the sink? Let's try the sink. Rinse, rinse, rinse, pour on some soapy stuff that smells like the hallway on the first day of school, and commense mopping. Is it supposed to be sudsing that much? That's quite a film the tide of mop water is leaving in its wake. I think I'm making it worse. Okay, fine, I'll get the bucket.

Mop, mop, mop. Rinse. Ring. Mop, mop, mop. Phew! Mopping's hard work. Better get a beer.

Ah, finally done. And it looks perfect. ish. Good enough. For me. I'll just dim the lights when mom gets here.

20 mins later...

Ella! Why in the world would you sit on the kitchen floor to empty the sand out of your shoes? Addison! Stop smearing fistfulls of peanut butter all over the floor! Where did you get that, anyway? Babies aren't even supposed to have peanut butter. No, opening the pantry door all by yourself and dumping out a bag of sugar while I'm wiping up the peanut butter is neither okay, nor funny. (Okay, it's a little bit funny. But save it for after your grandmother leaves.) I'd also appreciate it if you'd stop drinking milk and then, instead of swallowing it, opening your mouth and letting it run all over the floor. Ella, please watch your sister while I take out the trash.

Ella, I said watch your sister, not let her out on the porch! Addison, get back in here! And drop those fistfulls of leaves! No, wait! On the other side of the thresh hold, not on my clean floor! Ella, I thought I told you not to get down the cereal all by yourself! Did you even try to hit the bowl, or did you just dump in right onto the floor? And whose size ten muddy footprints are those? Mine? Shoot!

Ding, dong! Mom's here! Quick, turn off the lights and hit the floor! I need more time to mop!

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(also from this past week: Breakfast in Bed, Three Hours a Week, and Speaking of Martinis...)


  1. Oh gees, can I identify with that? Worst part is that it doesn't get better as they get bigger. Mine are 13, 8 and 5 and I still sweep up petrified mac n cheese, fish sticks, bread crusts and the stuff they think I'll never find that they wrap in a napkin and toss under the table. ARGH! And it kills me that as soon as I clean, someone does something to foul it all up again!!!

  2. My solution: Take a deep breath, close your eyes and the mess is no longer there!

  3. You're not the greatest at housekeeping but you rock as a mom. Thanks for taking such good care of my grandbabies! xo Mom

  4. woooo man this is funny but hitting the nail right on the head. :)

  5. awesome and so true!

  6. Oh man... we have the same cleaning technique!
    I think that's why we had a dog growing up...