Monday, August 18, 2008

Nobody Can Call Me a Clean Freak

Yeah, yeah, yeah--I don't clean my house. Big whoop. I absolutely let a plate of uneaten spaghetti from last night's dinner sit on the table all day while I walk past it 800 times. When Willow runs by with a bath towel and spray bottle and announces, "I spilled the jam, but I'm a-gonna clean it up," I say, "Cool," and do not follow up. Every single day I angrily dig through a mountain of clean laundry up to my waist to find two socks for Willow to wear to school, and they DO NOT MATCH. Seriously, I'm over it.

Events taking place this weekend, however, brought to light a very specific circumstance in which I do clean very well. See if you can find the pattern:

I will happily clear off the floor, vacuum it, and then marshall the girls to help me mop with Murphy's Wood Soap----so that I have a place to lay out a quilt to be pieced: This cleaning project is actually a biggie, because this section of floor has to be kept clean for DAYS--I have to lay it out to find a pleasing pattern, then after I piece it I have to lay it out again to attach the back, then after I stitch in the ditch each row and column I have to lay it out again to pin a new section, then I have to lay it out again to cut the binding to the right size, then I have to lay it out again to admire how awesome it looks when I'm done. That means that I have kept that floor section clean all weekend--I picked up the French fries Sydney dropped, I wiped up the glue Willow spilled, I vacuumed up the cat fur--it would seriously take all my freakin' time as a stay-at-home mom just to keep the freakin' floor looking good if I cared that much every day. The girls are happy to help, though--I mean, come on, doesn't this look like fun?

Then last night, in a feat of strength and energy nearly unprecedented in this house, I untaped the butcher paper on which the girls have been drawing on top of the table for a couple of weeks, rolled it up and put it away (Hello, wrapping paper!), wiped the tabletop clean, blah, blah--so that today we could do this: Um, and what is this, you ask? Well, we've just gotten back from California--this is our new ocean. The actual ocean material is some stash fabric donated by Grandma Janie, and the girls have so far drawn on it-- (Beluga whale, don't you know?)--and added shells from a big box I scored at the free day of the Monroe County History Center garage sale last year----and I printed and cut out and pasted together these photo-realistic fish and marine mammal 3D models from this awesome CD-Rom we checked out from the library last week--
and the girls added their toys, of course:
The rock that the seal is sitting on totally cracks me up.

So the girls have been literally obsessing about this ocean all day, and it will probably be weeks before we can actually use our big table again. And sure, we did eat our dinner sitting on the floor again tonight, but the girls have also been poring over shell encyclopedias, and swimming their cut-out fish all around the house, and this morning, when a neighbor lady came running over from her house across the street because she saw Willow climbing on top of the car and couldn't imagine that this child's mother knew where she was at the time (she and I hadn't met yet, obviously), she was greeted not only by the sight of me sitting on the porch steps cheering said child on, but also by Sydney, naked, running around in circles in the yard shouting "HUUUUMP BAAAAACK!!!!!" over and over again.

Actually, I probably should go clean the house some more, in case Child Protective Services stops by for a little visit tomorrow. Should I show them the ocean?

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