Some people are going to gasp when I say this. Some will shake their heads in sad disappointment. Others may curse me through the screen. But a few may actually know and agree with this truth: Children have a secret plot to drive their parents crazy.
Let’s take a look at cleaning. In my house, because I am a mean mom, cleaning is a group effort. I would like to say we are an organized family and set aside a certain day for all the cleaning to get done, but that would be a lie. It usually happens when I can’t stand looking at the bathrooms anymore. Gross, I know.
Now I would just like to take a moment to say, I try to make things as easy on myself as possible. So, awhile back I bought a little battery-operated vacuum cleaner for my 7-year old to use, and expensive packages of window cleaning wipes and disinfecting wipes for the 10-year old. I even bought dusting wipes for the 4-year old and (now) 3-year old. And yes, this is supposed to make things easier on me, not them. Otherwise I would be worried about them squirting themselves and each other in the eyes with chemicals (green or non green, both would probably sting). And they would probably trip over cords and break things with a real vacuum.
So… life made easy, right? Give the 10-year old his wipes and send him to the bathrooms to clean. I’ll scrub the toilets, I’ll spray down the bathtub for him to scrub later… just take the packages and go. Give the 7-year old his vacuum cleaner and have him do the stairs and the upstairs. But that’s where all hell breaks loose.
The 10-year old goes upstairs and yells down to me what is he supposed to do first? I yell back up, “Same as always!!!” He yells down that he doesn’t remember. I yell back up that he DOES remember! We go back and forth until my throat starts to hurt and I go up there and tell him what to do while actually doing most of it for him. For awhile, he is quiet.
The 7-year old starts with the stairs. He makes sure to bang the edge of the vacuum cleaner into every square inch of wall as he goes. Then he does the upstairs. Again, with the banging into the walls. I go up there, annoyed, and show him how to vacuum in a nice little line, back and forth and WITHOUT hitting the walls. I mostly do it for him. Please note, this is probably the 50th time I have “shown” him. As soon as I go downstairs, he turns on the vacuum for one minute before telling me the battery is dead. How convenient… it has to charge for about 10 hours before he can do any real vacuuming now.
Meanwhile, the 4-year old and 3-year old actually are asking to help clean! They are jumping up and down begging me to clean!! I give them the dusting wipes and show them where to clean. After the entire package has been used, I cannot tell any dusting has been done. So I salvage the little piles of crumpled wipes and dust everything myself.
At this time, the 10-year old is back at it with the questions. Does he have to do the toilets? It’s gross. I know… that’s why we are cleaning. He doesn’t want to. Do it anyway. The 7-year old skips in and says since he is done, what can he do now? I tell him to scrub one of the bathtubs that I have already sprayed down. I give him a sponge and off he goes. But one second later, I hear water running. I run up there and ask him why is he running the water and washing away all the cleaning stuff before he scrubbed it?!? He said he already did. I point to the ring around the tub and say NO he has not. Then I do it for him while he watches.
The 10-year old is screaming now and rolling on the floor about how he is tired and hates cleaning and blah blah blah.
The 7-year old is whining that he got water all over the bathroom floors and “accidentally” peed in the toilet with the blue stuff in it before it was scrubbed.
My throat hurts from screaming. I am sweating because I just cleaned the whole house instead of the kids.
The 4 and 3-year old are running around asking for everything under the sun.
So… the older two successfully completed their mission and barely cleaned anything. The 4 and 3-year-old are happy because I am too tired to argue and just shove at them whatever it was they are asking for.
I HATE cleaning days. Good thing it won’t happen again for a while.