Not what they envisioned

Yesterday, because it was Take Your Child to Work Day, the kids had a half-day off of school.  I thought I would “take” them to one of my jobs:  Unpaid Housecleaner.

They ate lunch and were making plans to play the Wii all afternoon, when I told them we’d be cleaning the house.

“Why?” C asked. “We cleaned it the other day.”

“Hon, the house gets dirty, so it has to be cleaned again.”

“Is someone coming over?”

“Well, actually — yeah.”

“Mom, I don’t see why we need to clean up.”  C threw his arms out expansively.  “This is how we live.”

I looked at him in horror.  “And no one should ever know that!”

He sighed as he bounced downstairs to clean up the gajillion or so Legos scattered all over the floor.

To be fair:  the kids routinely help me with cleaning the house.  M mows the lawn, and C and E swipe at furniture with dust rags.  They vacuum.  They clean their own rooms.  But I think they really believe that it’s my job to keep the place clean and straightened up — they’re just helping out a little.

To make the argument that it’s our house, our mess, our job to clean it up, I’ve tried to explain it in math terms:

Mess(5 people + 1 puppy) + Dirt Tracked In(10 shoes + 4 paws) + Dust + Grime + Occasional Spill > One Person’s Efforts to Keep the House Clean.

(And let’s not even talk about the laundry.  That’s a whole different equation, filled with exponents compounded by frequency to describe the relentless and persistent nature of the “dirty clothes – clean clothes – folding clothes – putting away clothes” cycle.)

Working together, we did manage to get the place straightened and cleaned up and the lawn mowed.  Today, they are back in school, and I’m tackling the bathrooms.  Cover me, I’m going in.

May your houses all be clean, your laundry all be clean and folded, and your weekends be relaxing and fun!  Have a good one!

About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
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8 Responses to Not what they envisioned

  1. Trina Lambert says:

    What? You don’t get to play Wii all day??!! Sometimes they have to go away to college before really understanding this.

    • Ha! I’m not a huge video game gal. Something about it makes me…. twitchy. I don’t mind those silly but fun games that use the Wii balance board, but honestly, I’m not sure the last time I played that. Too many other things I’d rather do, I guess.

      Also, that’s a fair point about college. I seem to remember having to negotiate the social minefield of cleaning tolerances. Tricky that.

      • Trina Lambert says:

        The only Wii game I play is Zumba–and I pone my family on that one! There seems to be an age-bias in parental favor–maybe the belt doesn’t work well with skinny hips!

        Yes, I hear negotiating stories and I just think there is some karma going down. Not that I’m gloating or anything . . .

  2. Micha says:

    I love C’s comment, “Is someone coming over?” haha…that’s usually when our house gets really clean!

  3. My daughter is the only child, and she will occasionally (although less and less frequently) come to me grumbling and sighing about “being bored.” I open my eyes really wide and say “really? Did you know that the dishes need to be washed, the carpet vacuumed, the floors washed, the laundry folded, the tables wiped, the garbage taken out, and the cat box to be cleaned?” She quickly stands up and says she isn’t bored anymore.

  4. “ ‘Is someone coming over?’
    ‘Well, actually — yeah.’
    ‘Mom, I don’t see why we need to clean up. This is how we live.’ ”

    This is a conversatin that still takes place in my home. C makes a brillint statement! 🙂

  5. My daughter said she wanted to stay home from school and watch me write. 🙂

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