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!