Wednesday, August 12, 2009

After a weekend spent cleaning everything from baseboards to cobwebs, I was exhausted. I even cleaned all the little fingerprints from around switch plates and walls. I gave specific instructions to my husband and our offspring on how “we” were going to work as a family to keep this house clean. This was going to work. Because if I had to spend one more Saturday trying to scrub the smell out of each bathroom floor I was going to lose my mind. They all appeared to be listening but, should have known better.

The week after our family meeting, I had to go into the bonus room to summon my brood and realized how the rest of the house had stayed nice and clean. It appeared that my little birds had taken on a new migratory pattern and began moving all their junk to this room. And it didn’t bother anyone but me. That was it! If they didn’t care why should I? My plan was to see how long it would take for my husband to get disgusted with dirty dishes in the sink when the dishwasher was empty or clean towels laying on the floor after being used once before it drove him to tidiness. It didn’t work. The little experiment I tried was backfiring.

I walked into the living room while my husband sat on the sofa staring at whatever sport is in season now on ESPN.

“I give up. We should just live like slobs.”
“What are you talking about?” he sighed never taking his focus off the pre game show, the game or post game highlights!
“Have you SEEN your bathroom sink lately? I think there’s something growing in it.”

“I’m not the only one using it, BECKY. You’ve been brushing your teeth there lately so it can’t be that bad.”
“I’ve been using your sink because the boys are using my sink to grow a sea creature and it looks even more disturbing than your sink. We’re getting off the subject. This house is a mess and it doesn’t bother anyone but me.” I said as I picked up an empty bag of Doritos off the floor.

At this point it was obvious that nothing was getting through. Apparently the starting lineup for the entire National Football League was being announced and he couldn’t spare me a moment for my rant.
I gave it another shot. “Why am I the only one who’s bothered by the mess? I can’t stand it anymore. If you’re not going to help me, I’m going to pay someone to do it.”

When the prospect of me spending money entered the equation, I had his full attention. “Pay someone to clean the house. We’re not the kind of people who do that.”
“We’re not what kind of people? Clean people?” I countered.

About that time my youngest came running to me with a picture he had colored. It was of our family at home. In his picture the house was clean. Who was I kidding? I hate housework! As long as we can pull off the illusion of clean and my children don’t cringe when they see me with a bucket of cleaning supplies, who cares if the baseboards aren’t dusted every week or a few cobwebs take up residence in the living room? One day when my children are living on their own, there will be plenty of time to teach my husband how to keep the house clean. 

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