So a couple weeks ago I went on a cleaning frenzy that extended to the living room, the computer desk, and most of the kitchen before it died a sad and lonely death somewhere in a pile of laundry.
It wasn’t my fault, really. The truth is, that cleaning my house caused a whole bunch of Major Life Crises for the people in my family. So out of love for them and a true servant’s heart, I was forced to change my plans to overhaul the entire place.
It started with the fridge. Cleaning out the fridge is always dangerous because you never know what sorts of fascinating Historical Food Items you might find in the recesses of its cold shelves. I found egg nog this time around. That’s right, folks. Egg nog. As in, favorite Christmas beverage of people everywhere. And, just so we’re clear, I was cleaning out the fridge in April.
Basically speaking, I threw away enough rotting food to feed half the starving children in Africa, if you know, it hadn’t been rotting. Every time clean the fridge (usually it is more often than every four months, I swear), I make a Solemn Vow to myself to keep the fridge clean, to keep track of what delights are hiding therein, and to use up the food that’s already on its bountiful shelves before I purchase more.
This is where the Major Life Crises come in. Because, oddly enough, my kids get sick of eating peaches out of the Jumbo Sized Economy can long before we have reached the end of its peachy contents. Also they dislike leftovers, even when I cleverly disguise yesterday’s One-Skillet Mexican Rice and Beans as today’s taco filling. The only leftovers they truly approve are 1) pizza and 2) dessert. Unfortunately, in my home, we seldom have leftovers of either.
The other thing that I did during my cleaning frenzy that has caused great problems among the shorter members of my household is dust. I dusted everything in the living room, including the Wooden Blinds from the Pit of Despair, which took about seventeen hours apiece.
Why, Erin, why would you clean the blinds when there are piles of laundry laying on the floor in your dining room? What exactly is wrong with your priorities here? Let’s just say that the dusting spree happened while I was still caught up in the rush of my spring cleaning. My intentions were good. They really were.
Anyway, I have learned something new since I lavishly sprayed the furniture polish onto every shelf, picture frame, and blind in my living room.
Furniture polish makes hardwood floors really, really slippery. Especially if you are three years old and like to run around in socks.
I personally love to slide around in my socks and have thought about spraying the entire surface of our living room floor with lemon-scented Pledge, popping on some good thick cotton socks, and playing floor hockey. But my children do not share my joy. Perhaps this is because the floor is not uniformly slick. They’ll just be bopping along, picking their noses and talking about Thomas the Tank Engine, when BAM! Down they go on their little bums.
I think it’s hilarious but they really don’t. I don’t know why. Ryan has taken to blaming everything on the furniture polish. He’ll be in his carpeted bedroom, trip over his own feet, and start to cry. “That dusting spray is just killing me!” he’ll wail.
Yesterday he fell out of his chair like five times while he was playing trains on the dining room table. Somehow this was my fault. “Why did you have to spray my chair and make it so slippery?” he wept, after the fifth time of randomly crashing out of his chair. Yes, Ryan, I used Pledge on your chair. That would really help the buildup of nasty food and smashed crayon wax. Unfortunately the cleaning frenzy that was never made it all the way to the dining room table and its mismatched chairs.
The worst effect of my short-lived spring cleaning, however, was that in the process I found something horrible. Something so bad, it must have been spawned in the pit of despair eons ago, coming forth at this time for the sole purpose of torturing my poor, abused, ill-treated older son. What, you ask, could I have possibly found that would be so awful? Oh, you ask. You ask because you are ignorant of the ways in which the world conspires against my five-year-old. And I shall answer, and you will gasp in terror at the sheer monstrosity of the thing. Here is what I found.
A Thomas the Tank Engine t-shirt. In Sammy’s size. And what’s worse, is that I, out of the cruelty of my heart, allow Sam to wear the accursed thing, while Ryan was forced to content himself with a t-shirt sporting only a picture of a Jeep.
This is clearly the most unfair, unreasonable, unjust, un-everything decision a mother could ever possibly make. And it has brought an end to my spring cleaning.
Because who knows what might be lurking in the next pile of laundry.
An Island of Sodor baseball hat in just Sam’s size? A pair of Optimus Prime underpants? A full-out Thomas costume in a 4T? It’s just not worth the risk.
The sacrifices we parents make for our children.