Friday, January 18, 2008

End of the week Calm

Last night our kids spent the night at my parents' house so we could have a date night. We celebrated our hours of freedom by ordering Mediterranean take-out and watching The Simpson's movie. We sure are wild!
To top of the excitement, I peeled myself out of bed at the new-usual 6:30 to get things done before picking-up the kids at 8:30: check email for anything urgent, put in a load of laundry, sweep/mop, vacuum (including the stairs!), swich laundry, run dishwasher . . . and even take a shower. The house was sparkling by the time I left to get them. Even the toilets had a fresh scent (well, okay, I'm just ASSUMING they did, because they were clean and they certainly didn't smell bad from a normal distance.  I'm not a toilet-sniffer!).
When the three of us got home, I was applauded by my son who said in his most awed voice, "Wow! Mama, it looks like you vacuumed the stairs!" To which I stood a bit taller, feeling pleased that my efforts were noticed so immediately.
He continued, "Oh! You vacuumed all this stuff," which makes more sense when you also get the visual of him waving his arms wildly and pointing to the entire carpted space that is our upstairs (playroom, my office/music room, hallway, bedrooms).  At this point, I was starting to feel like he was a white glove inspector, but again, it was early and I HAD accomplised much so I let him continue.
He sniffed the air. "Hmmmmmm . . . is that soap I smell?" he inquired. Yes, he is three and he DOES talk like this.  Really. "I think I smell soap. Maybe you used floor cleaner." He stepped into the entry of the kitchen, poking his head a few inches ahead of his body to examine the space. "Oh, you mopped the floor while we were gone. Is it still wet?  Wow, it looks good, Mama."  Yup, a white glove inspector.
While I was still standing tall, admiring my own handiwork, part of me realized that maybe he was making a big deal of the clean house because it is a RARITY that all of said spaces were clean at the same time! Sad, but true. The kid is observant.
Now, about 12 hours after the inspection, things still are fairly clean. The house survived two of my kids' friends who came over for a playdate, lunch for 4 kids under the age of 4, an afternoon of regular play, dinner for 4 and family playtime after dinner. True, the carpets aren't as fresh looking (those beautiful wheel marks and suction tracks that I love so much are long gone) BUT, they still look inviting, not crunchy or furry. I'd say the house is still presentable for my sister-in-law who is coming tonight for a long weekend.  I'd say that is a success story!
So now it is time for me to process this slice from my day. It felt good to have a clean house AND to have someone notice (though my husband is generally pretty observant and catches on to when I've stepped up to the plate and cleaned-up thoroughly - our son gets his skills from his dad). It felt good to have a mostly-clean house at the end of the day. But even better is the fact that I didn't spend the entire day cleaning around two small creatures (3, if you include the dog) who need constant affection, directing & redirecting, feeding and cleaning. We started the day clean and it went well to casually clean as I went for the remainder of the day. In fact, the day was filled with a nice CALM, even with 4 kids in the house!!! I think it has something to do with the newly found order to the house.
Now I know that future Date Nights come with the added bonus of Cleaning Morning. If I can muster the self-discipline to get out of bed, the payoffs will be great!

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