Thursday, September 18, 2008

Returning to Normal

We're home. We have a computer, although not much of the data that formerly resided on it. We were resuming our regular, albeit new, routine for preschool, work, and music classes. And now, to throw a bit of excitement into our not very organized lives, J has been cast in another play, MacBeth this time, which is terrific since people have heard of it. He will be playing the Doctor (who knew?) and Murderer No. 3. I'm thinking perhaps Q does not need to see this one either...

Because our life will evidently not be busy enough, I'm trying out a new challenge.

I'm not unusual when I say that I hate cleaning. Who doesn't? Well, in the The New York Times I read about a recently married couple (Tess Taylor and Taylor Schreiner, there's no mention of the odd name combination, I hope he takes hers), who are described in a lovely piece about their romance and wedding. I quote, "They boiled water to wash dishes, discovering that they share an affinity for chores." That makes more sense in context, but my point is that they evidently like chores. That's just wrong. No one likes chores unless they don't have to do them. If there is a mutant gene that has created someone who likes housework, it is unfair of the universe to pair them up with the one lone other person who also likes housework. Spread that kind of goodness around some.

Back to my challenge.

I was cleaning the toilet yesterday and I got this idea. What if I cleaned the bathroom every single day?

Anyone who has ever been to my house has become aware of how much I loathe cleaning. Cleaning makes me mean. Even after I clean the house still feels unclean to me. If anyone ever said of my home the lovely adage, "It was untidy, but clean" I would weep with pleasure.

So why does this masochistic idea appeal to me?

When Q was a toddler, he took an aversion to bath time. He would scream and tantrum if we tried to wash him. Our solution was to integrate bath time into our daily bed time ritual, rather than every two or three days, figuring that familiarity would take the edge off his hatred. Now he reserves screaming to nights when we wash his hair.

If I clean the bathroom every single day, maybe I won't hate cleaning so much. It'll go faster, in theory, because the dirt will have had less time to accumulate. I recall at summer camp, we had daily chores, including cleaning the bathroom, and the grime simply never got as bad because we kept it under control on a daily basis.

I'm on day two of the cleaning every day challenge. I have cleaned the sink, the toilet, the floor. I'll spray the tub down after Q is done with his bath and then rinse it when I go to bed. (I hate scrubbing the tub and feel it makes far less impact than the chemicals do, so this also is my attempt to see if repeat application of tub cleaner might take off that semi-permanent layer of grime.)

If this works to reduce my cleaning stress and actually improve cleanliness, I'll consider what implications this has for the rest of my life. I mean, could I clean the kitchen floor every day? Could I vacuum every day?

And now for gratuitous cute photos of the kids:

Q and Excavator. I'm not sure if it's possible to see in this particular photo, but he's sitting on the edge of his construction site, which looks like a miniature rock quarry.

Noodle had been wandering around the kitchen repeating, "hot, hot, hot," which is Noodle speak for "I'm hungry, would you feed me already?" She tried to hint further by getting into her eating chair. But the eating chair had the tray attached, and you can see what the result was. Obviously she wasn't too distressed. This is fairly typical of the lass.

And here you can see that progress is being made on the bathroom. J is giving Q a tour of the developments. Actually, Q is saying things like, "I see you put up a new shelf." Very Seriously. Noodle is exhausted and just wants to sit in Daddy's lap.

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