Mopping by Force

Prior to having baby number three, my house was very different.  You could actually identify it as it was intended to be, a comfortable house built for people to occupy space and time in.  You could see your face in the bathroom mirrors, the white tile on the kitchen counters sparkled, there wasn’t anything growing on the carpet, and the kitchen floor was mopped on a weekly basis.  But since our precious little man arrived, things have definitely changed around here.  I sometimes feel as if I live in a junk yard, or in an unrecognizable place that smells like one on occasion.

Our little man has now existed for seven weeks.  It seems unbelievable to me at times, but when I take one look around the space in which I live, I turn into a quick believer.  I try not to stare too hard at my surroundings.  It starts to hurt after a while.

I am perfectly content with merely “spot mopping” on a weekly basis (you know, just enough to eliminate those sticky spots that fuse to your socks when you’re trying to confiscate the steak knives away from your two-year-old while concurrently nursing your baby), but I was literally forced to mop my entire kitchen floor…twice.  They were both horrible experiences.  But I’m still alive to tell the tale.

Episode Number One

I somehow managed to get the baby to sleep and actually put him down.  It was an absolute miracle, I tell you.  I immediately started daydreaming about what I could do with my new found freedom.  I could have exercised.  I could have written in my journal.  I could have had a tea party with Lizzie.  I could have actually folded the laundry instead of having us take the wrinkled clothes out of the basket and use as needed (which I really should have done).  Ultimately, however, I decided that I wanted to cook a delicious dinner and make my husband remember the woman that I used to be when I could actually function.  Seriously.  If Mom’s could simply sprout an extra arm with each baby that she bears, life would be much more manageable.

Anyway, I put eight ounces of cream cheese in a Pyrex measuring cup and I placed it the microwave for a few minutes so that it would melt.  As I was taking it out of the microwave, it felt much hotter than I had anticipated and I dropped it (those bodily reflexes aren’t always useful, you know).  I’m sure that our neighbors could have heard the sound of that crash while wearing earplugs.  It was loud!  The baby started screaming, my two older kids came sprinting into the kitchen to see what happened, glass was everywhere, and the lower cabinets, the fridge, and a large section of our floor was splattered with melted cream cheese that was quickly hardening.

I frantically looked up at the ceiling and asked, “Why did this have to happen?”.  I got no immediate response to my plea.

I retrieved the mop bucket.  I cleaned.  The kids were all screaming.  I nearly went deaf.  We eventually ate dinner.  My husband had pity on me.

End of story.

Episode Number Two

Fast forward a couple of weeks.  My husband went food shopping (He is arguably the best husband in the world, by the way) and brought home a large jar of gourmet bread and butter pickles.  I’m a pickle person and they hit the spot.  Unfortunately for me, my two-year-old is also a pickle person.

The very next day I was in the process of making dinner when Bryce decided that He really wanted a pickle.  He opened the fridge when I had my back turned (isn’t that how unfortunate events always begin) and I heard a loud crash.  Bryce had tried to pick up the pickle jar and discovered that it was much too heavy for him to handle.  Fortunately, he didn’t drop the jar on his toes, although by now his feet were completely pickled.

Lizzie, who had been playing quietly by herself in her room for the second time in her existence, ran to the kitchen to find out what had happened.  Her feet also became pickled.  Along with mine.

I was very calm this time around because I now knew.

I knew that I simply need to be compelled to mop my floors.  Some individuals must be compelled to repent.  I’m one that must be compelled to keep my house clean.  It’s as straightforward as that, really.

So I mopped my kitchen floor.  Again.  Completely by force.

I’m not looking forward to the next compelling moment…I hope that it doesn’t involve honey.  That stuff is just plain difficult to scrub off when it’s in large quantities.

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