A Clean House

Either I haven’t figured out how to maintain a clean home, or living with three boy-children is incompatible with keeping one’s house clean. Maybe it’s both.

I stood in the middle of the living room on Saturday and looked around. It looked like the aftermath of a tornado. Toys everywhere. Cushions strewn on the floor. The dining table was covered with food, paper, markers, Lego, cups and the hardwood floor was covered with more of the same.

‘Do other people live like this,’ I wondered.

So I vowed to clean house today. Really clean. Well, as much as one can clean in the presence of two people bound and determined to undo the work. Pick up the toys. Dump out the toys. Sweep food from the floor. Dump more food on the floor. Pick up the boardgames. Dump the boardgames on the floor. It’s more annoying than Groundhog’s Day.

The professor came home early. I was wearing the same grey ‘yoga’ pants and tank top as I had when he left the house at 9.30am. The same outfit I’d slept in the night before. ‘Dressing for success today,’ he mocked me, ‘are those your productivity pants?’

Well, as a matter of fact…laundry, banana muffins, laundry, rice krispie treats, laundry, clean bathroom, clean baseboards, laundry, load dishwasher, laundry, unload dishwasher, change sheets on all beds, laundry, put away laundry, vacuum, dust, laundry, wash all three boys’ hair, laundry, shower, make dinner, read with the Gort.

I’m pretty sure the guy working on our basement thinks I’m a deadbeat, what with my stellar wardrobe choices and dirty-haired boy-children wearing pajamas past noon. So I gave him a banana muffin today when he was done sanding the drywall….hush money.

At the end of the day, my laundry pile was higher than when I first began. And I hadn’t even cleaned the kitchen, or the other bathroom, or the dining room, or the office. And the upstairs bathroom sink – the one I’d scrubbed with my own bare hands – had red toothpaste all over it.

Five hours of work….for ten minutes of enjoyment? Strangely, it’s worth it.

My upstairs hallway, which is usually so disastrous I forbid guests from viewing it

5 thoughts on “A Clean House

  1. I know the feeling – I even had household help when the boys were little and by the next morning it would look like thieves had ransacked the place. One time I apologized to her about the house being such a mess – she responded “That’s ok. If it was all clean I wouldn’t have a job!” So maybe the kids are just helping mothers (and grandmaothers)have job security.

  2. You tell that naughty-little-comment-making professor that there is nothing wrong with wearing “yoga” pants all day… regardless of whether or not yoga is planned for that day!!!!

  3. Twana, you’re probably right. But I’m thinking if you couldn’t keep a 3-boy house clean WITH household help…then I don’t stand a chance! So maybe I’ll give up..Steph, I think he was getting back at me for making fun of his sweatpants!

  4. As the philosopher Phyllis Diller said, cleaning house with children is like shoveling in a blizzard.

    I have worn the same clothes for three days in a row at times. And that was when I was not sick. Enjoy the clean moments when they come. I will keep your hallway photo as motivation during my packing.

    1. D, I think shoveling in a blizzard has the potential of being more productive. Enjoy packing. Purge all their treasures 🙂


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