It’s that time of year, again. Yep, spring cleaning is just around the corner and at our house it is also used as a metaphor for enlightenment in unlocking the secrets of keeping peace and harmony in our home.
You see, as far as I’m concerned, there are three types of cleaning house:
1) Whenever a friend calls to say that they are dropping by, simply stick the dirty dishes in the oven, hide the laundry in the closet(s), reload bathroom tissues and flush the toilets, wipe down the kitchen table, clean off a chair and sit down; you’re done!
2) Weekends, or holidays when family members are more apt to visit, just add wash floors and vacuum to the list.
3) Then, one day, you wake up to find that the dust bunnies are threatening to hide the car keys, or you realize that dingy is dangerously close to becoming your signature color and you know it’s time for some spring cleaning.
Guess which one I subscribe to?
Growing up with Hungarian parents, there were two things I learned very early on — how to cook and how to clean.
Don’t get me wrong — my parents weren’t ogres — we played, plenty, but keeping house and caring for the family took priority over, well, pretty much everything else and I didn’t mind scrubbing and scouring too much, because…well…I honestly didn’t know any other way.
Ask my husband, he knows.
On the day Garth (not his real name) planned to propose to me, he came over and found me in my parent’s kitchen…with my head in the oven…and nearly dropped dead of a heart attack.
I made the poor guy wait until I was finished scrubbing the oven, he really should have called…first.
Feh, raising four kids of my own, let’s just say — when it comes to housework — I’ve learned to loosen the apron strings, just a tad.
I’m just NOT that into cleaning, anymore. Frankly, I’d rather spend the time with my husband, or hang out with the kids. You know, taking advantage of those precious and brief moments when my family admits that we still like each other (sort of) and focus less on the way my house looks (or, doesn’t) and accept the fact that ALL kids, by nature, are knuckle heads.
Please, tell me your kids leave trails of backpacks, books, cleats, socks, empty juice boxes and candy wrappers lying around the house!
[closes eyes and takes deep breath]
It’s nice, you know? I think of all those times spent on my hands and knees (shuddup, Kristen!) scrubbing grout, ugh, when I could have been happy just mingling with the house moss, or sliding along the hallway floor and twirling with the dust sparkles, illuminated by a stray sunbeam or two with my kids.
The realizations that true friends don’t mind that you ignore the laundry and dance with dust bunnies, well, it’s an emancipation of mommy guilt, sort of.
So, is the thought of spring cleaning getting you down?
[slapping you upside the head]
Well, listen up Sistahs and Bruthahs, to hell with all of those magazines and so called domestically blissful experts constantly telling us how we should be organizing our lives better. Drop the dust mop, kick the cleaning bucket and join the revolution. It’s easy. See, I made list of simple little acts of liberation.
Repeat after me:
SNAP UP OUT OF IT!
Stop. Go get some coffee. Accept my new philosophy on housekeeping as your own, m ‘kay!?!
I DON’T DO WINDOWS!
Nature is our friend. I would not want to risk having a bird fly into a clean window and getting hurt!
I DON’T WAX FLOORS!
Someone will slip and get hurt and I would feel terrible!
I DON’T MIND DUST BUNNIES!
They are very good company, I have named most of them and they agree with everything I say!
I DON’T DISTURB COBWEBS!
I believe every creature should have a home.
I DON’T SPRING CLEAN!
I love all the seasons and wouldn’t want the others to get jealous.
I DON’T PUT THINGS AWAY
My husband, Garth (not his real name) will never be able to find anything and my children will only leave stuff out, again.
I DON’T DO GOURMET MEALS!
I don’t want my guests stressing over what to make, when they invite me over for dinner.
I DON’T IRON!
There is such a thing as "permanent press" and, well, because I FRICKIN’ SAID SO, THAT’S WHY!
Everyone, chant with me now:
"Besides… ohm… a clean house… ohm… is obviously… ohm… a sign of… ohm… a… broken… ohm… computer… ohm!"
Oh, and don’t even get me started on the frickin’ laundry!!!