Sunday, November 26, 2017

Umm... Seth your floor is sticky.

Original Post Date: 9/15/15

I love when people are pretty much completely honest. I know some people prefer sugar coating. I think I like blunt honesty so much because it’s so refreshing. Plus it reminds me of my mom. (Love ya Denise :D ) The other day a friend was dropping off some little lunch bags for a project I was working on. She walked into screaming kids, a garbage dump of a house, and one super tired and stressed out Seth. Normally most people would have just opened the door and handed me the stuff and left. She came in stepped into my kitchen and said “Ummm… Seth, your floor is sticky.” I love when people are honest and just speak their mind. I have been replaying that moment over and over in my mind and just keep laughing about it. (Again, it reminds me of my mom, which always makes me smile). Right after that she offered to stay and help clean the house. Me being honest right back said, “I would never let you help clean this house.”

You never know what you going to find hidden in a closet or trapped in a door. Cleaning around here reminds me of Indiana Jones.

Don't open that closet door!!

Since I am being completely honest, I want to talk about the cleanliness of my house and the constant struggle to keep it right in the pocket of my sweet spot. That sweet spot is somewhere above the clean level that I imagine Honey Boo Boo’s house is kept but below the fancy pants level of using dusting spray. (seriously isn’t that the real use of baby wipes?) I don’t sugarcoat the cleanliness of my house. Honestly the other day I walked out and I swear I saw a cockroach and an ant fighting each other while both stuck in a now sticky puddle of spilled kool-aid. I just sat there and watched it for a minute. Just living the dream. Then I killed them and cleaned it up with what else, a baby wipe.

I view our house in different level of cleanliness. For the most part, our dishes stay pretty clean. I made sure to wash them daily and since all of our silverware, plates, bowls, and cups all magically disappear somewhere within a parallel universe, I have switched to using paper products. Don’t worry we reuse them as long as possible ;) But they always end up getting lost, so it’s a constant flow of new eating and drinking utensils. No shame in my game. The floors and counters I try to keep moderately clean. Mostly, just keep them not sticky. Would I eat off my floors? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Heck no! :D 

Are my floors clean enough to eat off of?

Then comes bedrooms... The kids do a somewhat fairly DFCS acceptable job of cleaning their own rooms. Mostly, it consists of stuffing every single thing they can find into their closets. About a month ago, I literally walked in the big girls’ room to see Stevie stuffing her ballet recital outfits into a bug collector container. She then stuffed that container into an Easy Bake Oven box that was already overflowing with Disney VHS tapes, and then all of that was piled on the mount of junk they like to “collect” and store in their closet. I was just watching and wondering how in the heck they were going to shut the closet door. My question was soon answered. I saw Neela pick up Sausage (her 6 foot tall stuffed giraffe), get a running start, and slammed the closet door closed with the giant giraffe like a battering ram.

She named him herself

I really don’t mind cleaning. I am not good at it (at all). But I don’t mind the work, besides laundry. Laundry is the devil. The kids for the most part hate very aspect of cleaning.  A typical cleaning day usually goes something like this. I finish up all my work, while I let the kids relax, eat a snack,  and finish up their homework. I normally try to do a bulk of the cleaning after that stuff and before dinner. So I’m normally cooking while all of this is going as well:

I normally start off doing dishes, sweeping, and mopping first, so I send the kids to their room to clean. Immediately upon hearing the “c” word, Olive literally screams in such terror comparable to a child seeing Santa Claus torching his sled filled with toys, eating their stocking candy, and puking up milk and cookies on the family’s dog. After a moment of intense screaming, she frantically runs to her room and slams the door. I can normally hear her pacing around her room quietly trying to convince herself that she will not have to clean today. With Olive barricaded in her bedroom, that gives me like 40 minutes before dinner is ready to get the big kids cleaning their rooms while I tackle the big projects. I kindly say, “Ok everyone. Let’s clean our rooms.”  They comply by slowly lowering their heads and just trudging to their rooms. Meanwhile, I’m running back to check on dinner and finish cleaning up the kitchen.  Suddenly after about 5 minutes, the screaming starts. (this following part is exactly what happened this weekend). Titus was putting books on his shelf to find one of Neela’s animal books in his room. Neela likes to cut corners when she’s cleaning (don’t we all), so she sometimes throws things on Titus’s floor for him to clean up. Titus was furious. He chunked the book from his room into their room. Of course it was an amazing throw and hit Neela in the chest. Neela retaliated by dumping out the toys he just cleaned up. So they were fighting now. The whole time I’m talking loudly from the kitchen “Guys, I’m cooking and cleaning. Please don’t fight. Just please clean your rooms” And here comes my oldest with her “broken leg” routine. She has this amazing power where she can break her leg and heal it within a matter of minutes. Both of these occur with only the power of her mind. I’ve finally got Titus and Neela calmed down to see Stevie literally dragging herself all the way from her room on her stomach using only her arms to claw and cling to any big household objects she can reach and pull from. She informs me that she has a broken leg and is in too much pain to clean. Trying to balance my frustration about the lack of actual cleaning that has taken place and the urge to bust out laughing, I tell her that she will still have to clean. She begrudgingly scoots her body around 180 degrees and slowly drags herself back to her room. 

So I finished up dinner and the kitchen (well, close enough) and go to start on the living room. However before I do, I perform a quick peek to  see the progress of the kids rooms. Granted it’s only been 30 minutes, but I’m hoping some progress has been made. I walk in Titus’s room to actually find it pretty clean. The floor is clean and his bed is made. Under closer examination, he apparently thought of a genius idea for cleaning. He dumped all of the clothes out of his dresser drawers and stuffed them in his toy chests and stuck his toys in his clothes dresser. He was super proud of how clever this idea was. “Dad, I can pick out my clothes so much faster now!” So I just shrugged my shoulders, smiled, and said “It looks great buddy.”

And then I walked over to the girls room, Stevie is literally still scooting around on her stomach. HAHAHA. I’m dying laughing as I type this because the image in my brain is too funny. Ok, what she is doing is picking up one pokemon card at a time with her teeth, then dragging herself across the room and extending her neck like a giraffe and stacking each card up one by one on her bedside end table. After 30 minutes, she had stacked 6 cards (out of about 200 on the floor). I had to walk out of the room so she wouldn’t see me laughing. Neela on the other hand is just staring out of the bedroom window. When I went back in the room I asked, “Neela, why aren’t you cleaning?” Her reply was “Dad! I see an ant on the window. Can I keep him. He is a digger ant and his name is Dylan.” “Well,” I asked again, “Why aren’t you cleaning?” Neela responded “Oh. I didn’t know we were cleaning today.” I just kind of walk away to check on Olive. Apparently, she dumped about a container of 1000 plastic beads and has been throwing the "too big to vacuum" beads into the carpet ever since this whole cleaning event started.

In closing, my kids have been stepping up their game as of late. The other day Titus walked up to me and whispered in my ear “Daddy, come follow me. I have a surprise”. He cleaned up both bathrooms and his room without being told. I was so proud. Also, the girls have been taking on more responsibilities as well. One of my favorite stories about my girls is that one day last winter I remember being absolutely exhausted. Like couldn’t stand up. It was still early in the full time work/full time single dad life, so I was still adjusting. Anyways, I remember after dinner I just kind of crashed on the couch. I didn’t mean to fall asleep, but I did. I woke up like 20 minutes later to see my girls cleaning and making me a “cake”. I asked what they were doing. They told me that they were going to take care of me that night like I took care of them so good. I still remember that moment so vividly. It was one of the moments that I knew that God was showing me I could do this and that my kids were the best ever.

Giving daddy a break

The "cake" they made. Grapes, Apples, and Baked Chip's floating in water.
 They are trying to keep me thin ;)


1 comment:

  1. I also do dishes from time to time, and start my day off with doing them. But I still find time to do other activities so I'm going pretty good.