Friday, August 08, 2014

Chasing the elusive clean

I spent nearly the entire day yesterday cleaning  digging out the youngests' rooms. (That would be G., L., and K.) Both rooms had gotten so bad that no one could walk across the, much less play in them. Well, you could walk across K.'s, but that's because he employs the bulldozer approach to room cleaning. If the center of the room is clean, then it's all good, thus, he just pushes everything in the center into all the corners and he's done. The little girls don't even bother with clearing the center. They seem to be oblivious to the mess on the floor and just walk right across it. Of course, they have no other choice as there was no way to clear a path.

It was time to do something. I needed to be able to look in both rooms without having my blood pressure rise. Plus B. comes home this evening from his summer on the farm (hooray!) and since he shares a room with K., something needed to be done so he could live comfortably in the room.

Now, usually, when I clean a room, I have the child help me. It gives me a chance to begin to teach them to clean the room as opposed to push everything in the corners. But I've come to the conclusion that you just can't do major cleaning with five year olds. So, I put in a fun movie to distract the masses and, armed with garbage bags, set to work. The movie wasn't quite long enough and before I was done, in came my two little 'helpers' to see how I was getting along. It took some major distraction to keep them from burrowing through the baskets I was filling up with items that live elsewhere. "Why is this in here!?!?!??!" "This is my special _______!!!!!!!" Quickly seeing that if I didn't do something immediately my 1 1/2 hours of work was going to be undone in a matter minutes, I rushed them downstairs and fed them lunch. Then, lured with the promise of being allowed to make a mess paint with the watercolors, they stayed downstairs and out of my bags and baskets.

I then moved on to excavating K.'s room. He is old enough to help and he was actually helpful. We did this room quite a bit faster than G. and L.'s. I think there must be some unusual magnetic force in the room which sucks random items from the rest of the house into it. The amount of stuff that was residing in the corners which lived elsewhere was astounding. It's as though K. is some sort of mutant jackdaw.

Now the rooms are clean. I like to look into them and appreciate the order and cleanliness. The children have played in them non-stop since I finished. The trouble with living with so many children, though, is that they make room cleaning the household equivalent of playing Whack-A-Mole. Because I spent most of the day upstairs, the children spent the bulk of their day downstairs. Making messes. As I was walking by the living room last night I realized that the vortex of disorder, having been dislodged from the bedrooms had moved itself downstairs. I guess I'll be working on that later today.

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