Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me!

I was thinking yesterday that my floor needs a good mopping, so I remembered to pick up some more Swiffer Wet Jet refills at the store today. Then, Teagan reached up for the microwaved, seasoned potatoes-in-a-bag just before I served them onto her plate for tonight's dinner, and the tasty russet chunks rolled all over my dusty floor. So! This is how it always happens for me--I get an inkling to clean something just before I absolutely have to, and think, "Good thing I hadn't just washed that floor!"

Tonight, I set the children's towels on the toilet lid as my babes happily splashed in the tub. As I turned away for about 30 seconds, Teagan reached over & pulled the towels right into the bath with her brother and herself. They are due for a wash, anyway, so I tossed them into the machine right away & retrieved two new towels for the kids, which I threw into the dryer to get warm & cozy. When the children finally extracted their wrinkled toes & fingers from the sudsy water, I wrapped them up in toasty, clean linens.

Two nights ago I knew it was time to put a fresh set of sheets on the bed. I am the only one sleeping there most of the time (with Tom in town an occasional weekend, and the kids crawling in to wake me at dawn, I say most of the time), so when I feel those tell-tale wrinkles come on, I think to myself, "Well, it has been about long enough--" and I pull a fresh set off the closet shelves. But it was yesterday afternoon when Teagan jumped in her rain boots onto the still-unmade-bedsheets that sealed the deal: unwrap the edges, roll all into a ball, plop into the hamper, and spread the fresh set smoothly across. Then, remind Dear Daughter that shoes come off at the front door, and are never to be anywhere on Mommy's bed. (Again, am I ever glad I hadn't just changed those sheets!

So, I have read (several times) the Fly Lady's proposals for scheduled chores & cleaning--I have put her clean-the-sink rule in place in the upstairs bathroom (as opposed to the kitchen sink)--but as a currently-solo momma, I find that the it-must-be-done-now rule seems to fit my family the best. I have no relief in a 16-hour day, so putting myself on a daily routine of, "It's Tuesday! Time to wash the clothes," is depressing to me. That would force me to look at the undone prescheduled tasks every day & berate myself, or lose it when something I've just checked off the list gets undone so quickly. "No! You may not drop glitter all over the floor--yesterday was vacuum the dining room day!" I prefer this: there is a full bag of dirty diapers? Oh! That's a good reason to throw them into the wash so Teagan isn't diaper-free tomorrow! Cannot find a certain utensil because it's in the pile to the left of the sink? I guess it's time to tackle the dishes! Either way, I know a woman's job is never done, so why weigh myself down with charts & lists that force me, unnaturally, into a pattern that I cannot control?

Now, I need to sign off to mop the greasy floor, throw the diapers into the dryer & fold tonight's towels, (the dryer buzzer is going off as I speak)!

To Motherhood!

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