Trying to clean the house with these boys in it is like trying to keep an ice cream cone from melting in 95-degree weather. You get so close to keeping it all cleaned up, but then you turn around and there’s a mess in three different places. At least with the ice cream cone, you get a sweet treat and feel at least a little satisfaction. With cleaning, you just feel like you should go bang your head off the wall for fifteen minutes because it would be more productive.
The one place that always seems to have dirt is the entryway. I have a very nice, handmade rug there for little hineys to sit on and be comfortable while putting shoes on and off, and secretly that rug was supposed to keep the dirt in one central location. You put your shoes on while on the rug, and you take your shoes off while on the rug. How hard is that? But then one realized that he doesn’t have his iPad. And then the other realized that he doesn’t have his Thomas. And the first one realized that he still has his shoes on while trying to find the iPad, so he kicks them off where he’s standing; I swear that makes more of a mess than keeping them on while on the great iPad hunt because he slams them down once they’re off, which forces all of the dirt and grime and boy-stuff out onto the floor, rather than just having quick footprints from Point A to Point B. And then the second one realized that it makes lot of noise when you slam your shoes down on the floor, so he does it too. As hard as he can. A dozen times. AAAAHHHHH!
Another place that always seems to be filthy is the refrigerator door handles. The little one can barely get the door open, and he has this nifty trick of grabbing the handle with his left hand, putting his right hand dangerously near the hinges, and sort of swinging until he gets the fridge open. This means there is a trail of handprints left behind because he “slid” down the handle, PLUS two foot marks on the lower freezer door because that’s his ending point. Similarly, the big one opens the fridge whenever he wants something, which is almost always, and he seems to have to grab the handle five times until he finds just the right spot to hold on and get the fridge to open. That’s five sets of handprints for every one time of opening the door. That’s not good math if you’re me.
And then there’s the front of the dishwasher and the floor around it. I’m pretty sure that if you are my child, you had to agree to the condition that you cannot put down your plate or cup or flatware until AFTER you’ve already opened the dishwasher. So, anything on said plate, cup, or flatware now is being fashionably worn by the front of the dishwasher and the floor. Oh, and there’s a good chance that you then step in the mess on the floor and continue walking to whatever your destination was in the first place, so there is a trail of sticky or wet footprints from the kitchen to somewhere in the house. Thank you, dear children, for making me so lucky that I get to play treasure hunt every day for the offending feet.
Oh, and who could forget the actual toys themselves? If we have a toy that isn’t covered in milk, Silk, juice, or what-is-this-curiously-sticky-substance-that-smells-like-old-socks-and-is-the-color-of-tar, I’d be totally shocked.
My favorite dirty spots are the windows. You can tell which child is the culprit, of course, judging from the height of the finger art. They don’t just use their fingers and hands, either. Sometimes I get lip prints and nose prints and face prints. Oftentimes, I get trails of Cheerio-covered fingerprints the entire length of the window. They’re sticky and a little too greasy for being caused by a boy and his Cheerios, and when they’re really fun, they have tiny grains of the Cheerios stuck in them, for extra scrubbing power pleasure.
I love our boys, and I still wouldn’t trade them for the princess-following, everything-pink girls that so many of our friends have. They just mess up our home and make my cleaning job infinitely harder than it needs to be. I don’t know where all of the dirt and grime associated with them comes from, but I can tell you that every time that I clean, I find myself saying repeatedly and with gusto, “What the Hell?”
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