Monthly Archives: August 2014

Scrub a dub

The Man of My Dreams and I are alike in many ways. We both hate mushrooms. We both love old stuff nobody else wants. But we are also different, which is how things work, right? Here’s a way we are different: When it comes to cleaning, I am a straightener. He is a scrubber.

That means, in practice, that I keep the Fun Apartment from looking like a storage unit / Devil’s library and he cleans things that are gross, and does not shudder. It also means that before someone comes over to visit, our conversations go something like this:
Me: Dinner guests will be here in 30 minutes! I’ve got to stack all these books, gather the newspapers, fish the underpants out of the bathtub, clear off the counters, and do the dishes!
MOMD: Great! I’ll scrub the floor under the refrigerator!

Training, people. It takes training. And I do think you need both a straightener and a scrubber in the house. Lately most of the scrubbing falls to me, because of the weekend directive.* And I am not terrifically good at it. But I did buy myself a mop for my birthday. I was thinking that it would help to make mopping the floors more than an annual event.

(Hyperbole, you are telling yourselves. Exaggeration for the sake of humor. To which I reply: Err. . . .yeah.)

I had not thought about what cleaning personalities the boys have, beyond “frustratingly little.” At least, based on the fact that they can dump out a bin of dinosaurs and then immediately lose the ability to see those dinosaurs, it’s unlikely they are straighteners.

But yesterday, I discovered that perhaps they are scrubbers. Based on some early enthusiasm, I bought them each a little spray bottle and animal themed mitten washcloth for cleaning. So yesterday, I mixed a very simple, kid-friendly vinegar and water spray, and set them to work in the bathroom. Spray and scrub. Spray and scrub.

Actually, it was more spray spray spray spray spray spray spray spray spray spray spray and scrub. But still. It was cleaning. It put us all to work toward one goal — clean bathroom. And it worked. They cleaned the tile and the toilet while I cleaned the woodwork and bathtub. I actually tried to hold them back from cleaning the toilet, until I realized that it is possible that I will never have to do that job again! (To be fair, cleaning the toilet would not need to be done that often if there was any aim in their game.) I feel like a damn genius! And the bathroom smells like a chip shop!

Does this violate child labor laws? Or child pornography laws?

Does this violate child labor laws? Or child pornography laws?

I think I’m on to something here. . . . A fun afternoon resulted in a clean bathroom.
Why a clean bathroom, you ask?

Grandma. Is. Coming.

*The weekend directive, for the Man of My Dreams is basically this: Take the kids somewhere. For several hours.

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Filed under Home Ec

I shall return

At long last, we have reclaimed the Fun Apartment!

Actually, I’m not sure if stumbling in at 2 am, and dumping armloads of cheap Midwestern groceries on the kitchen floor can be called reclaiming. But guess what: the Fun Apartment has never been a more welcome and awe-inspiring sight! Sure, it has the same crap strewn all over, and the same storage issues, but it’s our crap and they’re our storage issues, and the place looks like heaven!

(All of you who bet good money on us never returning to this cluttered and dusty paradise can now hand it over. Suckers.)

The boys were delighted to see all their toys. They were restrained (with difficulty) from playing with them upon our 2 am triumphal entrance. But bright and early the next morning, mere hours later, they had taken out every. single. one. of. them. Luckily, this occupation held their attention while I tried to remember where I keep things, like the milk and my ATM card.

Here’s something interesting about spending such a long time in spacious places. It seemed like wherever we stayed, the boys instantly found a tiny, cozy corner and claimed it as their own. They would find a corner behind a chair, or a closet and fall instantly in love. Then they’d move all their stuff in. They also expressed deep initial reservations about doing such terrifying activities as “going upstairs to get their pants,” and “going outside to play,” and “asking Grandpa to make them some bacon.”

Feels like home.

Feels about right.

I know, I know. My eye probably got all stretched out taking in all that open space while we were away, but it seems to have snapped right back. I will reiterate what I have always thought about living in the Fun Apartment: It’s not much, but it’s home.

That's what the Fun Apartment needs: A rubber room!

Just what the Fun Apartment needs: A rubber room!

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Filed under Living Small, The outside world