Wednesday, June 2, 2010

To Clean or Not to Clean

Have I mentioned I am the sole female in a house with 5 males? "Clean" becomes a relative term.

I talk about cleaning and needing to clean so much, my friends and acquaintances might think I walk around obsessed with dusting baseboards and polishing light fixtures.  Not so, dear readers, not so. In truth, my house usually looks like a tornado has hit it. Five tornados to be exact! ArtGuy is an artist, which he claims causes his brain to be so engaged with its creative side so that there is no room for the "practicalities" of life (in spite of the fact that he is now mainly a graphic artist, which is more technical and uses math skills frequently. While my math skills tend towards "creativity", that is usually frowned upon in math, so I am not buying the whole creative brain=messy life story, ArtGuy!).
The four little men in the house, in spite of intensive training in the fine art of scrubbing toilets and how to place books on a bookshelf, tend to imitate their father's cleaning styles. It is like trying to fight a rising tide. I do not think I ask for too much, really. I do not expect spotless rooms. All I want is respect for belongings and a clear path to the door.

Two days ago I took the Mad Toddler to the  boys bathroom to brush his teeth, and almost passed out. I called the offenders to the room. Cookie Boy and Romeo came with dewy innocence in their eyes. "Look", I shouted, pointing to the toilet. They looked, worried because my tone clearly said "mom is about to rage about something again", but confused as to what it could be. The toilet in question had such a large, aggressive  ring of black junk growing in it, I would personally be afraid it would bite my butt if I sat down there.  "Have you noticed this lately," I asked. Two heads nodded in the negative. How? Why? ICK!

Here is another good example - either my walls spontaneously grow buggers or my children think the words "walls" and "tissues" are interchangeable.

There may be an Ancient Egypt history project, art supplies, and a tadpole-that-is-determined-to-stay-a-tadpole-and-not-a-frog in the kitchen, but I swear it is clean in there! I clean the kitchen and living room every day, but five minutes later, you cannot tell. 

After the Hairy Black Toilet Incident the other day, I walked through my home, with the dismal realization that there is not one room that feels good, that feels clean and neat and orderly and comforting. It gets that way around here. I have decided that it is time to pay attention to my room. If I can get my room neat and put together, I will have at least one oasis in this house. We have lived here just under a year, and I have been healthy enough for the past six months. No more excuses! 

So in the interest of honest accounting, here is what my room looks now:
ArtGuy's Creatively Messy Side of the Room

A little bit of this and a little bit of that - things just get thrown in here!

 It will not look like this at the end of the week. That is a promise.


Patty said...

LOL!!! Glad you didn't show a pick of the toilet! LOL!!!

I often wonder how women of a mostly male household survive...

We've been cleaning for the past two days. I have to say, the girls are pretty good, but I want them to be effecient when they are women of the world...or convent.

Stacee said...

How funny - we had the same kind of thoughts this morning!! In our house, and in our last apartment, our room was a mess, but not so here, I will no longer allow my room to become the collective spot for everyone's "I don't know what to do with it" crap!! We thinned out so much stuff when we moved to Houston, so it's gotten easier, but I've had to get back on track with a few things and I'm trying flylady again (loosely of course, lol).

My mother was a clean freak, our home was always dustless and spotless - always!! But, I can't remember her ever spending time with us or playing with us. So, like I said on facebook - I'm a great mom, but a horrible housekeeper -- and I guess that's ok! (Though, yes, I do hope for a higher level of clean as the kiddos get older!!)

Maggie said...

My daughter's boyfriend has been coming over now that he's home from school, and he asked how our house is "always so clean?" My girl and I looked at each other and said, "He's a GUY."

texasmom said...

Stacee - I do not want to be a clean freak! It is funny you talked about growing up - I know I was a messy kid, so the fact that my kids are messy doesn't mean anything. I think it is homeschooling and the fact that we are around our stuff SOOO much! And, well, the Mad Toddler makes it all really difficult.
Maggie - haaa haaa haaa! Men! Honestly! Well, except my 2 brothers, who are manly men, but really clean.