House-Cleaning, Before and After

Before: children with buns in their hair. Disastrous rooms. Witness the art table (not pictured), its top layered with multiple unrelated items, all craving to be organized and placed back into respective boxes. Sunday afternoon this was what I did, while Kevin tackled the (quite possibly worse) job of cleaning the basement. I ran up and down stairs carrying handfuls of beads, lego, playmobil bits, crayons, garbage, ribbons, matchbox cars, pretend food, masks, dirty socks, you name it. The job tasked my brain. Would I have the strength to complete it, to care enough to complete it? Finally, by about 8pm, the house was clean enough that we could invite someone else to clean it for us. We’d stopped briefly for Chinese take-out, laughing over our fortunes. Mine said that children would bring me contentment. Albus’s that his charms would sway the masses. Kevin’s that he would find his inner Buddha. Fooey’s that greatness is always misunderstood. Can’t recall the rest offhand. We briefly thought that CJ had eaten his, then Apple-Apple pretended to eat hers. This was a good family supper, and we lingered. Then, we were back at the cleaning frenzy. Now, if only we had someone to invite over to clean the cleaned-up rooms for us …
Yesterday, after supper, I noticed the bathroom floor. Generally speaking, it is not a good thing if one notices the floor. Hmm, this could stand to be cleaned properly, thought I. About half an hour later, I got my wish. Note: wishes are not always fulfilled in the ways one imagine they might be. Do not try to replicate this method. Allowing one’s daughter to plug up the shower drain with a washcloth–don’t. Also don’t leave daughter with stopped-up drain and running water completely unsupervised (while helping son practice piano, and other daughter get some mommy-time, while dad gives toddler his bath). Just don’t. You might be tempted to, because you can’t be in three places at once, and because your dirty floor will forthwith be ever so clean … but resist temptation. Please.
You see where I’m going with this.
You see the towels pictured above. Yes. There was overflow. Yes, it was impressive, flood-like, and went unnoticed until it was discovered washing in waves across the kitchen floor and pouring like a waterfall into the basement and onto the appliances, the washer, the drier, the freezer …
Suffice it to say, the parents wielded mops and towels frantically, whilst the children retreated upstairs and fended for themselves. They kept their heads. This bodes well for their future survival in times of crisis. The older ones procured snacks (bananas and apples) and with a little teamwork diapered CJ and dressed him in pajamas (diaper on backwards, but otherwise impressively secured). It was heartening. And we rescued the appliances in time. And we won’t have to re-dry-wall the basement walls.
And the bathroom floor? It almost sparkles.

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