Cleanliness is next to godliness

mr-cleanI don’t really believe that. If I did then this mama would pretty much be heading to hell in a hand basket. For the life of me, I can’t seem to motivate to clean and straighten on a consistent basis (the only things I do well are cooking and laundry). Instead, I see the smudges, the fingerprints, the crumbs, the syrup stain and they bug me, but not enough to go after them right away. I like to tell myself that I’m fending off any OCD tendencies that may lie latent in me, but who am I kidding? Me? OCD? Have you seen my minivan?

I clean in flurries. Today I had a flurry. Not the kind of flurry that would be detectable to the book club ladies who came over last night. This was a flurry of unsung cleaning – behind the scenes, non-showy, back to the way it’s supposed to be cleaning. And during my flurry, I got to musing.

I cleaned walls and in doing so I discovered hand and FOOTprints in places that can only mean one thing: my children are secretly training to be ninjas.

I did laundry and there is no longer any point in denying the fact that my first born has reached the age where his dirty clothes stink. Like stink stink. Like sweaty locker room, cheese feet, body odor funk-a-nasty.  I’m afraid the innocuous biscuity sweat smell of a kid is a thing of the past. P.U., child!

It really does help to time yourself. It sounds silly, but Lady Tabouli turned me onto this little trick. You’d be amazed at how much you can get done in 10 minutes. If you had asked me how long it takes me to empty the dishwasher, I would have said 20 to 30 minutes. I HATE emptying the dishwasher. It is an exquisite torture to me. But when I looked at the clock I was shocked to discover it takes less than 5 minutes. If I’m flying, I can do it in 2. Two minutes! Sometimes I race the microwave heating a cup of tea. It seems I am not too smart for myself and quite susceptible to all manner of self-administered tricks and mind games.

I am a frustrated perfectionist – a  term I picked up from a birth order book that Gigi the Animal Whisperer lent me years ago. Being a first born, I have all the makings of a Type A personality. I have high standards, I like order and perfection. But I’m a titch lazy, so I don’t have the goods to back it up. I’d like every thing to be perfect and clean, but it’s just so boring to get it that way. Boring. BOOOORRRRRING! Ug. So boring. So I sort of wallow around in limbo, wishing it could be so, but dreading making it so. There are so many better things to do with my time, so I just do them.

And wait for a flurry.

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