I've mentioned it before, but I really hate cleaning. I always have - the rewards are so temporary. By picking up, making a bed, cleaning the floor, you've changed nothing, really. It's such a fleeting sense of satisfaction, a short burst of ain't this nice. Before kids, before I was home all day, my messiness was a source of annoyance. But I was able to explain it away. Oh, I'm too busy at work to keep my desk clean, I have better things to do. Fun things await me. Now I feel as if it defines me. This messiness is me. It deflates me, pulls me down. It's just always there, IN MY FACE. The list of things to do that I don't want to do. And then, when I do it, like I said above. It's SO temporary. And no, I'm not that person that coincides happily with her mess. No, I can't find where everything is, yes, it does bother me. I'm just not that good at it. Keeping up after the mess, that is. And I wish I could tell you that this blog is the blog of a before and after. You know, "I was a slob, then I saw the light and look how fabulous my life is now. I changed my life, you can to, just read my blog and click on the ads, and you too will be a converted ex-slob." Nope, that's not going to happen. Stop by again in another year, and I'll still be bitching about the mess in my house.
So my impromptu visit to my neighbor's house was especially maddening to me. We have a new neighbor that moved in next door. We have two things in common: 1) we are both new to the neighborhood 2) We are both stay at home Mom's with kids similar in ages. Her kids are 4,2 and 7 months. Her older kids are girls. Since they've moved in, we've met up in the yards several times for spur of the moment playdates. Her kids have knocked on our back door a few times, and D1 has shown up in their yard even more.
So on Friday D1 wants to knock on their front door. I say yes, figuring if they aren't busy they will say meet us in the backyard. I mean to this point we haven't actually been in each others homes, why would we start now? So D1 rings the bell and Mommy neighbor answers and says they are just getting ready to go out, but they have a few minutes so why don't we come upstairs. UPSTAIRS? Who invites near strangers UPSTAIRS?? So I suck in my breath, thinking, "Wow, She must be really secure or really laid back to let us UPSTAIRS" As we climb the steps I start to panic "what is this, no toys, no shoes, no CRAP on the way up?" Then we are up, in the bedroom the two older girls share. And it is CLEAN. Toys are not strewn on the floor, clothes are not hanging out of the dressers. It's clean. THE UPSTAIRS.
Did I mention this was an unplanned visit? So then Mommy neighbor invites me on a tour, to see the rest of the newly painted house. The master bedroom - the bed is made. Even into the master bath. It's clean, too. No little handprints on the mirror. Hubby hasn't left the newspaper by the shitter. Nothing. It's clean.
Did I mention this was an unplanned visit? Then back to the downstairs. The family room has a few toys neatly put away. The kitchen doesn't have any dirty dishes. No nasty food dried to the floor. It's clean, and did I mention this was an unplanned visit?
I went home, shuddering as I entered the family room, with a floor so littered with toys and kids clothes that the stained carpet was barely visible. My insides shook as I walked into the kitchen, with a sink full of dirty dishes, and bread crusts still under the table. "I'm a failure" I thought. " can't do this. I would absolutely flourish under the tutelidge of a live in maid. Life isn't fair."
And so for the rest of the evening, and into the next very rainy day I sulked. Barely cleaned a thing. Then in the evening I went to Targhay and found what I was pretty sure would change my life. Itso cubes are these 15x15 white cubes that EASILY hook together in a number of ways. You can also buy all sorts of accessories: extra shelves, bins, doors, casters, etc. So I bought twelve of them, plus a number of accessories. I brought them home and overhauled the playroom. Donated a bunch of toys, threw out a bunch of trash, even scrubbed the floor. Then I placed the Itso cubes neatly in the open door closet. Organized all the toys but function. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. And so neat, organized, clean.
Then came today, I was going to tackle the messes and the dirt head on. I was optimistic once again. And I tried, lord did I try. But D1 & D2 just loved their new playroom. Loved it so much, they couldn't get enough of it. Or out of it. I don't know how many times I picked up toys and put them back into their designated ITSO cube. Countless times I took toys out of the family room and back to their cozy home. And I did, I tried to pick up all the food from under the table after lunch, and I even cleaned up D1's bedroom. I really, honestly put in a good fight.
So guess what? It's 9:00 pm and their are toys strewn all over the house, dinner debris is all over the kitchen floor and the dishes are piled up in the sink. And I just hate the thought of going back down there and cleaning it ONE MORE TIME. Only to start over again tomorrow.