Musings on Housework

Dirty laundry is no one’s friend.  I put it in a pile where it simmers, grows bigger and eventually starts creeping its way down to the basement stairs.  If I take the pile downstairs and wash it, I will come back up to find another pile already growing.  I have been trying to teach my family to bring their dirty clothing to the kitchen and put it onto the pile.  There is some success with the kids but not with Chris yet.  Here is a scary thing that happens in the laundry area.  It might be that our basement appliances are haunted, or perhaps we placed our washer and dryer in a black hole area.  I will wash and dry several pairs of socks, yet when the dryer is finished only left socks are there.  One time along with all our unmatched socks the dryer gifted me with a cute, soft little tiny pair of pink baby booties.  Problem is, my youngest child is seven.  My landlord upstairs has kids but they are teenagers.  The houses on either side of us do not have infants either.  Somewhere, there is a dead tired, stressed out new mom staring into her dryer at a bunch of right socks, wondering where the booties have gone.

In a moment of insanity Chris and I decided to buy a Roomba.  Why fight with a vacuum cleaner when a little circle robot could putter around all day, cleaning up my rugs and floors?  Three hundred dollars later we had a little bright red robot with flashing lights and the cutest little beeps.  When you turned it on it would circle around and around the house, eating up crumbs, dust balls,etc.  I noticed there were a few glitches with it.  It liked to chase the children and circle around their feet madly.  This was unnerving to Mark and he threatened to stomp it to death anytime I turned it on in his presence.  The other thing it started to do was I would turn it on, it would circle around casually for a minute or two, then spin itself under a couch, chair or bed and never come back.  Sometimes it had tried to eat something that was too big, like a shoe, or it would get hopelessly tangled in a ribbon or a forgotten pair of underwear (don’t ask, I have learned not to) and then it starts to give a rather pitiful sounding beep until it is saved.  Most of the time however it just waits until I leave the room to do something and then hides under a bed or couch and shuts itself off.  I cannot tell you how many times i lost the Roomba.  I would search under everything and not find it.  Then I would have to admit to Chris when he got in that I lost the stupid thing.  Eventually Melissa would find it buried under her bed amid old discarded toys, or Chris would find it snuggled underneath his dirty laundry. When it is found and plugged back into its usual recharge spot, I swear the little beep it gives is very sarcastic and I know it is meant for me.

Dusting is one of my favorite chores.  Its right under jumping off a high wall and landing headfirst onto a tack.  I have tried to come up with many excuses not to dust.  Such as, it’s a great way to save paper, you can just write a message onto a dusty surface.  Problem with that is the messages my kids leave on the dust are not anything a sane person wants to read. For a while I came up with what I thought was a great idea.  I bought a large and very colorful feather duster.  Melissa instantly fell in love with it and asked if she could be in charge of dusting.  Score!  Except her version of dusting was similar to letting a hurricane do the job.  As pictures crashed down, small knick knacks fell behind things that cannot be moved, and dust cyclones were so thick that it drove Chris, Mark and I right out of the house.   So I came up with a compromise on dusting.  Whenever anyone wanders in, looks about then says, ‘Didn’t you have pictures of the kids inside those frames?”  I put two left socks onto my hands, slightly wet them and I drag my hands across everything in the house until someone says, “Oh wow, I didn’t know the television screen could be so colorful and Mom, look, I have a shelf of stuff!  I thought it went away to visit our right socks!”

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