Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Streaky Windows of My Soul

Rake Me, Please
The house had a bit of cleaning yesterday. For the most part, he was grateful for the scrub-down, although he seems to be a bit dissatisfied with some of the work. And why would that be? Because the kids all did a portion of it, albeit a small one.

How long does it take for one eight-year-old girl to clean a set of sliding glass doors? That depends on how one defines "clean." Let's say it's to the girl's satisfaction. Then, it takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. Why is that? Because she balls the paper towel into a compact, easy-for-her-to-hold form, and proceeds to rub and spray and rub and spray.

Having moved her to tears last week when she was "sweeping" the deck, and having used the immortal line, "Because your sweeping sucks," I had to keep my instructions to a minimum. I did manage to convince her to use more than one paper towel if she was going to use half a bottle of a boatload of a tad too much Windex.

The eldest was instructed to vacuum the stairs, a thrice-weekly (or more) ritual I habitually perform. [That dog of ours has got to be shaved!] We have many, many stairs in our house, and I was overly optimistic that he might get more than the 11 done that he did. Alas, the appeal of vacuuming is only as strong as the proximity of siblings and dog to whom you can attack with the hose.

The youngest was assigned the deck sweeping because, number one, the daughter refuses to go anywhere near a broom. (That's all right, though, because her sweeping really does suck.) Secondly, the eldest had grabbed the plum job of vacuuming other siblings the dog the stairs. Third, he was too slow on the "I want to do that" clamoring compared to the others.

I believe he managed to sweep several dozen leaves off the deck and onto the ground below. He might have even hit the 50-leaf mark, although I think that's only because a gust of wind aided him. In the end, after having vacuumed the dog, the eldest was sent out to finish the deck sweeping. He, too, tired before the job was done.

So what did I have to show for all of this activity on the part of my offspring? There are the streaky sliding glass doors, the hairy stairs and the leafy deck. Had they not cleaned yesterday, what would we all be looking at today? Yes, that's right, streaky doors, hairy stairs and leafy decks. Because whether they clean -- or I clean -- it all just gets dirty again. But they are collectively four marbles closer to Discovery Kingdom. And I performed a bit of parental duty yesterday.


Anonymous said...

I actually read part of this aloud in my office because I found it so funny. Our new house has all this glass and I don't even let my almost eight year old clean it. :) I just felt like it wouldn't do much good. However I do have an outrageous window cleaning product I just LOVE! I'll try and tell you about it!

jenica said...


yes, dearest, your sweeping DOES suck! so something i would say and then regret and then probably say again.

i laughed through the whole post. but hey, at least they tried. they'll get it eventually. ;-D

Anonymous said...

There is just so much that falls into the category of "easier to do it myself", isn't there?

Thank you for your comment on my last post -- I really appreciate the support.

Scribbit said...

Yes, very funny post. :)


I mentioned to Eldest the other night that I had a fairly wide open day Friday. Writer that he is, he wondered if I would perhaps like a wri...