When our five kids were growing up our house was always a mess. Footballs, basketball, dollhouses, a litter of kittens, an English Mastiff who drooled, an aquarium with a lizard in it, babies in strollers, trucks, hockey nets, and that was just the living room.
I kept a vacuum cleaner at the front door with a spray bottle of water hanging on it. If someone came to the door, I’d spray my face and turn on the vacuum. I’d swing the door open looking surprised. “Oh! I didn’t hear the bell! Whew! I’m working up a sweat cleaning here.” It worked every time, almost. My mother-in-law never fell for it.
I had many cleaning short cuts. I’d have the girls run up and down the carpet with their doll strollers, so it looked like vacuum lines. Bam! Living room looked clean!
I told the boys that there were miniature bugs on their muddy shoes. They were fast growing creatures so they better leave them outside and sweep off the front porch to prevent infestation. I even suggested they skate down the entrance hall in their socks to kill any loose bugs and quickly put those dirty socks in the washer. Bam! Front porch and hallway clean!
The bathrooms required some serious creativity on my part. I came up with the sinking pirate ship plan. They were allowed to throw small cups of bath water onto the floor and scream for help. “Ay Ay, Captain!” As luck would have it, the rescuers arrived by way of big rags to dry up the mess. If only grout cleaner wasn’t so hazardous! Bam! Bathroom almost clean!
Keeping their bedrooms clean was almost impossible. I think I gave birth to little hoarders. One even saved four ounce juice cans that were stacked in his picture window. The room had an orange/ pineapple aroma.
Dusting wasn’t dusting anymore. It was pretend you’re a teacher and write on the blackboard table. Now spray the blackboard cleaner (Endust) and wipe clean for the morning lessons. Voila! Coffee and end tables clean!
The kids are grown now. There are no more doll strollers to give my carpets a freshly vacuumed look. I thought about sweeping the front porch. I almost took a spill trying to skate in my socks down the hallway. I just don’t believe the Pirate Ship is sinking in my bathroom. I refuse to play the wipe the blackboards game, therefore the house is a tad dusty.
Oh it’s a sad day in Anne’s little house. It might be time to teach my husband how to run the doll strollers in the living room.