When I gave birth to my fourth child...well, I sorta lost it. I just couldn't keep up with anything. I remember the day Robby rushed out of the door for work, leaving me at home with a baby, a 2 year old, 4 year old and a 6 year old. He promised me that he would "have help for me" by the end of the day.
My husband found a little old lady who lived right down the road from us and she agreed to come in and help me get my house cleaned and laundry caught up. Then, she just started baby-sitting when we needed it and when I returned to school to finish my degree, she was there for me to leave Caitlin with. As the years went on and I started teaching, the kids were getting older and making even bigger messes and dirtying more clothes. The little old lady who had worked for us for years had passed away and I hired someone else. And then, when all of the kids left home, I decided, "I can do this, myself!" HA! There was just one little problem with that plan; I am just a little obsessive to be doing my own cleaning.
I realize that some of you are most likely thinking, "Yea...what an excuse", but let me explain. You see, I love to have a clean house, but when I clean it, I get a little carried away. "How so?", you ask. Well, for example, I can spend 2 hours just cleaning MY bathroom! Yea, I'm usually still not satisfied with the job at that point; I simply have to move on for 2 reasons: My time is running out on cleaning the rest of the house and my hands are completely shriveled up by that time. And even if it takes me 2 hours on just one bathroom (I have 3...), I don't want to quit cleaning until EVERYTHING is done...in the same day. And so, I don't clean my own house; the Merry Maids do!
Well, the Merry Maids clean my house, but when we purchased our lake house, I decided that I could handle that. It was pretty big, but HEY! It's a lake house, after all. Today, I got up early and looked around. Although those Merry Maids kept my house cleaned on a regular basis, I wasn't doing such a great job on the lake house. Give me a break here...I HAVE been busy, after all (I make excuses too...). Next weekend, Ryan was going to be entertaining some people there, so I decided that I would get busy and clean the entire house! I went through and dusted every piece of furniture, swept the floors, cleaned all 3 three bathrooms (a job I have hated since adolescence...), cleaned the mirrors and windows, vacuumed all 6 bedrooms; I even polished up all the kitchen appliances. I was SO excited to be finishing up...all I had left to do was mop. That's where this little tale turns grim...
I had already been working all day and only eaten breakfast. I was not only hungry, but also in desperate need of a shower. I walked to the closet where I keep my cleaning supplies to get the mop and...the mop was missing the sponge part on it. I looked out the window and noticed that Robby was cleaning his boat. I carried my sponge-less mop down to the dock and asked, "Do you know what happened to the sponge that goes on my mop?" "It looks like it's missing", he said. UGH...no kidding! Then I looked and said, "What is that you're cleaning your boat with?" He held out the missing mop sponge! He told me that he had found it in the mop bucket; it must have come off. Well, JUST GREAT! He tried to convince me to just do the mopping when I came back one day; there was NO WAY I was having any of that idea! I NEEDED to finish the job I had started (I told you I was a bit obsessive...). My only choice was to get a sponge, myself and HAND MOP all of the floors.
Now, I have heard my mother tell me about the days when she had to hand wax all of her floors and all I have to say about that is, I guess my floors just wouldn't have had any shine to them. I got on my hands and knees, and mind you, I was still in my pajamas at 2 O'clock! This final chore that I was looking forward to making it to was...OK, I'll admit it, a little RIDICULOUS! It took quite a bit more of my time than I had originally expected and I was COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED when that sponge sloshed across the last few inches of flooring.
Now, I LOVE a clean house. My lake house not only looked clean from top to bottom, it smelled clean too. It had only taken about 7 HOURS to get there, but I found that I was very satisfied. As I headed off for that long awaited shower, I doubted that I would be able to move the next day. But move I was gonna do...right on down to the store to BUY MYSELF A NEW MOP!