Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Unpopular, unloved and undelighted

"You should write that you're totally unfair," Meelyn groused as I sat down to write this post. So please add 'unfair' to the list above in the title.

Why am I unfair? Because I am making my beautiful, strong, sturdy young daughters help me spring clean our house.* Why? Because it builds their character and helps them have strong teeth -- all that gnashing, you know.

We cleaned the living room and foyer Monday and Tuesday. That cleaning involved wiping down all wooden furniture plus the stair rail and the part of the stairs not covered by carpet, washing the glass in the curio cabinet and dusting the shelves and figurines within, dusting silk plants (I kill the real kind) and other activities that brought a snarl to their lovely lips and dire threats of further manual labor to mine.

Today was their breaking point, however. Their assignment was to tackle the two big bookshelves in the dining/study room and they both chose to forget that one of my requirements for bookshelves is that the books be ordered from tall to short, left to right. It's just how I roll. I told them this on Monday. I told them this on Tuesday. So here we are on Wednesday and they acted like I'd made this job up on the fly to persecute and annoy them. Aisling, who like her mother before her doesn't have the sense to just shut up and get on with it, whined and complained and forced two large, salty drops out of her tear ducts and tested me to the point, after two fair warnings, to say in a calm and pleasant voice, "Don't you wish you'd just minded me? Because now? You're in trouble."

Meelyn remained tight-lipped, shooting me a couple of hard glances that I chose to ignore only because she didn't have the courage to actually meet my eyes and turned her withering gaze away every time I looked in her direction. I coached them through the task and the bookshelves look absolutely beautiful.

Now that they're finished and no longer need my constant supervision, it's time for me to get my own task started, which is taking the display items out of the china cabinet and washing them, wiping down the shelves and shining the glass, then going over the whole body of the piece with the brush attachment on the vacuum, which I find removes dust from carving and other crevices much more efficiently than even a Swiffer.

To keep myself company, I plan to shed a couple of angry tears, shoot myself wicked glances, whine several remarks about how this just isn't faaaaaaaiiiiiir and then punish myself by sending me upstairs to spend time alone in my room, reflecting on my many sins. Or maybe reading my library book.

That'll teach me.


*I am writing this all down so that I'll have it as a handy reference next year. This year, the girls refused to admit that we'd done any spring cleaning last year, even though I clearly remember hauling furniture out from the walls so that we could sweep under it ("Hey! There's that piece of candy that fell out of my mouth that I never could find later!" said Aisling in delight) and going around the edges of all the vinyl floors in the house -- upstairs and downstairs bathrooms -- with scrub brushes.

1 comment:

Kbg said...

OOOOHHHHH...a nice clean shiny house...can I come and drool? I have been putting off the really special spring cleaning until I can open all the windows and doors...because it just feels really good to do it that way...but so far those few days I have been teaching all day. Soon...oh, soon...I can't wait! Until then, enjoy yours for me, okay?