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Spring Cleaning in August

I realize I am a little late for Spring cleaning. It is August. I wish I could just shove the whole house into the dishwasher and be done with it.

I like doing housework. I always did. In BC (Before Children) I'd clean the house from top to bottom in four hours. Only stopping for a can of Pepsi and a DeMaurier Light. Remember smoking? Back when we took fifteen minute breaks every hour or so to have our smoke. Then we quit smoking and had no reason to take a break.

I am nocturnal too. I like starting my cleaning around ten P.M. and go till about two or three A.M. That's why my kids sleep better if there is a vacuum going.

Then babies came along. We sold our small compact, easy-to-clean, one bathroom house and bought a much bigger three bathroom house. Three toilets to clean! What the hell was I thinking?

Anyway, I began my Spring cleaning in August by shining up the front windows. Taking off the tape left from Halloween decorations and Christmas wreath.... Christmas wreath! How the hell did that slip by me? Half of me wants to leave it up and get an early start on next year. The other half says you've tortured the neighbours enough, take it down.

Next room was my tween-aged daughter's. Now, normally I make her clean her own room but every now and then I do go through it like the Tasmanian Devil just so the fire department doesn't condemn the house. I open the door and the smell of hairspray and nail polish is enough to take you off your feet. I believe that's why she acts like a zombie and her pupils are slightly dilated in the mornings. I push my way through the shopping bags on the floor, clothes thrown all over the room and try to open the curtain to let some light in. I can only assume this is what a crack house looks like on the inside. There's no way I can do this on my own.

A thought crosses my mind! Maybe I should call the insurance company and tell them our house was broken into! I’ll say “They didn't steal anything, they just ransacked the place.” Maybe they'll send a cleaning crew. Then reason kicks in and I realize it's not worth jail-time.

Jail-time: Lying in bed all day, having someone else cook and clean for you while I finish my university degree in peace. Universities should use that as a recruiting strategy. “Where did you finish your Degree? In jail. Paid for by the Government.” The fumes are getting to me too. I have to get out of here.

Son's room is like a museum. He never moves anything in this room because he lives in the basement playing video games. There's only a layer of dust. The cat jumps up on his dresser and walks across. I notice his tail is leaving a trail of clean. Maybe I should tie a dust-cloth to his tail and he can take care of the room. It's not worth the scratches. I close the door, it will be another week or two before you can write your name in the dust. It's not an "Urgent" clean.

Our bedroom is cleanish. I do dust once a week and run the Swiffer over the hardwood floor. It only takes fifteen minutes. I get to hubby's side of the bed. Socks on the floor. Socks on the floor!!!

We've been living in this house for twelve years and he still can't figure out what the wicker basket in the bedroom is for. I can't tell you how many times I've shown him how to take the cover off and put the damn socks inside. He says, "I leave them on the floor in case there's an emergency in the middle of the night. That way I know where they are."

What emergency? So if someone breaks in while we're asleep hubby will jump out of bed, pull on his socks and confront the thief! When he slides across the hardwood in only his underwear and socks the poor crook will think he's being confronted by Tom Cruise and run like Katie Holmes.

Maybe he has a point there.

I tried having a house-cleaner. I gave up. I spent the whole day before cleaning because I didn't want this stranger to think we were dirty.

The older I get the less I care how the house looks. I have never actually had anyone come in my house and notice the scuffed floors or try to write their name in the dust on my dresser. Now that I am in my 50s, spring cleaning to me means sitting on my back patio sipping tea and brushing the pollen off my jeans.

Oh well, at least the Christmas wreath is down. The neighbour will be happy tomorrow.

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