I find myself looking at my dear, sweet husband from time to time and in desperation and hopelessness asking, "Did Brynna do this?" I wonder if that's true of all parents of more than one child. "Did Brynna become a heathen when she was teething? I don't remember. It seems like she was just sad and pouty." "Did Brynna ever try to eat diaper rash cream? It seems like something a child would only try once. Like licking deodorant." "Did Brynna just throw all the food from her high chair on the floor when she was done eating? I don't remember this much sweeping."
And most recently, "Did Brynna become suddenly and terrifyingly obsessed with removing things from other things? I may lose my mind."
I've been cleaning for Thanksgiving. I am giving up entirely on the concept of spring cleaning. As I seem to only invite people over in the autumn, I am officially changing my house to a Fall Cleaning House.
I don't keep a perfect house. You should know this. Should you drop by, there will be toys on the floor, shoes by the door, coats thrown over the backs of chairs. There will probably be dishes in the sink, mail on the coffee table and cups everywhere. There may or may not be a trash bag half full of trash in the middle of the living room floor, where I was when last I gave up on cleaning.
It's okay with me. If it's not okay with you, you should probably call before you drop by. Frankly, considering we live nearly 20 minutes from civilization, you should probably call anyway, but you'd be surprised how many people don't follow that recommendation.
Anyway, my daily struggle is to be able to see my floor, keep my counters clean and combat the horrible habit the rest of my family has of leaving absolutely everything they own in the bathroom. I will never understand the attraction of dropping your coat, bag, books, toys and clothes in the smallest room in the whole freakin' house. The hallway is inches away, people, INCHES.
In that struggle, there is no time for cleaning of baseboards, scrubbing window frames, washing windows at all, cleaning the parts of appliances that don't touch food or wiping down cabinet fronts. And, so, here I am.
I have had many hurdles to jump in my quest for a clean house.
1. Maren will not leave anything alone. The second I turn my back, she empties a trash bag onto the floor. This wouldn't be so bad, except she first drags it to the nearest pile of toys, clothes or important papers, so I have to sort through the whole mess all over again.
2. Brynna spilled milk in my bed.
3. Maren walks into a room and the toys float out of their baskets to revolve around her body for a few seconds and then fall to the floor. This has got to be X-Men worthy. It's the only explanation for why I come into a room seconds after her and every toy in the room is in the floor and she is interested in none of them and chewing on a shoe.
4. Brynna got bored polishing the silver items in the house and quit early.
5. Maren will whine and cry and bury her head in the blankets begging for food, eat three bites and then throw the food on the floor to signify she is done. Since the only way I can think of to stop this behavior is to remove her from the high chair as soon as she is finished eating, I can't stop it. Because I need her to stay in the high chair. Because of numbers 1 and 3.
6. Brynna wants to follow me every time I go to the basement.
Are you noticing a pattern here. Brynna's biggest crime is quitting early from a job that I wouldn't do until I was 10. Maren, on the other hand is a freaking tornado. A hurricane. An earthquake. A big ashy volcano. (What natural disasters am I missing here?)
I love my penguin. And I am so glad that she is walking and working on talking and being so inquisitive and it's really amazing. And, my goodness, I wish I hadn't taught her to move. Life was so much easier with a bouncy seat.