Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yes, you do have to touch it

When I went to college I didn’t know how to do my laundry; Mom had always taken care of that for me. While I appreciate her letting me focus on my studies and extra curricular activities in high school, I would have liked to know how to avoid turning my undies pink. Therefore I have deemed Tuesdays “Domestic Skills Day,” the one day each week I will teach my little ones homemaking skills so they will not leave my house ignorant of water boiling or clothes washing skills.

Last week I ran through how to clean a bathroom from top to bottom. We started in the kids’ bathroom where they watched me clean the toilet, tub and sink. Then we moved to my bathroom and I had each one perform one of the tasks they’d just seen: Amy cleaned the toilet (you can imagine her joy), Michael scrubbed the tub, Rebecca cleaned the sink.

Yesterday it was their turn to do a bathroom all by themselves. We have two full baths and one half bath, so I wrote the names of the bathrooms on slips of paper, put them in a hat and had each child draw a name. Michael drew “Kids’ Bath,” Rebecca pulled, “Mom and Dad’s,” and Amy pulled “Hall Bath.”

As they were heading to their respective posts I handed each one a brand new Clorox Toilet Wand so they could avoid plunging their hands into the toilet water. The expense of the Wand felt extravagant but once I realized I would not have to listen to Amy complain about the rubber gloves not fitting or how gross it was to be that near the pot the $10 investment seemed worthwhile.

All in all the cleaning went well. Amy didn’t complain about the toilet, and all three enjoyed using the Wand; Rebecca especially liked that it turned the potty water blue. Michael and Amy were quite independent in their bathrooms; Rebecca, not surprisingly, needed a bit of assistance. She is, after all, much shorter than the shower stall and didn’t really grasp the concept of spraying the Scrubbing Bubbles sparingly. We wiped off the white foam for a long time.

I managed to maintain my patience throughout the cleaning process, although by the time it was over my patience meter read zero.

When we were finished I strongly encouraged them to play away from me… I poured a tall glass of sweet tea, sunk into my chair took a deep breath. I don’t think deep breathing exercises are stressed enough for new moms.

All in all it was a successful venture. And I’m glad I have a week to recuperate before next Tuesday rolls around.