I used to love cleaning. I know I shouldn’t admit it, but I did. It used to be so satisfying. When I was working from home, I worked extra hours in the week so that Wednesday could be housework day. I’d stick the washing in, I’d excitedly get my latest cleaning product I’d picked up in the supermarket and I’d stick my mp3 player on, open the windows and get cracking. Even when I started working in an office that’s what Saturday mornings were about, my OH would go to the gym, do some paperwork, mow the lawn or even join in and clean the windows/front door and I’d grab the Dyson and get started.
We moved into our new house about 6 years ago and it was the best thing ever. Nobody had lived here before, totally brand spanking new, the kitchen gleamed, the en-suite sparkled and the lounge was bright, airy and fresh. It was one of the most motivating parts of the week.
When I got pregnant with The Beast I embraced the nesting stage, getting stuck in cupboards, scrubbing floors, obsessively cleaning the shower the baby wouldn’t be stepping in for quite some time, and after I had him I tried to keep the house equally as immaculate. I kept leather wipes next to the sofa to ensure that any reflux vomits were cleaned away, the bedding was washed on an almost daily basis and I’d sit in the lounge with my little bundle of joy in his beanbag glowing in the happiness that is having a new born. Well, if you look back and forget the lack of sleep, the reflux, and the fact the little
shit tinker didn’t sleep in the day and fed every hour for god knows how long.
Then he started to crawl.
A thing I was excited by, desperate for ages for him to be on the move I’d place objects of his desire in front of him, a toy, the TV remote control, a can of diet coke (perhaps a pair of scissors?!) to entice him forward. Then one day he did, and he broke a lamp. This is when it all began to change. Photo frames were frequently removed from the fireplace, stones from plant pots placed in my boots, toys hidden under the sofa, and as the cruising and walking began rusks ground into curtains, sticky fingers on the TV as they attempt to caress Iggle Piggle lovingly, and snotty nose marks stretching across the window and side of my sideboard.
Still I was arrogant though. Following him around with my housekeepers box, flushable wipes kept in the toilets to counteract those little “slip ups” during potty training. Then the Fat one started crawling, feeding himself, and together they have become a whirlwind of destruction.
Muddy footprints, tomatoes and potatoes removed from the vegetable rack, cups that ARE MEANT TO BE NON-SPILL lying on their sides slowly dribbling out puddles of water/juice/milk. Biscuit crumbs, toy paint scratches in the bath (although these can be combated here!). The beautiful tripp trapp high chair I bought to match the dining table has to be taken apart on a weekly basis and scrubbed within an inch of its life, oh – and the dining table has a plastic coated table cloth on it. If you walk into the kitchen/dining/day room you’re in danger of standing on some soggy cereal, a launched bit of jam from toast and of tripping over the cutlery which doesn’t stick to the table as promised.
Just as you clean round, and move from room to room you discover another room. Calpol which has been aggressively pushed away in the middle of the night is now firmly decorating the carpet gathering every bit of dust it can. My bed, my lovely cream wrought iron bed with it’s nicely decorated under bed storage is no longer clutter free, its got single socks, dummies, cars, mega blocks, and jigsaw pieces. The radiators are littered with clothes, vests, sheets, PE kits.
Basically my lovely immaculate house is an explosion. And this is from somebody who still refuses to use paint, glitter or play dough.
Why am I suddenly blogging about this now? I’ve just cleaned the middle floor of our house (lounge, master bedroom and en-suite, landing and nursery), I feel calm and satisfied as I think I’ve just wiped the last nose print off the window (HOW THE CHUFF DID HE GET UP THERE – HE MUST HAVE BEEN SITTING ON THE WINDOW SILL?!), I headed downstairs to make myself a rewarding cup of tea, congratulating myself on my tuning whilst singing Adele, I see the utility room door propped open by a laptop case (DH has forgotten to take it to work oops), the laundry is spilling out of the dryer as he’s obviously hunted for some socks, I walk into the kitchen and see crumbs littering the surface, an empty bowl, some sloshed milk and used tea bag. I trip over a “welly boot” and see some snot smeared on the sofa. It’s never ending, especially as by the time I make it back to my lovely clean lounge, the Spiderman and his web will be back on the window and the bag of carefully put away mega blocks will be dragged across the landing and tipped out.
My favourite task is no longer motivating because it’s no end in sight, no reward.