Monday, January 03, 2011

I'll regret this in the morning...

It's after 1:00 in the morning (casualty of the recklessly nocturnal lifestyle I was living during our Christmas break) and I REALLY should be in bed, but I know I won't be able to sleep if I don't get a few thoughts out of my head first.

Today was somewhat of a challenge. It was our last day before going back to school and work and thus fraught with pressure to squeeze every last drop of fun and/or relaxation out of it. But it was also weighty with the need to prepare for our return! What to do, what to do?

I decided to forever ruin the children's lives and clean things. And I mean CLEAN THEM! They were very unhappy about it and still cannot believe I swooped in and took their very last day away from them, but very large portions of the house are now as clean as they could possibly be and I feel like we accomplished something today!

We tackled portions of the kitchen and the entire living room today. We picked a starting point, pulled furniture away from the walls into the middle of the room and worked our way around, top to bottom cleaning everything that could be wiped or vacuumed. Redheaded Snippet was given a damp rap and dominion over walls, windows (including sills and trim) and baseboards. She also mixed up her very first batch of homemade furniture polish and was made acquainted with how to use it. She's not a fan, but she now understands.

I made use of the polish, my dusting mitt and another damp rag and claimed the realm of wood furniture and knick knacks. Some of our things are not only breakable but arranged in ways that I am particular about so that seemed the most obvious job for me. I also supervised (which means I was Head Child Wrangler), of course.

Man-Cub followed in our wake and was master of the vacuum. He learned that the attachments are not actually for using in sword fights or as space pods for Lego men! He also learned that you can, in fact, vacuum the sofa. We recently had to buy a new vacuum and went for the light model that seems to propel itself along the floor. We had no idea that one of its best features would be that our nine-year-old can use it with ease! I feel so liberated! I'm sure Man-Cub does not share in my jubilation.

While we were de-griming the living room, The Viking was taking care of the kitchen and dining room floors. I hate doing floors and he, thankfully, does not mind them so that's usually his default setting when we're all doing chores. He also brought in a few more loads of wood, ran out to the UPS store to mail a package (keep your eyes peeled, Dharma!) and then had to swing by the laundromat.

Yes, the laundromat. You see, our dryer died and it did not occur to me, being, as it turns out, kind of a spoiled, middle-class American woman, that I could hang our wet laundry on the clothes line in the winter. We rigged an emergency drying rack in front of the wood stove (out of two chairs and the mop and broom handles) when we were suddenly left with a load of wet underwear, socks and towels on the night of the dryer's demise, but doing the laundry as usual and hanging the clothes to dry just never really entered my mind. So my poor Viking had to spend his last evening of freedom alone in a laundromat.

Fortunately, I've been researching and realized the error of my ways so tomorrow I'm going to hang out a load on the line first thing and then go out and buy a drying rack. It's supposed to be sunny and not as cold tomorrow so things should be fine. But we've got a few more days before the arrival of the part The Viking ordered so I'd better get myself prepared. There's no reason this has to be a crisis; a little preparation will go a long way here.

So, the husband and children are asleep, the living room is sparkling clean, the kitchen is reasonably clean and, somehow, we've even got clean and dry laundry. Tomorrow we all go back to school and back into the rhythm of things and I must admit I'm kind of looking forward to it. Being on break is nice, but there is something to be said for returning to order and structure, especially for someone as naturally undisciplined as I am.

I'm not exactly sure why I had to get that all out of my brain, but I feel much better now. And so I'm going to finish my milk, throw another log on the fire and head up to bed, hoping that the 6 hours of sleep I'm going to get will miraculously feel like 8 when the alarm goes off tomorrow!

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