~“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing.”~ Phyllis Diller
"I am sure that you are all wondering why I have gathered you all here today." I said to the four pairs of eyes that were looking warily at me. Well-make that two sets of eyes...the other two were looking out the window and in the mirror. We were all tightly squeezed into our upstairs bathroom-because, I had led them all up there with the promise of a fun family activity.."Come on guys! I have something cool to show you!".."What is it Mama?!!".."Wait and see! Come on everyone!" Needless to say...they were a tad bit disappointed when we reached our destination. I suppose I can understand that..I had made it sound very exciting..lured them with hints of adventure..I was like the pied piper..but instead of a flute, I had a toilet brush. My kids,having never seen one-much less use one-innocently followed me...willingly-eager even!
"Today, we are all going to learn how to clean the bathroom!" I said to my slightly disappointed children.."Today we are going to learn how to clean a toilet! ..Lily stop rolling your eyes...Wipe a sink! Mop a floor and scrub a tub!..Oscar are you paying attention? Well then stop making faces in the mirror..Today..I am going to teach you one of the most important tasks of .. Zoe-the action is in here-not out the window...Hey! guys this is important! You are going to live on your own one day.." "But Mama...you said we could always live with you." "And you CAN Lil...but you may want to have your own place.." "No..I'm going to live with you.".."Me too.".."FINE-you can all live with me forever if you want to..BUT..you are still going to learn how to clean the bathroom!" .."I am going to be a millionaire so I don't need to learn." "Sam-what does being a millionaire have to do with cleaning the bathroom?" "I'll have a mansion with lots of bathrooms." "So..you'll just use a new bathroom instead of cleaning your dirty one?" "Yes." .."Well..that's just..well..o.k. look...it's going to take you a bit before you earn your first million..you will probably start out with an apartment..right?" "maybe." "Well...do you think you might want to have friends over? Maybe a date?" "Yes." "Well..then you want to have a clean bathroom if you do..o.k.??" *sigh* We were now twenty minutes into this "adventure"..I was losing my audience...if I was ever going to teach them this-I needed to act fast...So, with the all vigor of Julia Child stuffing a goose..I proceeded to clean the toilet..
"First" I said in a nasal and high pitched British accent.." you take the toilet brush and Swish it around the rim! Then we POP the brush into the bowl! Scrub scrub scrub! Oh we love a good scrub! Then we flush twice for good measure...taking care NOT to let go of the brush!" ...Then we take the disinfectant wipe and sweep it around the seat! Swish!..." "Mama? Why are you talking that way?" "Because it's fun...aren't you having fun?" She just rolled her eyes...(What is it with the eye rolling anyway? I swear that girls between the ages of seven and nine over-develop a muscle in the eye area...which results in massive eye rolling-mostly towards their mothers.I know that I am not the only one who has noticed this phenomenon!) "You guys aren't having fun?"..they were all just looking at me...(if I were the paranoid sort-I would think that it was with pity) "You guys aren't having a good time?"..."Uhh..Mama? could we just finish this up..I kind of want a snack." "Yeah...I'm hungry." "Well...alright" I said mournfully...I had been having such a good time.."I just hope that you guys were paying attention....because you will be doing this on your own next week." "Why??"...*sigh* "Because one day you will be living on your own and.." "But we want to live with you forever.." Just before I could reiterate the importance of a clean bathroom, Sam jumped in and said.."Come on guys! We are learning this so we can help Mama out!"..I was so proud of him until he said...."She's old..and could use our help."
So, it is a week of celebrations for us. I'm hoping that a clean bathroom is part of it. I know that they are cleaning it today-on their own. I'm not sure what to expect when they are done...But I swear, I faintly heard one of them say (with a distinctly British accent.) Swish !