I had the idiotic idea this week that if I kept the house picked up and cleaned a little bit every day, I wouldn’t have to clean it this weekend when it really matters.
I had this flash of insight on Monday and so spent the whole day doing laundry, putting every single thing away where it goes, and cleaning the kitchen over and over. I collapsed into the bed that night irritated with everyone.
On Tuesday I did all the laundry again, and the kitchen, and put everything away. Again. And then one more time.
Last night I ate a large cheese right before going to bed.
Apparently that’s not what you’re supposed to do late at night, according to some horrible list of reasons you’re probably not sleeping very well.
I realize this is only Thursday and the week isn’t technically over, but there was some certain finality about the cheese. It’s not that it signaled that I’ve given up, exactly, its just that…well, if I was going to keep the house picked up today I would have needed to be awake two hours ago.
So anyway, here’s this helpful listicle about what’s wrong with your living room. You probably have furniture that’s the wrong size, it probably matches, your lighting is assuredly wrong, you have either too much stuff or too little, and you have children who ruin and destroy everyth…oh wait, that one isn’t there.
What I like best about my furniture arrangement is that it doesn’t matter in the least where any of the pieces are. They could be up against the window, they could be floating in the middle of the room, they could be matched or unmatched. It doesn’t matter in the least because every single thing that every person owns is going to be thrown down in there, blithely scattered to every corner of its capacious splendor. When I walk by and say, “please pick all that stuff up and put it away,” they stare at me with wide, unknowing eyes. I stand, then, and consider. Should I shout? Should I cajole? Is it that I do not exist but am some sort of ghostly essence that floats around this house, some comforting but tragic motherly presence?
That is what parenting is. Counting the cost, moment by moment. Should I scream like a banshee right now? Or shall I just go pick up all those blocks of snow off my bright new kitchen floor myself? Shall I, with gritted teeth, insist that the paper, because I did ask it three or four times already, be actually picked up off the school room floor? Or shall I just pick them all up and throw them away? Shall I call everyone back to rinse. off. your. plate? Because I said to no less than ten times as you were leaving the table? Or shall I just do it myself?
You know what, don’t answer that question. I have to be out this afternoon, I will just lay in another, probably very small, creamy French cheese.