I am deathly allergic to cleaning.
I’m also deathly allergic to mess and disorder.
I may also be slightly prone to exaggeration, but that self diagnosis is yet to be confirmed by the world’s leading Nobel Prize winning specialists and scholars who I can’t quite fit into my hectic schedule of dates with the Magic Mike cast and United Nations refereeing (the real one, not my own version with The Feral Threesome).
My deathly allergies clearly contradict each other.
It constantly gives me the shits.
I hate seeing mess and disorder. I equally hate spending time cleaning it up that could be spent playing Candy Crush Saga and watching The Real Housewives of all the world.
Tuesdays and Fridays I’m supposed to do the uber clean. The one that involves sweeping AND mopping AND cleaning the bathrooms and all the things.
I can’t even ignore it and blame the kids, because they’re all at school on Tuesdays and Fridays. As denoted by the sonic boom created by my WOOHOO as I slam that school gate shut behind me on those mornings.
And so I work up a sweat doing the uber clean twice a week, against every fibre of my will.
The house sparkles beautifully afterwards, and I am at peace for all of three hours until the kids get home from school and ruin my good work faster than I can say “My floors! My beautiful sparkling tiles! If you walk dirt into this house I will lose my shit and omigod get OUT of the sandpit because I will not let you back in the house if you dare go in there and I’m not even kidding and no I don’t care that it’s about to rain”.
I do love them. It’s just that I love a clean house just that little bit more.
I’m over putting in all that effort for but a few hours of sparkling clean beautification before everything once again descends into scuffed floors, sandy chairs, sticky table tops and the like.
So I got wise.
I formed a plan in ad breaks between The Real Housewives of Miami where bitches all have bedrooms bigger than my house, and probably at least 3 cleaners and bubble wrapped kids who aren’t allowed to touch any of the fancy, shiny, sparkly things.
I get a packet of biscuits and waved it in front of the ravenous post-school Feral Threesome.
The toy room is cleaned. And I mean properly, not their usual style of throwing everything behind the shelving and hoping it doesn’t come crashing down in the middle of the night.
Then they pull out their mini-brooms (thank the Vodka Gods for Red Dot and their cheap imports – I could afford one for each of the kids. Bonus!).
After that, Miss7 is allowed to mop, but only after she whines for Australia, begging and pleading, while I play it down and try and keep my cool and make it sound like I’m doing her a favour.
Sure, I have to go over it after she’s done, but only lightly.
The Twin Tornado do the toilets since they’re the ones who desecrate them the most. They squeal with delight over ‘brushing the toilet’s teeth with the big funny toothbrush’.
Again, sure I have to go over it afterwards and mop up the tidal wave of loo water slopped over the seat (sometimes with my own backside if I forget to check first), but it takes all of 2 minutes.
Then they fight over cleaning the bathroom cabinets and wiping down the tables and benches, because they all love the spray bottle. Never one to encourage sibling fighting, of course I give them a spray bottle each and let them loose on all the surfaces. Because I’m a good mother like that.
Finally, when all is sparkling, they get the biscuits.
#1Hubby arrives home soon after, and while the kids are out of ear shot, I totally take credit for their good work while he marvels that I apparently haven't spent the whole day in front of the computer.
To be sure that #1Hubby notices the cleaning efforts, I leave all door mats and bathroom mats hung up off the floor, denoting that mopping has taken place, which clues him in to look at all the things and realise how shiny it all is.
(I’ve also done this when I can’t be bothered mopping, and figure he won’t question it on account of the hanging mats).
Works every time.
It is a beautiful system.