Sunday, March 17, 2013

The *ahem* ART of being messy

I love my central vacuum.  I mean, really LOVE it, in a protective, take-it-away-and-face-the-wrath-of-J sorta can't-function-without-it kinda way.  We use that thing for every possible clean up activity.  Rice on the table and floor from messy kids at dinner?  Vacuum.  Ground coffee spilled around coffee pot in early-morning delirium?  Vacuum.  Kid gets popcorn crumbs all over self and in shirt?  Yup.  Vacuum.  we even do our precursory dusting (on the occasion that the dusting actually gets done, i.e. we're having company) with the brushy-little-attachment-thingy on our vacuum.  Post baking flour mess, cat kibbles and bits of playdough, gunge between the couch cushions, VACUUMThat thing comes out 2 to 3 times per day.  I'm not even exaggerating.
When the girls were little, we even adored our baby-vac nasal aspirator.  For those that don't know it, it is a pressure-regulated tube that successfully sucks the boogers out of your child's schnozz by attaching it to the hose of your VACUUM.  I swear I saved B from imminent choking to death on milky spit up with that thing on more than one occasion in her infant year...  If I thought I could convince my partner, we'd probably own one of those Flowbee things...okay, that may just be pushing it a bit.  Can you believe that thing still exists?  I remember laughing at the late night infomercials with friends at a sleepover when I was a kid.
gooey playdough ingredients before cooking
Why do I love my vacuum so much?  My house gets messy.  And we're not talking the usual 6 to 9 crumbs on the floor from dinner, a bit of road salt from shoes at the front door and cat hair on the rug sorta messy.  We're TOTALLY talking about the mommy-lets-the-kids-play-in-2 lbs-of-flour-and-dried-lentils at the kitchen table, makes magic mud every few weeks, 4 year old still eats with her hands regularly, crafts up the yin-yang, home-made playdough crumbs, and the kids get to feed the cats their kibble (all over the floor, rarely all in the bowl) sorta messy.  Oh, and my youngest hardly EVER wears shoes or socks, indoors or out in the sandbox/garden soil/dried leaves/SNOW, we like to eat messy foods over the living room rug, and the small one likes to tear pieces of bread to smithereens, or crumble crackers to pieces...finger paints, finger foods, dried leaves, catnip, cat hair from 3 cats, sawdust from the disastrous -garage-workshop, raw wool and sheepskin hole-punches, bits of thread, wool sweater, yarn and fabric from my craft room, diligently dragged through the house by wool socks and cat feet...

sensory bin play - flour/dried noodles and beans/lentils

I always apologize for my messy house to everyone that enters.  I'm not sure why...Maybe it is because of the archaic voice in the back of my head that tells me that I should be keeping this place clean as the "stay at home mom"....but I look at the piles of craft supplies, kids' drawings, school projects, junk mail, bills, kids' magazines, etc... that adorn the side counter of my kitchen, mingled with the beloved blender, microwave, toaster oven, bowl o' fruits....unwashed dishes, mason jars or lids from mason house isn't scuzzy-dirty, just "lived in".  *realllllly lived in.  But really.  given the opportunity to wash a dish versus play in magic mud, what would YOU choose?!  

the tidiest fingerpainting she's ever done.. thanks pinterest!
B, about 6 or 8 months ago, told me that I wasn't an adult...that I was a "Kidult"!  Remember, this child wasn't quite 4 years old at the time.  I cling to that title like a badge, let me tell you!  And how does a kidult spend her day as a stay at home mom?  Especially when there's a 4.5 year old to play with?  Well, occasionally I take a break from playing hi-ho Cherry-o, UNO, or painting pictures to do some real life "mommy jobs" as I call them...I do some of the real work...but compared to what I imagine other moms who stay at home are capable of, I often feel like I am falling flat. 

I comfort myself by using the mantra that my super mom-in-law taught me.  "This is a living house - it is for living in".  I take that to mean that we are allowed to get messy here.  it isn't a museum. 

And if I want to make magic mud and vacuum up the remains, more power to me.


  1. I do envy your vaccuum - it makes the clean-up seem easy. Today we took on the floor as our chore-of-the-day to the tune of Monkey Bunch 'Sweep the Floor'.
    'Keep it clean as it can be
    Keep it clean enough for you and me'
    - which is a relative measure :)