Before the Huntlings were born, we had 4 indoor cats and a dog. I used to muse on how pets seemed like kids.
We called our cats “little furry agents of chaos”. They would regularly eat and spread around bouquets of flowers (with the obligatory spit up piles to follow), shed black hair on white things and white hair on black things, and knock over glasses of water left on the dining room table overnight.
Now we have toddlers who regularly spread toys all over the house, spit up/pee/poop/etc. on the couch/floor/clothes/etc., knock over anything they can reach, and draw on the walls.
Now that I am at home with the kids, I have become more obsessed with cleaning than ever before. When I was single and newlywed, I hated cleaning but always wanted a clean house. Since I couldn’t afford a maid, our homes were pretty grungy, especially with all that animal hair. Now, I read books about cleaning written by Manhattan lawyers (who knew that baking soda paste would truly get black crayon off of butcher block counters?), articles about spiritualizing housework (who knew you could venerate your toilet as you clean it?), and I actually make the bed in the morning. Last night instead of lolling about reading the newspaper or blogging before bed, I scrubbed out the bathtub.
What happened? I chalk it up to will power. I’ve always wanted a clean house, now I actually get myself to do something about it. Instead of being lazy and miserable, I’m slightly less lazy and a lot less miserable.
I’m trying to be this way partly for my own sanity in the face of 4 little furry agents of chaos (2 of the 4 cats still with us, and the two new ones with opposable thumbs), and partly so that the Huntlings can learn both to make happen what they want in life and to keep their home clean.
So after breakfast when I’m doing the dishes and SillyBilly gets his broom and says “I’m going to do my morning chores Mama,” I’m smiling.