He was right.
The Man Child started washing his own clothes. He had been cleaning his own room with little help from Mom for a few years.When I went back to school, she wasn't quite ready to wash her clothes, so she started by cleaning her room, solo.
Skip ahead to the kids getting a little older and mom getting a lot busier. Suddenly, most chores were divided between the two of them. They did dishes together every night and on Saturdays (fondly called "Saturday Chores" - inventive, eh?), they swept, mopped and vacuumed floors; dusted; and cleaned the bathroom. When they got old enough to wash the dogs, they did that, too.
And of course, they got paid for these chores when we could afford to pay them (which was about a year after I started teaching).
Things change, as they are wont to do and the chore list has once again changed.
In The Man Child's senior year, when he was working and involved in the school play, Baby Girl took over most of his chores. She got more money and he got less (he was making his own, after all). Then he graduated.
And now we have an adult Man Child living in our home. And, up until two weeks ago, was only working part time. But we wanted to give him the time and opportunity to work more and/or go to school, so we absolved him of all of his household chores (aside from his laundry, bedroom, and bathroom because...well, he's an adult).
And now Baby Girl is a sophomore in school, taking challenging classes, and attempting to find "her pace". Sooo...
The Man Beast cooks every night. I do dinner dishes every night. Every Saturday, Baby Girl does her Saturday chores. I take care of the kitchen.
And I say all this to give you a back story which leads you, dear readers, to the setting of my *real* story.
Do you remember that opening scene of Turner and Hooch where Scott Turner (played by Tom Hanks) opened his refrigerator and found a disgusting mustard mess? He started by wiping down the bottle and the puddle of mustard on the shelf. But the next scene shows Scott completely emptying out his refrigerator, wiping everything down, and reorganizing his refrigerator.
All because of spilled mustard.
I did not have spilled mustard in my refrigerator. In fact, this story doesn't have anything to with the refrigerator. Instead, my story begins with the microwave.
On Saturdays, in addition to putting up clean dishes and loading the dishwasher, I also sweep and mop the kitchen floor. After I emptied the sink of dirty dishes, I decided to clean the dish drainer because it was looking a little sad with some hard water stains. And then since I did that, I pulled out the carrousel plate in the microwave, washed it with soap and water, dried it and wiped out the microwave. Before replacing the plate, I decided to wipe out the microwave with disinfectant, noting that flu season was starting soon and it would be a good idea to "deep clean" once a week to keep the really bad germs at bay.
And then it just went downhill from there. It was like a really bad rendition of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie:
If You Give Mom a Saturday Chore
If you give a mom a Saturday chore, she’s going to make sure she does it right.And because she’s going to make sure she does it right, she’s going to deep clean the microwave.And when she cleans the microwave, she’s going to have to rinse out her sponge.And when she rinses out her sponge, she’s going to notice that the shelves above the sink are dusty.And when she notices the shelves are dusty, she’s going to be compelled to clean them.And because she’s compelled to clean them, she has to clean the right.And because she has to clean them right, she has to remove everything from each dusty shelf.And because she has to remove everything from each dusty shelf, she’s going to notice that the objects are dusty, too.And because she’s going to notice that the objects are dusty too, she’s going to have to clean them.And because she has to clean them, she starts looking around at what else needs to be cleaned.And when she starts looking around at what needs to be cleaned, she notices several things.And because she notices several things, she cleans several things.
And so I did clean several things. I noticed the window sills because I wiped the shelves above the sink. Then I cleaned the backsplash by the sink. This led me to the outside of the kitchen cabinets.
By the time I got finished, my kitchen looked pretty good. While I was scrubbing dust off my kitchen surfaces, I thought about how crazy it is that someone would paint kitchen cabinet white. This is not our house. We've been renting for several years. If it was our house, I'd like to think we would not have white kitchen cabinets.
We are not White Kitchen Cabinet People. We just aren't. In fact, we don't have a lot of white in our lives, period. I have very little in my wardrobe. If I wear white, it doesn't stay white for very long. Our furniture is brown (it's not as drab as it sounds; I happen to like it). We had a white living room suite once. It was beautiful. It didn't stay white for long. I think, when we traded it in, there was a chocolate streak on the front of it. I'm pretty sure it wasn't my chocolate. But it was just the proof I needed to get a darker set of furniture. So, brown it is. It doesn't show chocolate. But it does show white (!!) dog hair.
While I was cleaning, I was thinking of what it would take to redo our kitchen cabinets. We'd have to ask permission, of course. The chances are good that we'd hear a "yes". When you look at the inside of my cabinet doors (which are dust-free at the moment, thank you very much), you'll notice a muted yellow color. It would seem that the kitchen used to be a muted, baby yellow. (Why are kitchens yellow? Is it so they are sunny and bright?)
As I'm scrubbing tea stains that had dribbled down the cabinet (I'm keeping things completely real, here), I wondered how many times the cabinets had been painted over. I thought, "Maybe, they could be stripped down before they were repainted." And then I noticed some of the natural wood and considered staining them after stripping them. Unfortunately, I also noticed where some of the wood was flaking and thought it might be more damaging to the wood to completely strip it.
Maybe a new coat of paint would do the trick?
Maybe some updated hardware, ala Fixer Upper on HGTV?
By the time I finished doing the cabinets, sweeping and mopping the floor, and wiping down the kitchen mats, I forgot all redoing the kitchen cabinets.
Apparently, my DIY bug has the lifespan of a mayfly.*
Until next time,