With a newly crawling baby added to the two toddlers, I have found cleaning has increased in difficulty around here. Yes, it is still getting done (mostly). And yes, I am still working hard at it. But I made this list today to make myself laugh. Here you go.
10 Tips on Cleaning Your House With Many Small Children Underfoot:
1. Wake up at 1:30 am. Clean vigorously and silently for an hour. Sit really still in the super clean house soaking in the goodness around you until 5:30am when the children sense a force out of place in their universe and awake for early morning bonding with mommy and a whirl around the house hurricane style. There, now wasn't that nice?
2. Place a small bowl of semi sweet chocolate chips in a back bedroom. Wait until the toddlers discover the bowl. They will think they have discovered stolen, unforbidden goods and settle down with a toddler claim flag and a cone of silence much like Christopher Columbus when he discovered the new world. In the amount of time it takes tiny fingers to pick up the tiny chips and lick the bowl clean- you will have enough time to mop at least one room on the other side of the house uninterrupted. Be prepared to change all sheets/curtains and shampoo the carpet in the room where you left the chocolate chips.
3. Turn on your child's favorite movie/TV show. Enjoy show while you fold laundry. Feel sheepish that Elmo so completely captures your attention. Wonder where the toddlers went. Discover them in the bathroom testing out all their new crayons on the wall. At least the laundry is folded.
4. The night before make a daily list of household chores to accomplish. Use the beautifully scripted list to mop up spilled cereal off the floor first thing the next morning. Spend the rest of the morning at the store buying paper towels. Go home after an hour and a half with angry, hungry children and a cart full of groceries. Realize you forgot to buy paper towels.
5. Scatter a handful of Cheerios on a clean floor. This will attract the baby's attention which will then attract the toddler's attention. While the toddlers spend the next fifteen minutes trying to eat all of the Cheerios off of the floor before the baby- you can organize one stack of papers and pay three bills. Spend the next two days finding Cheerios in every corner of the house. But at least you'll have electricity with which to see them.
6. Give your children chores. Make a sticker chart. Insist that they finish their list so that they can earn their stickers. Spend the entire day overseeing their chores. Realize after the entire day that you 1. didn't make any dinner 2. didn't wash any clothes 3. didn't pick up any clutter 4. didn't clean anything of significance 5. aaaaand you are exhausted. Celebrate the one bookshelf picked up and bin of toys neatly stored. Watch it become undone 30 seconds after you put your children to bed for the night.
7. Find a really awesome nontoxic cleaning line that sets your mind at ease with small children. Get so excited about it that you want to share it with all your friends. Schedule a party to promote the product and show off your new cleaning prowess. Become overwhelmed with the thought of all of your friends coming over on the same week that all your children have emotional meltdowns every other hour. Hire a cleaner to clean your house before the party.
8. Sell all your stuff. Every last little thing. Less is more. Minimalistic is in. And then in your beautifully, echoey empty house you only have to clean and pick up the random toys that are birthed from the walls. Walls near little children are extremely fertile. Who knew that a plastic spatula, a block, a sock, a torn book, and a tiny little elephant could be siblings.
9. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Sit on the couch and watch how quickly your house can be destroyed. Sip cool beverage. Take your kids to the park. Pray for a miracle to happen before you arrive back home.
10. Run around house and throw all items on the floor in a laundry basket. (Except make sure to leave baby). Sweep. Vacuum. Dust. Hide laundry basket in random room to be sorted out later. Just know that your child WILL find that laundry basket and dump it in the middle of the living room seconds before your guests arrive.
There you go. Tips. You.Are.Welcome. (-;