Monday, May 09, 2011

Clean your room! That means...

That is how every cleaning day with my mother started.  We would get a list of the rooms we were responsible for cleaning and then a detailed explanation of what the entailed.  Clean the bathroom.  That means scrub around the toilet, not just in it.  That means sweep and wash the floor, don't just put the mat over top of it.  That means clean the mirror with glass cleaner and a cloth -- not your brother's dirty towel.

All of us got to the point where we dreaded the words "That means..."

It's like she didn't trust us not to hide our dirty laundry under our bed.

Saturday was cleaning day in our house.  From the time we were old enough to help make our own beds, we had Saturday morning chores.  When we were little, we could get a few hours of cartoons in before we had to stop everything and start our 2 hour regiment of dusting, washing, vacuuming, etc.

When we were older, it meant being dragged out of bed before 10 am and forced to move our limbs even though they were still asleep.  Mom's rationale was: if we didn't want to be so tired when we were cleaning, we should have gone to sleep before 3 am.  Mom was foolish that way.

It's funny, but looking back in my memory, I don't remember Dad being there for cleaning day.  I have a feeling he did the same as LynnieC when it came time to clear the supper table -- she always magically had to go to the bathroom.

Today, as I set to cleaning the house I made a list.  I started out listing bedroom, living room, bathroom, front entry, basement.  And then, to myself I said,

That means...


  1. Don't you know...that's what kids are for? I had to clean a bathroom four times in one day, so that it finally met my mother's satisfaction. YOu can bet that I clean a bathroom like nobody's business these days!

  2. My level of satisfaction with cleaning and your mother's level of satisfaction were somewhat different, so I didn't help after a while.

  3. I can't believe this, but I'd forgotten the "That means..." until you mentioned it. My gosh, I remember it well now. Most frustrating thing about Mom, I think. Other than that she always made me vacuum during the most dramatic scenes in movies (e.g. Marianne's fever scene in Sense and Sensibility; the injection scene in Dead Man Walking; the "SWING HEIL, PETER! SWING HEIL!" from Swing Kids). She had a gift.

  4. Oh man. When your mom made us vacuum during Sense and Sensibility. "But Marianne's dyyyyiiiing!" we sobbed.

    "She'll still be dying after you finish vacuuming!"

    And so we cry-vacuumed the basement family room.

  5. Bahaha. I had totally forgotten about "That means..." until this post. Nice. Oh, mom.


Crap monkies say "what?"