Archive for the ‘cleaning’ Category
You know that thing? That thing, where, it’s Thursday night, the last real weeknight of the kids’ (and your) “winter break” and you kind of pushed it so after your husband made this amazing dinner, you know it’s your turn to do the dishes and you’re totally down with that but once you put the kids to bed you realize you’re the last person awake in the house (including your husband) and even though it’s only 8:45 it feels kind of like midnight and the last thing you feel like doing is the dishes and you consider leaving them all for the once-a-week housekeeper who will come tomorrow but you know that’s a total cop-out move and so you know sooner or later you’ll have to bite the bullet and just do the m-f-ing dishes and you’re just about to get going when you decide instead to sit for a minute at your computer?
Sometimes I think I’ve got a whole lot of nothing going on in my head. I’ll lie down at night – earlier than usual these days, thanks to the exhaustion of pregnancy + busy days and especially thanks to my nudge-y husband (when did he get so nudge-y!?) who now goes to sleep at, like, 8pm, most nights because he’s waking up at something like, 2am to start his day… (yes I may be exaggerating just a tad)… but anyway -
Where was I?
Oh yeah. The stupid thoughts in my head.
Wednesday night, I lay wide awake in bed, thinking about dumb, stupid things (i.e. – wondering what Facebook ‘friends’ who I never ever ever see and never ever ever were friends with in real life but who sort of maybe knew who I was at one point so they accepted my friend request, must think of me – in a judge-y way, of course – about how they probably think my name BatSheva is so weird and different, and how my life is so weird and different– and then I think how even stupider it is that I am wasting even 10 seconds caring about any of this, and obviously none of these Facebook ‘friends’ probably waste even 10 seconds thinking about me)…
And then I fall asleep, only to wake up at 4:23am to 3 year old Esther, who is crying from a nightmare. And as I take her to our bed I realize I was having a massive nightmare myself, about live sharks swimming in the water beneath my feet as I walked from room to room of a hotel I was staying at for some event where I didn’t know anybody.
The dream didn’t seem scary as much as it seemed unnecessarily stressful. Sort of like Facebook.
Lately, my thoughts have been overrun with fluff and nonsense. A product of my 2 weeks vacation from blogging?
I know, I know.
Quit thinking, start scrubbing. Dishes await.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Most Fridays, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!
And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:
What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!
If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.
Dude… SO unfair. I went through this already. As a kid, in second grade or whenever, I paid my dues. My lice dues. I sat forever as my mother combed poison through my scalp and hair, tearing the clumps that would allow quick passage and generally freaking me out to imagine those disgusting bugs laying their eggs in my head. Didn’t help that my school – a public school in DC, Lafayette – had a nurse’s office with a giant poster of a louse magnified, like, x 10,000.
If you’ve never seen a louse magnified 10,000 times, let me enlighten you: they are horrific. Seriously. Like, Roger Corman, or whoever is the current Horror Movie Master of our day (Andrew Weiner?) – I’m now giving you a free idea (though I do expect top billing and points on the back end if you use it): GIANT LICE. Seriously, they would be scarier than any Chuckie, Freddy, or Jason.
I’m not kidding! Take a second, and Google them. Or just click here. I didn’t want to actually put the image in my blog because honestly, I don’t want my blog to be directly associated with hurling. (Unless I’m doing the hurling, in which case I may write about it but I’m still not going to post a picture of it happening, ya know?)
Ok, so back to the main point of this blog. Me. I had lice. FUCKING LICE!!!!!!!!!
MOTHER FUCKING LICE!!!!!
Excuse me. I think the lice took over my brain and tripped a wire there. I’m back.
My middle daughter brought it home from school or wherever about two weeks ago. She had about ten of those little suckers crawling around her scalp. Her little sister had three. Both cases were gone in a day, after our nanny – who turns out to be a Lice Commando – seriously, she’s like the Rambo of Lice– hey, Roger Corman/Andy Wiener – there’s your Angelina Jolie! Lice Raider! – anyway, my nanny got a hold of some Pantene conditioner and a good lice comb, and, “voila!” Lice: Exterminated.
Not so easy with my lice. MY lice, turns out, had staying power. It was like all the coffee I drink had gone into their little lice bodies through my blood that they were sucking and turned them into Super Lice. Oh, I had the Lice Commando comb my hair, too. Twice. Didn’t work.
I had to take matters into my own hands (10 hours of running after three crazy out-of-school-for-the-summer kids, I can’t imagine why my nanny didn’t want to stay at my house yet ANOTHER hour just to help comb through a lice-infested head), so I continued her good work, every day, in the shower, myself.
The itching continued. And continued! What is up with that? The itching seemed to spread all over – the lice finally went away after the first week but the itching would flaring up any time I’d think about the whole nightmare. Psychosomatic, I know, but come on – enough already! Why don’t you leave me along and go pick on a kid who is only 400,000 x your size, you big bullies!!
Okay, I’m done ranting. Anyone have a hairbrush I can borrow?
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
EW! You pervert! You know what you were thinking when you read the title of this blog. Well, it’s not about that.
Okay, it is SORT OF about smelling your loved one’s nether areas… but I’m talking about those times you don’t WANT to smell something – um – intimate, and yet you unfortunately find yourself doing just that.
I’m talking about laundry, of course.
Ladies, I know you feel me! At least those of you who live with or are married to a man.
Because let’s face it – 99 out of 100 men NEVER LEARNED TO THROW THEIR DIRTY CLOTHES IN THE LAUNDRY BASKET WHEN THEY ARE DONE WEARING THEM.
Oh, sure. They’ll throw SOME of their dirty clothes in there. Just enough, in fact, to lead a woman on and make her thing there is hope that he could learn, he could grow, he could change and evolve and someday learn to put ALL his clothes into the dirty hamper, ALL at one time.
Whew! Thanks, I needed that.
No, no, no, as we all know (we who have lived with a man for more than a couple months at a time), there is no way most men will every learn this. They are too busy falling asleep in front of the TV.
So instead, it is our duty, as loving wives and mothers and protectors of all things domestic, to pick up those clothes strewn on the bed and chair and floor and…
Because who wants to wash clothes that are in perfectly good condition and can be worn again?
Sorry, I may have been channeling someone’s dead Jewish grandmother there.
But Ethyl is right – I don’t want my husband to go without his favorite shorts if they aren’t really dirty. I don’t want to waste the water and the soap and the time it takes to clean something that is already clean.
So I smell.
And boy oh boy, sometimes do I get punished for that action.
I can only say that the universe does have its way of spreading around burdens so that everyone gets his or her fair share.
Because yesterday, when my husband was putting our kids to bed, and our littlest told him she had “poopy in her diaper”? Yeah, he didn’t believe her either. It was just a ploy to make him stay longer in her bedroom!
Only one way to find out.
Hee hee hee…
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
As Monday’s blog may have subtley alluded to, I’ve been a bit tired lately.
TIRED, I TELL YOU!!!
Which is why this week I’ve been a bit off my game, and didn’t deliver the bloggage on time as usual.
Yeah, well, sue me.
Or, conversely, read on, about today’s tantalizing subject!
For those of you who don’t have kids yet, you are missing out on a lot of things. Sleep may not be one of those things. Cracked nipples may not be another. But one thing you ARE FOR SURE missing out on (until you read this blog), is the wonder and magic that is….. baby wipes!
They clean ANYTHING. Seriously.
Smudges on the wall? Baby wipes.
Stain on your shirt? Baby wipes.
Poop on your butt?
Okay, sorry, but you had to know that was coming. I’m actually a huge proponent of adults using “baby” wipes for their bathroom needs too! (the flushable kind, anyway) – Who said just because we got bigger our poop suddenly is less sticky & disgusting? And let’s face facts: we are not a “bidet society.”
You are welcome.
Oh, and a special shout out to Hugo Schwyzer, who not only had a new baby recently and therefore has a whole new excuse to buy endless boxes of baby wipes, but who also came to my rescue yesterday when I was out and about doing errands with my kids and stuck in his neighborhood with a poopy diaper. Well, not MY poopy diaper, per se, but it basically became “mine” as soon as it landed in my daughter’s diaper and started smelling up the car.
In swoops Captain Hugo, beloved by men, women and children everywhere! He did a drive-by – he actually drove to our location (Beverly Hills mini mall where my older daughter takes karate) and dropped off a small box of wipes.
Now THAT, my friends, is a true hero.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Sometimes I have trouble getting lost in the moment. Perhaps this is why I don’t like cooking – it’s impossible for me to put food into a pot without already visualizing what it’s going to take to clean that pot later on. Similarly, I like to clean because I like things clean – but I have a hard time sweeping up crumbs, dirt, wood chips and other tiny items from the floor without already bracing myself for the new layer that will surely appear once all three kids descend on the house after school.
A dear friend of mine used to make me laugh, regaling me with stories about how his cleaning-obsessed mother used to scream at him and his brothers if they walked into the living room, since she had inevitably just vacuumed. Then she would chase them back out and re-vacuum her beautiful floor, kids be damned. They’ll be fine outside; it’s not snowing!
I have so become that mom. Back in the good ole “full time cleaning lady” days of yore, I used to snack on rice crackers and chips and challah bread right alongside my husband and children, caring little whether I left a Hansel and Gretel trail behind.
I still let my kids and husband eat in the living room. I haven’t yet succumbed to my friend’s mother’s deepest instincts to chase them out with a broomstick, shouting, “Shoo! SHOO!”
But it is hard – nay, impossible, for me to watch them enjoying their snack without already seeing the layer of snack snowdrift that will accumulate once they have satiated their cravings.
This tendency of mine is causing arguments between me and my husband, too. He suggests a new idea, a new venture, and I’m excited! But I also mention all the work that will be involved, manifesting that new idea. This gets him upset – why am I such a buzz kill? Why must I shut him down at the moment he first lets a new idea fly?
I’d go ponder it over a bowl of cereal. But I hate how the milk always drips onto the tablecloth.
What? This place is like one giant perpetual load of laundry.
Okay, I think I need a vacation. Translation: a maid.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
My husband and I have a pretty awesome arrangement when it comes to division of household labor. He cooks, and I (usually) clean. He also gardens, by the way, which means not only do we have a beautiful backyard, we also have an edible back yard – tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, strawberries and lettuce keep happy company with our fig, grapefruit, loquat and lemon trees.
So what could ever go wrong in this veritable Eden of a home?
Sorry, did you not read what I wrote in the first paragraph? I USUALLY CLEAN.
Which, let me clarify, I am NOT complaining about. At the moment.
No, what I am complaining about right now is not cleaning per se – it is, quite specifically, cleaning a particular cutting board who for the sake of this blog I’ll just call “Merple.” (He doesn’t deserve a regular human name.) Merple sucks. He is gigantic, heavy, and doesn’t have a handle. His surface has deep grooves, which makes him extremely hard if not impossible to clean completely, especially after something tomato-y and oily has spilled on him.
Now take my favorite two cutting boards, Mavis:
They are adorable! Lightweight, smooth, colorful, easy to use, easy to clean and of course they have handles. Neither Mavis nor Pearl has EVERY given me trouble.
Merple, on the other hand?
Of course my husband LOVES to use Merple.
Uses him any chance he gets – whether it’s to cut chicken, lettuce (no, not exactly in that order, I do know a few things about sanitary rules), chiles, lemons and anything else he can dig his knife into. Loves, loves, LOVES Merple.
Ergo, I get stuck cleaning Merple, just about every day. Often several times a day.
Yesterday, as I soaped and scrubbed Merple for like the 20th time, trying to erase the color orange from his belly, he slipped out of my grasp (no handle, remember?) and banged down on my finger, slamming it against the counter, hard. My fingertip STILL hurts today.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
Cleaning one’s own home can be a slippery slope. I know it’s true that when someone else has cleaned my home in the past, I have been sensitive to areas that were neglected, especially after I asked them to be cleaned.
But when it’s all up to me?
I take the cleanliness neurosis to a whole new level. On the one hand, I am obsessed with the parts of my house that are not clean. On the other hand… I do not succeed to actually “clean” those areas I’m obsessed with. Thus the cycle perpetuates.
Por ejemplo. As I clean my bedroom floor, I notice that under the bed lives a veritable life-producing planet of dust, fuzz, hair, and God knows what else. I can’t reach it, my vacuum can’t reach it, so there it sits… producing, I can only hope, our human race’s next answer to the Penicillin resistance we hear our children are slowly developing. Because that bed is heavy and large and will be a major pain in my ass to move in order to clean what lies beneath.
Likewise, the walls. Are covered with gook. Sticky little fingers produce sticky little streaks, which later harden into indestructible little streaks, at which point I prefer the term “Venetian plaster” because they are impossible to remove so I may as well include them in the décor of my home. One can try… Mr. Clean’s “Magic Eraser” is pretty magical. In that it not only removes those hardened streaks when I use it to scrub them, but also removes the paint underneath the streaks.
Thanks a lot baldy. That box come with a paint touch-up kit too? In eggshell?
The streaks are colorful at least – brown from chocolate, red from strawberries, white from challah dough, and so on.
Which brings me to the glue… a while ago, my kids saw me taping their crayon drawings to the walls of my office, and wanted in on the action. So naturally, they glued their pictures to my walls.
The pictures are long gone, torn off and/or ripped off in a fit of covetous or jealous passion. Which leaves me only with streaks of thick yellow hairy glue to stare at as I write this blog.
At least they aren’t boogers.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
10:45pm: I’m actually going to sleep BEFORE 11!!!! And it’s not because I’m sick!!! And it’s not because I didn’t sleep at all the previous night!!! I’m just… GOING TO SLEEP EARLY!!!!
I shimmy under the nicely made bed (you are welcome, me!), sigh a breath of happiness, tuck my pillow ‘just so,’ and plop my head down.
And rotten, sliced up apples.
Ah, the never-ending joys of children.
Just when the little one finally starts sleeping through the night (because you’ve SLEEP TRAINED her – moms, don’t lie to yourselves, 3 nights of throw-up tantrum crying from a 6 month old is TOTALLY WORTH a family’s happily-ever-after all-the-night-thru sleeping), the middle one starts waking up to ask you to help her go to the bathroom. And just when you’re done with that phase, she just starts waking you up ‘because she woke up,’ and now the only way she’ll go back to sleep is if you sit with her forever at her bedside or let her crawl in uncomfortably with you & your husband.
So the odd sandbox in the bed? Shouldn’t phase me. Doesn’t phase me! I’m used to it – brush it once, brush it twice, brush it Chicken Soup with Rice.
But the apples?
Now, that threw me, I have to admit.
I suddenly remembered seeing my kids earlier in the day – playing all together, all 3 of them, laughing, enjoying… those moments are rare and sacred, so of course I didn’t want to get too close, or too involved!
Duh. Hello! Should have known better.
Because what was bonding them together, was 2 illegal (in our house) acts: 1) using knives to cut food by themselves (pink plastic knives to cut apple slices, but still…), and 2) playing with food in my bed. Oh yeah, and 3) leaving said food. In my bed.
Beneath my pillow, to be exact.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking, will the Grownup Girl EVER stop writing about how she is tired, over-houseworked, underpaid, etc?
I’m thinking the same thing, dear, dear readers.
Soon, I promise, I’ll get back to those crazy kids, my crazy past and my even crazier aspirations and observations.
But um… just for now… it’s literally all I can think about. I do the dishes… but then my shoes make the linoleum dirty. So now I have to mop. Again. REALLY. REALLY???
I feed the kids, the dining room floor becomes a mess again. Obviously. They are kids. And I fed them rice. And lentils. May as well have thrown a vat of rice and lentils at them, and yelled, “mouths open!”
I clean the floor of my girls’ room with the help of the expert cleaner, 5 year old Racheli. Racheli leaves to brush teeth, and just as I sigh with happiness at the sight of their carpet – by golly, I KNEW it was under there somewhere! – little Esther methodically removes every single “pretend food box” from inside the giant “shopping cart” where they had just been blessedly put away.
Honey. We need to put those back. Please. We just cleaned your floor.
That little whippersnapper has a scream that will see and raise any paltry hand of “nails on a chalkboard.”
Racheli and I hatch a plan to clean the boxes once Esther has finished unloading them. We do so, and Esther puts them out on the floor again. She will not allow us to replace them in the cart until she is safely tucked away in bed and can’t see the durn things.
Oh – and I clean Yehuda’s room before putting him to bed. Three minutes later, he has dragged his entire bedding, stuffed animals, blankets, sheets and pillows, halfway down the hall. Bad dreams. Naturally.
And don’t even get me stated on all the pee-soaked sheets.
But the kicker… is the oven. In my bleary delirium, drying/putting away dishes while my husband washes, I accidentally opened the oven to put away a pot, thinking it was the cabinet.
What? I told you I hardly ever use the thing.
And lo and behold… the freakin Easy Off I so proudly and suffocatingly used for the first time 2 weeks ago… was STILL IN THERE. White streaks, covering EVERY INCH OF THE DAMN OVEN.
My husband tsk-tsked… “Don’t you know you have to wipe it after spraying?”
GRRRRRRR. Like he is such the “Easy Off Expert.”
OF COURSE I WIPED THE DAMN THING! I NEARLY CHOKED WITH FUMES WIPING IT!
Though I admit, whereas I may have vigorously wiped the Easy Off, I apparently needed to also wipe the Easy Off… Off.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
You might say it’s “hard” to get everything done when you are a stay-at-home mom who also works part-time, blogs, volunteers, studies Kabbalah and keeps Shabbat, helps her husband with his work and is trying to learn guitar so I can actually accompany myself when I sing the songs that I wrote.
Then again, if you did say that… you’d be wrong.
It’s not hard at all!!!!
Why is it, that the minute I’ve folding four loads of laundry, there are instantly TWO new loads that must be washed? I haven’t even put the four loads away, for crying out loud! Seriously. They are spread out all over our living room couches.
No TV tonight, kids! It’s our clothes’ turn to watch their programs. Their soaps.
Did I mention I’m also losing my mind just a little bit?
The good part about THAT is that I seem to be losing the bit of my mind that actually thought I was able & CAPABLE OF FINISHING THINGS. Because I can’t.
The girls’ room was clean yesterday morning. Now every time I cross by it, my brain spasms ever so slightly at the sight of toys all over the rug. I WILL NOT GO IN THERE I WILL NOT CLEAN IT UP I HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO LIKE – OH YEAH, EAT. OH YEAH, AND WORK.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
And by “mighty,” I mean those who used to have a full time housekeeper.
And by “fallen,” I mean they got trapped in a Sartre play, only this time the situation they cannot exit is the mess they live in.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)
If you wanna hear one of my songs, just click on the audio link, below. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could strum along to my OWN SONG? Yeah. It would. WARNING: I HAVE NO TIME TO FIGURE OUT WORDPRESS SO WHEN U CLICK IT’S GOING TO OPEN UP A BLACK WEBPAGE. JUST SO YOU CAN HEAR THE SONG. YOU CAN SKIP IT IF YOU WANT. THOUGHT U SHOULD KNOW.