Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cleaning cascade

I hate cleaning. I try to keep organised but I always get sidetracked. This because of what I call the "cleaning cascade".

For instance, I just walked by the coat closet by the front door and absently thought I needed to straighten it up. For most, this is a simple, 20 minute task of removing and boxing a few jackets and hats that are too small or haven't been worn in a while. For me it involves a meandering walk down memory lane, waxing poetic about the mitten with the hole in the thumb that I was wearing when I skated the length of the canal and back (14 kms), that I just can't throw away because Scott and I had the Best. Date. Ever. Before you know it, I snap out of the fugue state I've been in for the last 3 hours neck deep in winter wear, sighing wistfully at the Doctor Who scarf I knitted when I was pregnant with Audrey and wondering how I got here.

Oh and the kids are well aware of the times that I can't start cooking their dinner because the dishwasher is full of clean dishes. There is a thought process here that, according to them, makes sense only to me.

It all starts with a clean counter. Once you wipe off all the toast crumbs and pick up the plates and peanut butter knives, they need to go somewhere. The sink you say? No. Because when I cook I have to have the sink full of warm soapy water to drop in sticky pots and utensils that can't go into the machine. And where do the things that do go into the dishwasher go? Into the dishwasher, of course. And they can't go in there if it's full of clean dishes, can they? Which is why I won't even boil water if the dishwasher is full. See? It makes complete sense.

The point is that for me, doing one "little" thing activates the cleaning cascade and equates to a whole wasted day with nothing actually getting cleaned, so why even bother starting in the first place? I'll be over here with my scratchies praying for a jackpot so I can get a maid in here. She can deal with the Doctor Who scarf and the thumbless mitten and the drooling oblivion.


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