I’ve Been Clean for Over 24 Hours

Well, I’m usually clean. The good news is, my kitchen has been clean for over 24 hours.

I decided yesterday that since I could not, in fact, keep my house clean as long as Laylee and Magoo were still residing in it, I could pick the one room I can control and set it up as a fortress of clean.

When we use a dish, it goes straight in the dishwasher. When we make a crumb, we wipe it up. When Magoo finishes a meal in a fantastic display of doneness by sweeping the contents of his tray onto the floor, I wipe the floor before declaring breakfast finished.

The strangest thing has happened. When the kitchen and dining room are clean, the rest of the house sort of maintains itself at a low-boil of play-time catastrophe. Dan reminded me that the kids are old enough to help and I’ve brought mean motherhood to a new level by having them clean with me several times a day before they move onto the next activity.

Magoo likes it so much that he’s been dumping out baskets, saying “Uh-Oh” and cleaning them up just for fun.

The freeze has subsided. Dan is back at work. The Christmas decorations are up and I want a dumbwaiter. Seriously. Do you remember the dumbwaiter they had on Webster? I want one in the worst way. I’ve even figured out a place where it would fit. We just need to annex the coat closet downstairs and the linen closet upstairs. They’re directly in line with each other as though the builder was leaving space for an optional pulley system.

I am also looking to hire someone to stand at the top of the stairs, unload the dumbwaiter and put all of the things away. Send references to kathryn@daringyoungmom.com.

This afternoon Dan and I will be taking Laylee to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet production of the Nutcracker. Heads will explode. I won’t be surprised if she shrieks in ecstacy at inappropriate places. I will cry. I always cry. When I hear good live music, I cry. Dave Matthews, Dave Brubeck, the Broadway Beauty and the Beast. They all made me cry. The Backstreet Boys also made me cry but for a different reason.

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27 Responses to I’ve Been Clean for Over 24 Hours

  1. I see you have opted for the “fortress of clean” approach; you are a very wise woman.

    Laylee watching the Nutcracker! HMTQDYM crying! oh what a joyous day, to be a witness to history in the making would be awesome, but alas, all I can hope for are a few pictures.

    Have a great daring day K 🙂

  2. jodijean says:

    wow i’ve recently decided that i need to be better in the clean area too, so far i’ve noticed the same thing, if i keep my kitchen and dining room clean everything else falls into place, and i try to do a little bit here and there throughout the day instead of trying to tackle it all at one time.

    good luck with the nutcracker

  3. A dumbwaiter would be nice, but I’d settle for a laundry chute. Right now I just chunk it over the top of the stairs. I have this horrible fear of accidently chunking Corrie over the top of the stairs with the laundry.

  4. grammyelin says:

    Congratulation on a Clean Kitchen! Doesn’t it feel nice to be in control of at least a little bit of your life? You go girl

  5. Shalee says:

    You’re aiming too low, Kathryn. Go for the who shabang and get a live-in maid. Then you won’t have to go up and down emptying anything. Plus, you may be able to get all the other rooms clean at the same time. Perfect plan, eh?

    Hey, I’m nothing if not a dreamer.

    But you have my greatest admiration for keeping a clean kitchen. You go girl!

  6. Abbey says:

    I think this fortress of clean plan is genius. Keep us updated on how it is going. I might just get motivated to clean this place up.

  7. jeana says:

    Wow, it like the dumbwaiter was meant to be. A clean kitchen at your stage in parenthood is truly an accomplishment.

    (Resisting the corny “smartwaiter” joke which is what I always hope for and rarely get when I eat out.)

  8. Tess says:

    I’m with Shalee. Give the live-in maid the closet for her room, bread and water to eat, and your castoff clothing. Then just sit back and eat bonbons and watch soaps all the day long *wake up, Tess! Time for school!*

  9. Nicole says:

    That is a great idea! I think I need to have one ‘clean’ room too. My husband says last night, “Doesn’t look like a lot got done today.” He never says anything. The mess must be getting to hiM! Whoops!

  10. Julie Q. says:

    Oh dear, just when I thought you were mortal you go and have a clean kitchen. That weightless sensation you’re feeling is just me puting you back up on your pedestal.

  11. Lauren says:

    I’m going to PNB’s production with my best girlfriends from home in a few short weeks and can’t wait — you’ll have to pass on all the details! (But don’t spoil the ending. Hahahaha. [you know it’s a corny joke when you have to supply your own laughter, and when it requires one + set(s) of parentheses]).

  12. Stephanie says:

    My mom used to have a friend with a dumbwaiter in her house. It was pretty cool. I love the PNWB Nutcracker. It’s the best!

  13. sarah hart kingston says:

    My mom was reminding me yesterday that the perpetual mess seems eternal, but will end so fast you won’t believe it. So far, I don’t. In Tagalog, there is a word we used frequently that means, literally, “a hurricane has hit this place.” Nabagyuhan. Na-BAG-you-hun. It can be used by itself, as an exclamation/expletive.

    I’m not even going to comment on the whole clean kitchen thing. Since I haven’t left the house in 7 weeks, I haven’t seen a clean kitchen in 7 weeks. Yikes.

  14. Oh come on. You know that the Backstreet Boys made you cry because they could show you the meaning of being lonely. Their music resonates in your soul. 🙂

  15. Leslie says:

    I stayed clean for about two weeks before I fell off the wagon.

  16. Sketchy says:

    Oh man, I never thought about a dumbwaiter…oh I want one too! What would really be wonderful is if it could be like Willy Wonka’s glass elevator that could go to every room in the house, dump the assortment of accumulated stuff requisite in each room and then zip off to the next room…oh and what you need is an oompa loompa for the unloading process, and if Elfman could just keep continually writing new tunes for them, life would be perfect!

  17. Jana says:

    My mom always said “Don’t start tomorrow with yesterdays work.” Easier said than done with little ones, but it’s something I aspire to!

  18. Karen says:

    Beautiful music live does the exact same thing to me too! I thought I was just basketcase! It just sort of overwhelms my senses.

  19. EmLouisa says:

    My kitchen has been clean for two days too, although there ARE crumbs all over the floor. I hate sweeping. If I didn’t hate dog poop so much I’d get a dang dog.

  20. EmLouisa says:

    PS Ditto on the music. I’m a freak.

  21. Becca says:

    Ok, you inspired me! I’ve had a clean (well, clean-ish anyhow) kitchen all day, and it’s amazing how much better the rest of the house has been. And with 3 children 5, 3, and 1, this is not a trivial matter!

  22. Michelle says:

    Sounds like you’re Captain Wondermom to me. The kitchen is always the central part of the house and gets the dirtiest, so your plan is BRILLIANT! 🙂

  23. Jessica says:

    A clean kitchen is a good thing! 🙂

  24. Mary says:

    Oh! I would love a dumbwaiter like on Webster AND a mini train running through my house like on Silver Spoons. We would be the coolest family in a townhouse you ever saw (though we wouldn’t have room to move around, but the train and dumbwaiter could take care of that).

  25. surcie says:

    Dude, I am so with you on the crying-at-live-performances thing! What is that? The last concert I cried at was the WIGGLES!

  26. Nettie says:

    When my parent’s designed their house, they included a dumb waiter in the plan. My mom thought it would be great for bringing stuff up and down the stairs to the food storage room. I was so excited and imagined going for a ride! Decades later and it still hasn’t happened…

  27. KYouell says:

    Well, I was going to keep reading and get caught up. But I feel too guilty. I’m going to go Swiffer my kitchen floor and then come back.

    Don’t you ever tell my husband what worked to get me to clean something!

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