Friday, February 3, 2012


It's another beautiful day this morning, with mild temperatures and bright sunshine. I was hoping to do an extra thorough cleanup job in this house to surprise Mike when he gets home. Yes, I know it's pathetic that a clean house would actually surprise him, but keeping it clean in here beyond the morning is nearly impossible. So today I started with a bunch of dishes and then I gathered the boys' laundry. Here's where the teamwork comes in.

As silly as it is, there has been a sock frozen on our back deck for weeks now, and every time I open that door to put the garbage out, I see it sitting there, all pathetic and frozen. It is Jamie's of course. His socks are always scattered all over the place and when gathering laundry, it is close to impossible to find all of them. It drives me crazy, in all honesty, but I have not been able to train him out of it so far. He is only four, and just barely, so maybe there is still hope. It's hard to say.

Anyway, the surface of the deck was looking awfully frosty and being in my bare feet I decided to enlist a helper. I asked Cody to put his boots on and retrieve the sock. First he went out in his bare feet, despite my warnings that it was going to be pretty cold out there. It is mild outside for February, but it is still below zero. Cody put in a valiant effort and he was joined by Jamie who was wearing a sleeper with feet, so he fared better than poor Cody. Soon, Cody put his boots on and went back at the sock, which was apparently frozen pretty solid onto the deck. They left the door open, and Micah watched with great interest from inside the doorway. I could see all of this from the laundry room, where I was putting the clothes in the washer.

It soon became apparent that a massive effort was underway on the deck. That sock was not going anywhere. I decided to help, so I put on my shoes and joined the whole crew. (Micah was now in his boots too, outside with his brothers.) I could not budge the sock either. Wow. After a joint effort that lasted several minutes, I told them we'd wait until spring and then we'd wash the poor sock. But I changed my mind. I filled a pitcher with hot water and we went back outside. I poured and Cody and Jamie pulled on the sock. It moved, but not enough. I poured all the water on it, to soak right through, and then I finally pulled up the sock. There was a great cheer and our entertainment was complete. I put the sock in the washing machine and it was over. It was so funny to see all the boys so engaged in such a minor activity, but it amused all of us far beyond what it should have.

Since then, I suppose we have been in team mode. I was miraculously able to get them to help me clean the living room and the hall, by moving all their toys back to the basement where they are currently being stored, and I was able to vacuum. When Cody was a baby, I vacuumed three times a day. I am not exaggerating. He would crawl around on the floor and pick up every single tiny thing he could find that was not part of the carpet, and then he would eat it. So in my first-time-mommy-paranoia, I felt I needed to keep the floor devoid of even the tiniest crumb or fluff. Now, vacuuming is difficult at best, unless I am willing to be the one who picks up all the boys' things, and I don't think that's very good training for them.

All that to say, we have made progress today and it feels good! Perhaps it is naive, but I do hope when they are all older they will be better at not being tornadoes of destruction, leaving debris in their wake at every turn. Hm. Yes, I think maybe that is naive. Well, maybe at the very least we will be able to contain the mess to their own rooms instead of having it explode all over my house. Until then, we will survive the best we can in the chaos and continue in our efforts to train them to be helpers.


Allison said...

Thanks for sharing your entertainment! Your sock story gave me a much needed giggle today. Hope your day goes well and I can well relate to the "surprise" of a clean house (and I don't have three active boys creating the mess - just me :-)


ps - going to the retreat?

CAT said...

Allison, your comment made me smile. I must confess, even before I had any kids I was not the best housekeeper. I wanted to be, and I tried, but I often failed. The more kids I get, the "better" I get at it, but I always seem to be a level or two behind. For example, if I could clean the way I clean now in a house with no kids, I would be laughing. Haha. But then again, maybe not, because back then I was working full time outside of the house and that adds a different element too!

As for the retreat, I am not sure! I'm thinking I likely won't be going this year. February is jam-packed for us, so it just might not happen. But I haven't ruled it out entirely just yet!