My work is never done

Yesterday, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, is the day we usually put up the Christmas tree.  We don’t put up the ornaments, just the tree and lights.  That didn’t end up happening, but that’s not the point of the post.

Because the intent was to put up the tree, and because I’ve done absolutely nothing to ready the house for Christmas, getting the room ready for the tree involved quite a bit of dusting, vacuuming and moving of furniture.  This, of course, highlighted spots and stains in the beige wall-to-wall carpeting that one might not normally notice.

So I hauled out the Bissel rug steam cleaner (an investment that has paid for itself many times over), and I set to work removing evidence of sloppy, dirty children who are not allowed to bring food into the living room but who do so anyway.

It’s my fault that I have not removed at least one child’s left ear to show the others the punishment for eating in the forbidden zone.

Since the cleaner was already out, I continued to the space between the living room and dining room which is high traffic and a magnet for spilled food.  Then I shuffled the dining room table around the lifted the rug there to clean all the spots that landed just off the area rug and onto the beige wall-to-wall carpeting.

People who put beige wall-to-wall carpeting in a dining area obviously do not have children.

I shudder to think how bad the carpeting would be without the area rugs.

I plan to take all my pretty area rugs to a professional cleaner in 10 years or so to remove all evidence of urine, juice, spaghetti sauce, etc.  For now, the busy patterns hide the mess. 

We had other things yesterday (Mass, children’s party at church, flag ceremony for Scouts), so my cleaning took most of the day, and I finished up just before dinner.  I was almost done when one child decided that she desired some purple grape juice (a rare treat, and the only kind of juice she really likes).  A crowd gathered and suddenly everybody under the age of ten was indulging in a cup of dark purple liquid.  One child (not the 3 year old and not the 5 year old) immediately walked into the living room to see what was on TV and promptly spilled her drink.

My freaking out less than saintly display of emotion was quickly tempered when I saw she was in tears.  She had seen me working all day long, and knew the rules, and was very very sorry.

This is why my children have all their ears. 

Fortunately, I was still finishing the dining room, so clean up was easy.  I am once again happy to walk into that part of the house.  A clean house fills me with joy, and no matter how vacuumed the rug is, stains and the dinge of traffic are not “clean.”

I pulled another rug from the garage and put it in the awkward spot between the dining room and the living room.  It looks stupid, since it is unanchored by furniture, but it looks better than plastic.  Anybody’s grandma have plastic on the carpeting?  I used to think it was odd or tacky. 

Now I just think it clever.

7 thoughts on “My work is never done

  1. My husband and I always say “Why bother replacing anything until the children are gone?” That's what the plastic on the carpet was for — saving the carpet until the children are gone.

  2. That Bisell sounds so appealing. I think the throw rug is a good idea for now.

    Cleaning HAS to come before decorating. I am the same way — if it's clean I can relax and feel peace.

  3. Yeah, Barb except we don't own this carpet……..

  4. My grandmother didn't have plastic. Instead, she cleaned her carpets EVERY Thursday. Her carpets looked the same when she moved out as when she bought them. This with two children still at home, and 6 grandchildren who lived within walking distance and thought her house was our house!

    I just can't see shampooing my carpets every week. Of course, her children were in school, but still..

  5. My Mom always had those plastic runners down the hallway between the kitchen and the stairs. Most traveled area. Now I know why.

  6. carpet in a rental is enough to drive a mom insane. That was my main criteria when looking for our last rental home; no carpet! Of course wood and other floors have issue too…but nothing as troublesome as carpet. I'm so sorry to hear you have it in the dinning room, that is especially cruel!

  7. Hey, Michelle, I'm hosting the carnival of homeschooling this week and this post would be perfect. Can I put it in?? (the theme is the homeschoolers 12 days of Christmas)


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