How does anyone with a toddler ever keep their house clean?

Seriously, the house could look wonderful because I’ve just spent several hours organizing, and sweeping, and cleaning things up.  Less than 24hrs later, it will look like I’ve done nothing for days or even weeks.  Honestly, there is a point where I just let it be because the mess plateaus.  I know it’s not going to look much messier than it is, so I don’t bother cleaning up.  I saw a welcome mat online that said, “The house was clean last week.  Sorry you missed it.”  I need that mat.  No one ever drops by when the house looks good.

Sure, I could clean during nap time, but the moments I have to myself where there are no little people attached to me are so few and far between, that the last thing I want to do with them is clean the house.  I’d rather eat a sandwich without having to share, or read a news article in peace and quiet.  Or sit and do nothing.  Really.  I’d rather do nothing during those quite moments than spend them cleaning, only to watch all my hard work demolished as soon as my hurricane of a boy wakes up.

I could clean while they’re awake, but Mr. Bug delights in following me around as I clean and immediately undoing any organizing as I do it.  Books that I put on the shelf come right back off.  Toys put in the toy box are suddenly the most interesting thing in the world even though they’ve been lying under his highchair neglected for several days.  Clothes folded neatly in drawers, hah!  Now that he knows how to open the drawers, he has fun strewing his and his brothers clothes about the room.  I would reprimand him, but he’s not doing it to be malicious.  He’s really just playing.  He even sorts the clothes into piles of pants and shirts.  But they rarely stay in the drawers.

So the mess stays a mess for most of the week, and I am perpetually embarrassed if people drop by unannounced and see it.  People who’ve known me long enough, know that I have never been an organized soul, and may wonder if I’m just using my kid as an excuse.  The truth is, I clean 10 times more often, to no avail.  Hopefully though, this means that once the boy is out of this stage I will have gotten so good at cleaning that the house will actually look nice.  Then again, I’ve been told that boys never grow out of this stage. 

C ‘est la vie


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