You know you’ve been falling down on the job with your housecleaning when your 2-year-old thinks that the vacuum is an exotic item.
As in, he lights up when he sees it. He excitedly calls its name over and over again in his little toddler voice. He pretends to clean the carpet with it. He caresses it.
I wish it were just that he liked the sound, that it reminded him of being in the womb or something. Or, better yet, that he saw me using it all the time and that he wanted to emulate me. Ha! Yeah, definitely not that.
You see, I am not a cleaner. I hate it. I’m not good at it. I can think of 8 million other things I’d rather be doing instead…and I prioritize all of them over cleaning. Which is why I’m happy to forgo nice dinners or new shoes to pay someone to help me clean my house every few weeks. I know that this is a ridiculous luxury, something I certainly didn’t grow up with, and I am very, very grateful for this indulgence.
Don’t get me wrong, I do the the things that need doing. Diaper pails get emptied. (But that’s pure survival instinct.) Dishes get loaded into the washer and put away. (But the husband does the heavy-duty pots and pans because, well, I suck at it.) The baby’s laundry gets washed. (But I send ours out, which is one of those weird New York things—a total racket, but everyone seems to do it.) Toys get put into baskets. (But nothing is ever truly organized.) And I clean like a woman possessed when people are coming to visit. No buts about that one; I’m actually really good at that. There’s something to be said for motivation.
But the making of beds, the cleaning of tubs and the vacuuming of floors? Let’s just say I have other strengths.
My toddler, however, seems to have a latent desire to clean. I should probably find a way to use this to my advantage. In fact, earlier today—completely out of the blue—he asked for a sponge and then proceeded to wipe down the front of the dishwasher. Which, to my apparently untrained eye, already looked really clean.
He definitely got this from his father. From me, he got his innate love of Star Wars. I guess some things really are genetic.