1. Lock them up.
2. Put them in a fenced area, no bigger than 5′ x 5′.
3. Stay awake all night to clean.
4. Live in a house likes it’s moving day. Either have everything in a box, or better yet, just have nothing at all.
5. Just don’t.
And then, after I make some delicious steel cut oats for my children who are at the table “eating” I try to get the dishes done. One child is using every excuse in the book of why she is above eating the oatmeal, while the other is standing on the chair, spoon feeding himself, the dogs, the chair, the floor, and his PJs. So I assess, threaten, clean and try to continue the dishes.
As I’m trying to do the dishes, they start to pull everything off the bottom shelf of the pantry. I weigh my options and figure, who cares? It’s keeping them busy. I can kind of see the bottom of the sink so I know the home stretch is coming.
Then a heavy canned food item falls on a toe.
I assess, kiss boo-boos, and give them an empty box and some washable markers. I go back to doing the dishes. I hear some arguing so I go to check and see pen marks all over children and carpet. I assess, wash and then have to hold my youngest who is now incapable of walking.
I start the dishes again, one handed (love challenging myself!) and hope that everything stays calm for just like 2 minutes. All I’m asking for.
I hear the sudden panic of a need for a potty and running to the bathroom. Then I hear the sound of an “uh oh”. There is pee on the carpet and part of the bathroom floor. I sing the potty song through clenched teeth, reminding my child that we “…better get to the tooooilet, BEFORE it comes oooooout!” She smiles.
I assess, grab the Lysol wipes, clean and go back to the kitchen. The dishes have grown. I swear. And here is the thing. I now also have to shampoo my carpets (from the pens and pee), which means I have to vacuum first (since having two labs requires constant vacuuming), which means the dishes will have to be abandoned.
If the rest of the day, which is like any other day, goes how the morning has gone, I’m guessing I won’t be too successful in getting these tasks done. So, my tips above you see for keeping a clean house make perfect sense.
I assess, consider if 8:30am is too early for a glass of wine, pour another cup of coffee and just sit on the couch. I mean, the dishes, dog hair, pen and pee are just going to have to wait.