Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Shiny Shiny

Tonight my toddler could have drowned in his bath while I was standing not two feet away. I say ‘could’ and then hasten to add ‘but did not’ because I don’t want to incite alarm. Not at this point.

I don’t for one minute believe that I am the only person in the world to take advantage of those blissful times when the non-screaming tomato is happily engaged in drinking out of the tap or sucking the fetid soup from the blowholes of his bath toys. In these moments I have been known to perch daintily on the toilet beside the bath and read, or perhaps, in a spasm of usefulness, sort out the laundry. But I do these things in the bathroom and, as I gently remind my husband when it’s his turn to do the bathing and I catch him in another room sitting at the computer: DROWNING IS A SILENT DEATH.

Tonight however, I realised that despite the close proximity, there was a definite heightening of the risk of Silent Death because while Tricky was splashing about I was cleaning the bathroom sink. I will rephrase that, I was Swish and Swiping, a loathsomely cheerful phrase that really means ‘very quick lazy way of cleaning without proper cleaning’.

Swish and Swiping involves taking 15 minutes to do things like pouring shampoo down the toilet and using your dirty towels to mop the floor and most of all it involves using loads of Windex to clean your glass, mirrors and surfaces, buckets and buckets of the blue stuff. I love it. In just 15 minutes my bathroom appears a model of wholesome cleanliness and I am filled with the joy of domestic smuggery and must fight the urge to lick my own reflection in my crystalline mirrors.

I give credit for all this to the Fly Lady, she of the wacky cleanliness website, she who exhorts us to ‘polish your sink’ and ‘get dressed to shoes’ (FlyLady is not above Swish and Swiping the English language to suit her needs).

I first stumbled onto this site because I was sleep deprived and mush brained and coated in the deitrius of my own filth but too tired to do anything more than gaze sadly about the floor. I needed professional assistance and so I googled something like “MY HOUSE IS FILTHY, HELP” and “I AM TOO TIRED TO NOT LIVE LIKE A PIG.” I was thus led to FlyLady and her crisis cleaning pages. Every now and then I click back when I want more cleanliness inspiration or just to scare myself reading testimonials of how women have turned their homes into the equivalent of a B&B, just for them and their husband, or how much they looove wearing shoes and shining sinks.

The FlyLady site illustration suggests a slightly larger built woman with an unfashionable haircut wearing wings. She may actually be a large swarthy man with a hairy back and a winning way with exclamation marks but her dainty ways and humorous acronyms suggest a fifties housewife with a noughties sympathy for all the poor dirty sluts like myself who need to be reminded of the joys of a sweet smelling toilet and this is why I secretly love her.

Either that or I have become addicted to the smell of Windex.


Lettuce Hater said...

ah, the fly lady

sister, i hold my hand up and say that i too suffer from CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)

what is it with the lace-up shoes and weird grammar though?

i had a gung ho anti-slut moment and shined my sink two nights in a row but then i became afraid of the deluge of scary emails and since then have set up a new email address to avoid them

once a slut, always a slut

Anonymous said...

I'm so very relieved that Tricky didn't drown while you were shining your sink.
I do the "swish & swipe" while the kiddies are bathing.

The Fly lady got on my nerves with the 15 emails a day telling me to get dressed (Email recvd at 10:50 am, I've already been up & dressed and at work for 2 hours)so I had to unsubscribe.

MsPrufrock said...

Ha. I enjoyed this post tremendously, even if it was about potential drowning. My own slips under the surface sometimes, and though I'm there to bring her back up for air immediately, there is something rather funny about the look of confusion/shock splashed upon her face for that half a second underwater. Is that wrong? Hmm...perhaps yes.

In regard to cleaning, I only do basic pick-up and dishes. We pay my sister-in-law to come in weekly and do the real cleaning. Is that wrong too? Most likely.

Em said...

I'm addicted to Flylady. I haven't gotten much farther than maintaining a shiny sink, but I *fantasize* about having a totally clean, decluttered, anal-retentive-inlaw-ready abode. I also love the idea that you can do anything in 15 minutes,because that is often all I have.

OvaGirl said...

I think the flyLady is all about fantasy Em, we all want shining homes in 15 minutes. Having said that though...I have never succumbed to the email barrage *shudder* I get enough emails encouraging me to enlarge my penis or meet friendly Russian girls to add to the pile.

Pru...you are so wrong that you're right.

Trevor said...

Gotta watch that bath time. We have to fight the feeling that since there are three of them they will look after each other if we leave them alone in the bath, outside a shop, in the middle of the road etc.

This notion was assisted out the door when we watched Ava slip over in the bath and one of the boys sit on her, trapping her underwater. I like to think this was done by accident...

Anyway, on the bright side I should think that your hit count will increase dramatically now that you've used the sentence "poor dirty sluts like myself" on-line. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Trevor, I didn't hear about Ava in the bath with those rough boys! You shouldn't have pointed me at these sites if you wanted to have your own life. I see now that you are not the only witty perceptive writer around. I can't read anymore of them or I may indeed change my alliance.

When I think of all the letters I've written to only one recipient I could cry - if cyberspace had been invented sooner, I could have been a contender, I could, I could.

Now I'll just get back in my corner and stay with tervorandbreda.blogspot.com and my happy delusions that my grandchildren are infinitely more fascinating than anyones elses, and my son a uniquely brilliant writer.

Who do you other bloggers think you are? Putting doubt in a poor woman's mind.