Sunday, November 04, 2007

Wet Carpets, Insomnia and Other Snafus

In our house, my DH is the one who gets the Fall Housecleaning Frenzy. We have a very unusual family dynamic in the sense that DH and DancingDiva are both neatniks and Hockeyman and I are natural born slobs. Bubba and Peeps are too young to have revealed their genetic pre-disposition fully yet, but I suspect that Bubba will end up on the slob side of the equation and Peeps is showing strong indications of being on the neatnik side.

As a result of this usually well-balanced and offsetting cleanliness factor situation, there were a few fireworks in the household when DH brought home a carpet cleaner Friday night and announced that he'd be cleaning the carpets Saturday. Of course, he'd been talking about the possibility for a month but something always interfered and it was put off.

Now in my husband's very orderly and well-disciplined mind, the scenario should have been that the entire house was clean, all clutter was picked up and put away and the carpets were already vacuumed, so that he could simply move furniture and run the carpet cleaner. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that no matter how hard we tried, the pre-cleaned stage would never be reached. After all, 5 of us are here all day, every day and little obstacles to housecleaning exist, like schooling 4 children, cooking and eating 3 meals a day, mountains of laundry that are generated by a family of six. There is a limit to both my time and my energy and no matter how hard I work in one area of the house, another is getting trashed anyway. So the carpet cleaner came home, ready or not.

So, this is how it played out. DH cleaned and vacuumed the office, which is his domain is already kept in a very orderly manner, unless I happen to get get in there and mess things up. Then he started cleaning the carpets while DancingDiva cleaned and prepped the dining room, which is an easy room as well because it is rarely used and wasn't that messy anyway. Meanwhile, Bubba and Peeps scamper to pick up toys and other clutter in the remaining 2 carpeted rooms on the main level and transfer them to their respective designated spots.

While all this frantic activity is going on, I'm off shopping and picking up Hockeyman, who spent a rare overnight visit with a friend. When we get home and finish putting away groceries, the chaos ensues. DH, who is already exhausted and sore and exceedingly disappointed with how long it is actually taking to get the carpets cleaned in each room, asks HM to start helping - strenuously. HM, who didn't get much sleep at the sleepover and is starving (as usual), objects - strenuously.

FIREWORKS commence.

Now, I'm not making excuses for HM. His blatant defiance and disrespect were not to be tolerated. But I also had a sneaking sympathy with him. Cleaning is not easy for us, ever. And when we are tired and hungry and cranky, cleaning is the last thing on earth we want to have anything to do with.

What does Mom do? She starts cooking lunch. Sometimes a meal can soothe a tense situation. Raise the blood sugar and spend some quality time around the dinner table - that should have been a peace-making solution.

Nope - I underestimated how driven DH was and how over-tired HM was. DH didn't even stop to eat lunch, since the cleaner was rented and time costs money. HM had his grump on and gobbled his food and slammed off to move furniture from the next room on the list.

Then he and I head upstairs to finish cleaning our rooms. We spend all afternoon prepping the rooms for cleaning, with occasional breaks to fire another verbal volley and holler at one another. What the neighbors must have thought, to hear all the stomping, hollering and door slamming, in between the noise of the carpet cleaning machine. Oy!

The irony was that it took at least an hour to run the carpet cleaner in each room, longer in rooms where there is more traffic and stains. The house really didn't need to be fully prepared before we started because we had adequate time to clean ahead of the cleaner. By the end of the day, every room with carpet was picked up and vacuumed and we still ran out of time before the carpet cleaner needed to be returned. Both HM's and the little girls' rooms carpets didn't get cleaned because we had to return the machine. All those fireworks, hollerin' matches, slamming of doors and house-rattlin' stomps were pointless.

After some time at the hockey rink, sitting in the cold, DH calmed down from his frenzied cleaning state and made peace with HM. He also apologized to me for a few thoughtless comments made in the heat of the moment. So by the time bedtime rolled around, peace was restored, relationships were mended and life returned to normal.

Except all the carpets are wet, furniture is strewn throughout the house, where ever it would fit in non-carpeted areas and a fog of moisture is on every outside window.

And I can't sleep. Guess all that hollering and stamping around got my adrenaline up and now I'm wide awake in the wee sma' hours of the morning.

On a brighter note, the Hockey Socks '07 are off the needles and ready for today's hockey scrimmage. I'm especially happy with this pair of socks, since I managed to get the fit perfect and the stitch used adds the right amount of snugness without being inelastic.

I feel like I'm a broken record when I constantly state that this is yet another Widdershins remake but, honestly, when you get an awesome gusset and heel flap like this, why mess with a good thing. While I agree that everyone's feet are a bit different and what works for me might not work for someone else, this pattern is the ideal pattern for me. Having a high instep makes short-row heels too shallow for my feet. So, I'll just stick to my favorite sock pattern and if you get tired of hearing me sing the praises of the toe-up heel-flapped Widdershins formula . . .

Well, I guess I can always resort to FIREWORKS!


Sheepish Annie said...

Move things??? You're supposed to move things when you clean the carpets? I just run the cleaner around stuff.

I should go back and read the instructions again...

trek said...

Yikes! I am so glad that I wasn't where you were yesterday. That level of stress would've killed me.

Happy that things are all smoothed over now - even if you are living in a fog.

Tonyia said...

Holy cow, you left a comment on my blog at 0-dark-thirty, I wondered why you were up so EARLY!! Now, I know. YIKES!

Love the sock photos - they're gorgeous, and you're a heck of a photographer!jzi

Guinifer said...

I try to preempt those fireworks by hiring someone to clean the carpets before dh can rent the machine. However, that requires creative accounting with the household budget. Poor HM - he was at the mercy of his teenagerhood.

Thanks for the feedback on the hockey penalty stuff. Turns out that since we are district 6 and two majors gave us two 10/2 penalties we exceeded the number of penalty minutes per game and our coach is suspended for the next game. We are befuddled.

Marlene said...

Your new socks look fantastic.

I end up being peacekeeper between my husband and my son on a rather frequent basis. They don't see eye to eye, and they also don't see their own faults, so wars ensue. I have a rather strong natural sense of empathy and end up seeing both points of view so I try to referee and cool things down before permanent emotional damage results.

Salt City Spinner said...

As another homeschooling mother of 3, reading this post made me feel like you had been in my house! Take heart, you are not alone! I stand amazed that you were able to get more than one room done - that is nigh unto impossible here. Love the socks - spinning and knitting helps the sanity stay intact. I wish you more peaceful moments and happy knitting.

livnletlrn said...

Bah on the boys and their fireworks. We have more than our fair share of 'em here too.

Purty sox!

sanjali sharma said...
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