My Mom’s Visit

bimonthly-cleaning-annasthins

My mother visits bimonthly. She comes over and I rush to get a blender, buy the best vacuum sealer, do the dishes, and get cleaning. Last time I broke my blender RIGHT BEFORE she came over and had to buy a new one. I then asked myself, is any of this worth it?

I look forward to her visits for a number of reasons. The first one being (finger on my cheek, grin) because I love my Mom and enjoy every moment of her presence. The others are the WAM she gives my kids (20$ walking around money), the pool at the only 5 star places she will stay in (we are getting limited in the ones that still allow my kids), the dinners out on her (gotta love not McDonalds with 5 kids), and of course the catching up we do in the car on the way to various sporting events the kids are insistently dragging her too. I have my one greatest reason. My house is clean.

My family knows that the week before my mother arrives is clean up time. We start with their rooms and work our way around the house. The day before she arrives, I usually still pull an all nighter for finishing touches, floor waxing, crayon removal etc… I don’t skimp on anything. Closets are done, floors are done, I check to make sure the kids made their beds with sheets not just the comforters pulled over the mattress. Really are my kids the only kids in the world that would truly rather sleep on bare mattresses than sheets?

big-familySo this past visit, I pull my all nighter. My mother-in-law calls early and wants to come down and help me. She arrives with coffee and takes Nick outside. Carleigh wants to be held as I attempt to vacuum up dog fur that is filling up the bag, but not coming off the carpet. Go figure. I bring Carleigh outside and although grateful for my mother in laws attempts, look at Nick’s white Polo shirt covered in mud. I change him and politely kick my mother-in-law out. My husband calls me with payroll hours. Damn, I forgot it was Friday. I throw the babies in the van and clean it out at red lights. I see fingers waving and hear horns blaring as I keep swerving trying to fit 2 pounds of trash into a pound Dunkin Donuts bag. At work I bang out 8 paychecks, all the bills that are due and clean off the desks ( my Friday ritual, that way you start Monday fresh). I am on top of the cleaning world. My house, my car, my kids… Oh no, Nick has taken the permanent red and black markers and decorated his 9-month-old sister. She is basking in his attention and grinning up at her Picasso cosmetologist. I am horrified. Back in the van I be-lined it for home. I have 1 hour. I throw them both in the bath and blow bubbles at them. I sing to them the Alligator song and try every cleaner I have on her face. Short of oxyclean or oven cleaner, unless I use a brillo pad, it ain’t coming off. Then I remembered that hair spray removes ink. Not wanting to hurt her skin, I put it on a washcloth with some baby lotion. Gently, gingerly I softly cleansed her little cheeks until layer by layer, she finally no longer resembled the Joker.

The other boys arrive and we are off on the one and a half hour ride. I put Cam in charge of the tunes. He made a CD for the trip that included “My Neck, My Back” if you haven’t heard this song, it is by far the most perverted song I have ever heard. Then he threw some Eminem in and for the finale “Closer” by Nine inch Nails. The chorus on that one is ” I want to $#%k you like an animal” yeah, my Mom will love that. Okay my Sirius radio will solve that. Then I send the two pre teens into Blockbuster for some movies. Dumb Dumb Dumb. They come out with Chuckies Revenge (great for the two-year-old), Spongebobs movie not too bad, and Porkys. Thanks guys, appreciate the consideration for the “you know I would never let you buy those if I was in there.”

Stuck in traffic, knowing I am late, my husband calls. He stopped for a beer. Oh God? What are you doing to me? He never stops for one, and I know he is doing this because I am no where near him to stop him. As I pick my Mother up in my it’s all good demeanor. She greets the kids, talks to Nick and I pray she just see’s Carleighs’ cheeks as excessively rosy. Then I get a call that Cam is back in the hospital by ambulance. I am disowning my entire family at this moment when I realize that hey, she wants to visit, this is my life. As a Pepsi explodes in the third seat of my 32,000 dollar, two month, old van, I don’t panic. I laugh. Welcome Mom. As she walks from room to room, my idiot son is home, picked up by my husband who was interrupted before he could get going. We all grab some pizza and an ice cold drink ( I snuck two) and I act as though my house looks like this all the time.

Aside from the craziness, I know we are who we are. My family, the good, the bad, and the drawn on. You can clean us up, but we are still who we are. I enjoyed my Mom’s trip here immensely. Not sure she would say the same. I also reaped the benefit of a clean house for almost a week. A record around here. My girlfriend commented on not seeing my writing lately. I said “well, my house is clean. It’s one way or the other” Now, the house is a mess, the kids are intact and I look forward to her next visit. Until then, the broom will be in the corner and my fingers will be typing!