On Friday morning at 8:30, the second kid waited his turn on line to enter the school bus. At this point, he always gets a kiss and some parting words, "listen to the teacher, be nice to the other kids, and have fun." Slug anyone who messes with you. Do well on the test or you’ll never go to college. Don’t get VD. Then I headed for home for the other ritual that awaited me.
Every other Friday, a cleaning woman vacuums up the big chunks on the floor for two hours.
I’ve been very ambivilant about the growing reliance of middle class
families on cleaning ladies. I believe that people shouldn’t make such
a big mess that they can’t clean it up on their own. While I don’t make
a big mess, the others in this house do. And then it was just
physically impossible to clean the house after putting in 80 hour weeks
In an ideal world, all members of the family would split their time
equally amongst various household chores being careful to juggle
duties, so no particular patterns of gender-based roles formed.But in this far from ideal family, we’ve had to make certain adjustments.
The adjustment is that cleaning only happens twice a month at this
house. Sure, we put the dirty clothes in the hamper and the dishes in
the dishwasher on a daily basis. But everything else happens on every
Before the cleaning lady comes, I have to put away all the clutter from
the kitchen and common areas. The papers get recycled. The crap on the
dining table is put away. The kids’ school papers are tidied. The
loose change and scraps of paper on the kitchen counter are sorted.
Cleats and shin guards in the basement. That takes about two hours.
While the cleaning lady is cleaning the downstairs, I’m upstairs
cleaning the bedrooms and office. The beds are stripped and remade, the
floors are vacuumed, books are shelved, clothing is put away, trains
are tucked into the correct bins. That takes another two hours.
I hate being that anal, but it has certain advantages. I know that it
takes six hours to clean my house (4 by me, 2 by the cleaning lady). I
clean along side of the cleaning lady, which makes me feel better about
having a servant. Another advantage is that the house is really clean
for one day, as opposed to never.
I have a pile of work to do tonight. I’m looking at another night of
working past midnight. I probably should have planned my lectures that
Friday instead of sorting newspapers.