Music makes the world go round
We mommas do what we can. Need some medicine . . . Mary Poppins comes to mind. More than once, I have sang “Whistle while you work” especially after spending the whole afternoon out in the garden. Dolly Parton and I are best friends (only she doesn’t know it) when I am balancing the checkbook online. Singing for me makes any day just go better, and some days, it is the best I have to offer.
Over the weekend, I drove my children crazy! It was a nice role-reversal, I will confess. We are in graduation mode, preparing for our first high school commencement, and thus, are really trying to keep on top of all the details. At the same time, it means that we must be ever vigilant (that right there would have caused at least one of my kiddo’s eyes to roll) at keeping the house clean. As we were cleaning this weekend, we were simultaneously scanning in thousands (no joke) of film negatives and finalizing DVD’s which hold hours of our children’s early lives. The trip down memory lane has been well worth it.
To most people who have visited our home the whirlwind of frenetic activity which describes our weekend is definitely not surprising. We do crazy busy – well. For casual readers, my confession about disliking messes (okay, I loathe disorganization) was shared in my annual blog on the leprechauns a few days back. A few mommas were intrigued not by our wee visitors, but by my explanation of the cleaning day list. When I still worked full-time (outside of my home – do not ever think this is not work) AND had three small children under the age of five, we had a cleaning lady.
Back in those days our life was blur! So much so that one time my parents came for a visit but were leaving for the airport after we had left for school, work, and daycare. When I got home that night, I was shocked (SERIOUSLY SHOCKED) that my sweet parents cleaned my house top to bottom. It was sparkling clean. Tears in my eyes and lump in my throat, I called to tell them how much their efforts meant to me. My dad stopped me cold. “Toot (don’t ask), we were enjoying our coffee, when this lady came right on in and started cleaning your house. We assumed you knew all about it.” First of all, there is something seriously wrong when my parents don’t check for credentials, but even more so that my life was so busy that I completely forgot it was cleaning lady day. On that second one; I am sure she was shocked because even though she always did a superb job, we ALWAYS cleaned for the cleaning lady. Lest she think we were living in a complete pig sty.
One day, we got the bright idea (I am telling you that sometimes we are parenting geniuses) we were not doing our children or the future college roommates any favors by letting them skip out on the day to day maintenance of this house. Who I am kidding? Once again, it is all about appearances. I did not want the college roommates to think my children were raised in barn. But seriously, mastering the skills of wrestling the world’s largest dust bunny, scrubbing a bathroom until it sparkles, and removing mystery stains from laundry should be required on college entrance exams. So with many tears (mostly shed by our children), we let the cleaning lady go to another lovely family. I’m pretty sure that “Help us!” sign I found later had been scribbled by one of our progeny. The sure give away was the “p” looked like a “d” and the “s” was backwards. Traitors! Sorry future college roommates! That day started the list method of cleaning.
While the list went well, there are other things (not list worthy) I just could not “let it go” (and yes, I did just totally sing that out loud) along with various other songs that just sprang forth over the weekend.
Here are a few examples:
After tripping over my children’s shoes at the front door, I decided to devise a system to say that unless they want me to break a hip and come to live with them in a few years, they better start lining up their shoes along the edge of the wall, toes touching the baseboards. I broke into “It’s all about the base, ‘bout that bass, no tripping. It’s all about that base, ‘bout that bass or you’re in trouble”. My kids then asked me how I knew that song. When I said I saw it over Thanksgiving, they informed me I was completely clueless because my version is a parody song about basting with butter.
The next shining moment came when one daughter stepped over the salad greens she had dropped on the kitchen floor to get more ice for her sweet tea (well, she is her mother’s daughter). This time I broke into, “Stop! In the name of love before you break my heart. Stop! And put that lettuce into the garbage can. Think it over! Do it now –ow- ow!”
My vast song memory (and although not required for this, my ability to sing) came in very handily this weekend. There was a brief rendition of “Don’t stop believing” when the faint-hearted among us thought the work would never be done. A few other songs joined my repertoire according to whatever grumble my children had at the moment.
This wasn’t my first foray into using song to get my point across. Long ago, back when our little town only had a small mecca of the South before it supersized, my children were asking me begging incessantly for a new toy. I finally had enough, and right there in aisle 17, I broke into a completely impromptu rap song about wanting more and more stuff. My children were astonished. My voice carried across the store, and I DID NOT CARE. Parents in the area were surprised, but I received more than a few “Atta girl’s”! The song was such a hit, that one dad even asked if I could sing it again. It was one of my proudest moments as a momma! Of course, this was long before cell phones where I am certain I would have been an internet sensation: “Crazy mom loses it in Wal-mart”!
Song-a-palooza or not, we got all the work done. The house was cleaned, another bazillion film negatives of precious memories were scanned in, various odd jobs were completed, and I think through the magic of music, I got my point across. Well, mostly. . . just watch that first step. Hope they are saving up for in home care!
And if it helps any momma (or daddy) out there needs it, here is the cleaning day list!