The week had been a busy one. The kids had school holidays although we did keep Emily going through the break so she could take some time off later in the semester (the beauty of online school).
As expected, the kids were full of energy so we did a few outings which I felt sure would exhaust them to the point where they would sleep for several days. Apparently that only works for adults and the kids just keep up the non stop carnage momentum while the adult takes a well deserved nap. This is a very dangerous phenomenon.
In an effort to pull the house back from the brink of self implosion we instituted a working bee on the Friday morning. The kids each got a “zone” to bring order to and I started working on the kitchen. Their zones were all at the floor level since my aged back doesn’t like bending anymore.
When I clean in the mornings I tend to prefer doing it before I shower and get dressed because it seems wrong to get all cleaned up and then have to put my hands down a toilet. So that morning I was doing dishes, vacuuming and scrubbing things while wearing my nightgown. The nightgown was not particularly exciting but it was rather short. If anyone had happened to peer through my windows that day they may have become blinded, especially if I happened to be bending over at the time.
Anyway, things were going well as far as the cleaning. The zones were working extremely well and the threats of pleasures withheld were working like a charm to keep the kids on task.
At some point during the frenzy I was overtaken with a desire to use the bathroom. On my way there I discovered that the door into the garage was standing open. Not only that, the garage door to the outside was also open. I didn’t have the pelvic floor strength to be able to investigate immediately but I did yell out to whoever happened to be listening inquiring where the dog was. This was followed by a quick search for the dog who was found to be taking a nap under the footstool. At that time Emily asked “where is Isabel?”
I ran to the front room and looked out the window at which time we discovered exactly where she was. She had indeed escaped the cleaning frenzy and was at that time enjoying a meetup on the cul de sac island with her neighborhood friend and the friend’s babysitter. I would have no problem with her playing with her friend, no problem with her playing on the island (we all meet there regularly and let the kids play), my problem at that moment (apart from her leaving the house on her own) was that she was at that time dressed in only a pullup and a Doc McStuffins dressup coat. No shoes, no shirt, nothing. She had previously been dressed but at some point during our cleanup she had decided that clothes were not for her and had stripped off.
My other problem was that I was in no state to stride out there and retrieve her. I asked Emily to go and get her but after several minutes it was clear that she had also fallen into the trap of the great outdoors and seemed to have no intentions of returning inside. At that point I attempted to find a section of my front door that would somewhat cover my scantily clad body and cracked the door open just a fraction so I could call out to Emily to get back inside. I eventually achieved my end, I’m not sure if the babysitter saw more of me than she ever hoped to but I am certain I amused her nonetheless.
After a reprimand and a sending to her room we continued in our pursuit of cleanliness. It wasn’t until later when I was satisfied that the state of the house had moved from “send the pictures to the hoarders tv show” to “we almost did it” that I went upstairs to take a shower and get dressed.
As I walked passed the laundry room in my newly cleansed and dressed body I decided to switch the washing and tell myself what an outstanding housewife I was. I opened the lid of the washing machine and was met with the sight of about 12 cups of powdered laundry detergent generously sprinkled on top of a load of previously clean clothes.
Isabel was chatting and singing to herself and her toys in her room and raised her head just long enough to grin at me as I stood there in shock before she turned back, singing “wet it gooooo, wet it gooooo, can’t hold it back anymooooooore. Wet it gooooo, wet it goooo, turn away and slam that doooooooor”.