Monday, May 21, 2012

Clean up

On occasion, Elissa and I have had a house guest who although well-meaning, spent the majority of their visit looking around at all the flaws in our house and pointing out all of our unfinished projects. “Hmm, looks like you could use a little caulk around the door trim to finish out that tile floor you put in,” or “that bathroom renovation looks great, I can’t wait to see it when it’s done.”  We had, of course declared, “mission accomplished” on that bathroom months before.  I can’t plead complete innocence; I have certainly thrown stones from my glass house and teased a friend or two about their home-remodeling skills now and then.  But it wasn’t until these two little rug-rats of ours started to crawl that I met the end all, be all of home cleanliness and décor inspectors.

Ethan searching under
the closet door for food
You can vacuum, you can mop, you can swiffer to your heart’s content but these little munchkins will search out and capture every stray piece of lint, dust, paper, coin or plastic wrapper below four feet high. Unlike those wonderfully helpful house guests that just point out the imperfections in your home, eat your food and go home, our toddling bundles of joy have two preferred modes of attack for anything they deem out of place.  Their primary weapon is what I like to call: “Capture and Ingest.”

The basic premise goes like this, race your brother as fast as you can to the offending item, perhaps a four-day old half-eaten dried up puff that slid under the table.  Glance over both shoulders to be sure no one over four feet tall all is coming to take it away.  Then, flick it around the floor with your finger trying to gather as much stray dust and lint on it as possible, as soon as said brother comes within reach, grab the puff and stuff it in your mouth.

There's gotta be a few
puffs in here somewhere!
Their secondary weapon, "Destroy and Ingest" is to be used for any and all décor or general items around the house that one or both of the children consider offensive.  So far these have included: table cloths, curtains, anything on any shelf below four feet, wires, electric sockets without covers and cats. Once the offending item has been identified and locked into their sights, it is immediately and without hesitation ripped down to the ground with a firm downward motion, often taking the child down with it. The mission usually ends at this point as our stealthy secret agent is face down and crying.  If not, the offending item, assuming it hasn’t hissed and run away is immediately ingested in any fashion possible. 

With so much vigor for the innocuous, I can’t wait to see what they manage to get into their mouths during our next renovation project.

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