If you need to mop your kitchen...

We've all read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie at least 100 times. Well, this is a light-hearted homage based on my real-life story.

The following post was originally published April 29, 2009.

Disclaimer: This is really long, but completely cathartic for me to write. Please wait until you have a term paper to write, have stayed up several hours past bedtime, or have company coming in T-minus 15 minutes before enjoying...

If you need to mop your kitchen, gladly consent to your 2-year old's request to "do the dishes." Get out 2 mixing bowls. Fill one with warm, soapy water and kitchen gadgets. Sit down at your computer and think about how nice it is that he's not asking to watch tv.

If you need to mop your kitchen, start filling in your google calendar with this and that, checking what people are doing on facebook, email your hubby, get lost on a tangent in your google reader, and just generally cherish the fact that you now have a few uninterrupted minutes to "get some things done."

If you need to mop your kitchen, gradually embrace a false sense of security as you listen to the happy little splashes in the background. It's best if your forget to turn around at the appropriate intervals once or twice, too. Just assure yourself that everything is fine.

If you need to mop your kitchen, look for your camera while you vainly warn your little one not to climb into the mixing bowl. Calmly remind him that "this is not bath time!" Keep looking for your camera while trying to block out the fact that his head is still 1/5 of his total body weight and he can barely stay on his feet while walking on a level surface.

If you need to mop your kitchen, act surprised when he tumbles over, spilling a wave of water all over your recently cleaned kitchen floor. (Thanks, mom!) Say whatever you need to to make yourself feel better, remembering that Jesus can hear you! Get your mop out of the garage and reintroduce yourself. "Hi there! Maybe you remember me? I was the one with a giant belly who was still getting several consecutive hours of sleep every night."

Now mop your kitchen floor with all the fervor you can muster, while capitalizing on this "teachable moment". "You see how there's water all over the floor now? That's why we don't stand in bowls while we're doing the dishes. Yada, yada, yada."

...If you need to mop your kitchen, take your bowls of saturated kitchen towels upstairs to the washing machine. Unload the baby clothes from the dryer. You'll probably need to dump them on your unmade freshly-made bed. Transfer the load of darks to the dryer. Quickly wonder what that clunking noise is coming from downstairs.

If you need to mop your kitchen, realize your little wonder is on his way up the stairs with said mop. Direct him to go back downstairs immediately and wait for you to return. Pick up your pace as you throw all kitchen-related linens into the machine and add a little bleach into the dispenser. Rush back downstairs.

If you need to mop your kitchen, gently urge your curious tot to bring the mop back into the kitchen. "We don't mop the living room carpet, silly." Start making lunch while thinking about what you were doing before this all started and being careful not to catch anything on fire. Remember the cup of 1/2 caf. you nursed all morning and smile with amusement at how you can get so jittery on so little nowadays.

If you need to mop your kitchen, naively refill the remaining bowl with warm, soapy water per toddler's request. Calmly persuade yourself that, despite what you were taught in high school, history will not repeat itself. Remind him to keep the water in the bowl, to avoid climbing into the bowl, and to certainly not slurp the soapy stuff with his straw. Go back to reading about spring cleaning your entire house instead of actually doing it. Get excited about tackling the formidable task. Genuinely ponder where your camera could be, again. Instruct Tiny Prince not to wash his hair in the dishwater.

If you need to mop your kitchen, simply sigh when you hear the familiar sloshy splash from over your shoulder. Whatever you do, don't ask yourself why you didn't learn from the previous lesson. That won't do anyone any good. Be glad for the 2 extra minutes you gained to revel in the quietude.

Using the rest of your clean dishtowels, proceed to mop your kitchen again. Stretch your arm just a little further than you did the last time and it won't be a complete and total bust!

I think I'm officially out of steam. It's been fun!

Did this story remind you in any way of your life?


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