It's Sunday afternoon and I'm trying to get the kids to do something productive.
They're both playing games.
Kat is on the computer playing on-line. Trent is playing the Wii.
"Kids, please turn off the computers/tv and Swiffer."
I repeat without using the word "please".
I repeat it.
I walk over to the TV and turn it off. I hear, "Oh, really Mom? Reaaallly?"
"Go Swiffer and Kat will follow behind you with the mop."
Kat turns off the computer because she knows I mean business.
Trent picks up the dry mop. This won't work because he doesn't clean off dog hair as he goes. And besides, I said, "SWIFFER!".
He insists he will clean it as he goes. Fine. Not arguing with him.
"Kat, you get the mop and follow behind Trent as he Swiffers".
"Where's the mop? What does it look like?" It's a stalling technique I'm used to.
I hand the mop to her.
Within seconds, she is spraying the back of Trent's ankles with the mop fluid. Trent is yelling back at her and there are a few karate moves involved. I tell them to separate a bit.
"But Mom, you told me to follow behind him"
Trent goes into the living room and dry mops.
Kat discovers that the mop makes a squeaky noise when you pull the trigger. She starts to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" with the mop trigger, getting excessive amounts of cleaning fluid in one area.
"Kat, knock it off and now you'll have to mop up the extra fluid."
Five minutes later, Kat is still in the same area moving the mop back and forth.
"Kat, you have to move around the room when you mop."
"You told me to mop up the extra fluid."
Kat drops the mop and walks away.
"What are you doing?"
I say nothing because I'm biting my tongue. Yelling at them just makes them laugh. I'm folding clothes in the laundry area. I'll just ignore them.
Kat is getting a second glass of water.
Still ignoring her until I hear a shrill scream.
"TRENT! You're getting dog hair all over the area I just mopped".
I look at Trent's dry mop and there is very little hair on the front of it. What the heck has he done with all the hair he has collected?
Well, he drug it over the wet mopped area, leaving hair everywhere.
I reach for my anti-anxiety pills and take a couple. I don't want to yell or scream or threaten. Just mop the fucking floor and move on. Why is it so hard? If I start yelling, then Erik starts yelling and then all HELL breaks loose and there goes our nice Simpson's Sunday evening.
"Trent, have you been cleaning the hair from the dry mop as you go?"
"Yeah, I just did"
There are clumps of dog hair everywhere.
Katrina quits mopping because Trent just covered her 5 foot square mopped area with dog hair.
They're arguing and it's starting to get loud.
"Is it really worth it? Shouldn't I have just Swiffered and mopped the damn floor, " I ask myself.
Kat does put the mop away (she only mopped half the dining room) eventually and goes out side to see what Erik is doing. Trent picks up the clumps of hair with the dry mop and soon I hear Erik screaming at Trent.
Trent decided to dump the contents of the dry mop over Katrina's head.
This is why my house is a mess. I give up. I climb up the anti-anxiety medication ladder and go back into my bedroom and study.
P.S. There are no pictures to this story. I always say that pictures are important. Today they are not. I'm curled up into the fetal position under the covers in my bed. Just picture that.
Most of the time they're very good kids. They're awesome kids. It's just when it comes to cleaning that I can't handle it.
Thanks for listening.