Saturday, April 4, 2009


Because of the economy, lately people do not show up at my doorstep to clean my apartment, which makes me think that they'd been in it for the money all along. But whatever, I can clean my own apartment. I mean, people have been doing it for years and as my low-on sympathy friend Sue told me, "you've had a free ride for a long time, not having to clean". Then she modified it that it was a free ride that I had to pay for, but still, a free ride.

Well, that ride is over now and I have been tackling the dust, the laundry, the floors, everything. It's so hard to choose a favorite task. But if I absolutely had to, I'd say that it's wrangling my kids to help me. They're seven and ten, so I figure it's a good time to go all Little House on the Prairie on them and force them to do chores. Up until now their chores have consisted of setting the table for meals, clearing the table and making their beds. So this housework stuff came as a rude awakening.

Young ladrinka, my 7 year old son asked if they could be paid for helping with the laundry. I asked him what he had in mind and he said "$100, cash." I threw a whole bunch of Stimulus Plan and Obama mumbo jumbo at him and he agreed to $3. So they help me with laundry now.

Then I thought that I could move them to floor washing.
I gave them each a rag and told them that whoever brings back the dirtiest rag, wins. Because I figured that whoever brings back the dirtiest rag will have washed the most floors, right? What I didn't count on was that young ladrinka would scrub his skateboard and the bottoms of his sneakers super clean.

But we've been muddling along.

And of course Husbandrinka has been helping! How could you doubt it for a moment? Just the other day he said to me, "you did such a great job doing the bathroom, you should do it all the time!" It's like we're falling in love all over again!



Anonymous Andrea's Sweet Life said...

My husband helps me clean too - by pointing out what needs to be cleaned, or showing me where I missed a spot. I surely love him!

April 4, 2009 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger blognut said...

I enslave my 2 teenagers in exchange for that extra $30/month it costs me to give them unlimited texting on their phones. Just don't tell the child labor law people.

Crap! Do they read your blog?

April 4, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our family my husband and the boys clean... I live in a beautiful world. But hey your husband sounds really great too...

April 4, 2009 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

My dad would tell me from time to time the only reason I and my siblings were born was to clean the house.
I can't say I blame him.

April 4, 2009 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

Sounds to me like young ladrinka understands the concept of fiscal stimulus very well. You should buy him a beer.

April 4, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

You're cleaning?! This recession has gotten totally out of hand.

April 4, 2009 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Z said...

Cleaning?!?! Oh, the horror! NOOOOOOO!!!

This is why I married my husband. I cook. (Because I enjoy it, and am the more picky eater of the two of us) He cleans. Always. If he doesn't, well, the mess isn't *MY* fault. (Plus, he likes it. He's weird that way. Just a few days ago, he WAXED OUR FLOORS. On his first real day off in over two weeks. For fun.)

And when we have kids? I think they sell these cut-down versions of cleaning products in stores. Toys? Who needs 'em. My kids are gonna get tiny brooms and baby mops. We need to perpetuate this cleaning thing my husband's got going on... Cuz I sure as hell am never doing it! ;)

April 4, 2009 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Well, in our house, no one cleans. No one likes to clean. So, when the house needs cleaning, I get sick and stay in bed, and my husband yells at the children and makes them do all the chores.

Child labour, you say?

I say, whatever works, as long as I don't have to do it.

Isn't that why we have children anyway?

April 4, 2009 at 1:52 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

In my experience, children love anything that comes in a spray bottle. If I sing out, "Who wants to help me clean the bathroom?!" in a bright and chipper voice, I get a chorus of "me me me me me me me me!!" because there is the promise of someone getting to use a spray cleaner. (Tip: I buy the Method cleaners at Target because that way I know if they lick it or spray it in each other's faces, no one's skin will melt off.) I intend this to work in my favor, so that by the time they are 8 and 10, they will be doing the majority of the household cleaning unassisted. Heaven knows my sister and I were at that age! And if we could walk in a snowstorm, barefoot, uphill both ways to school and back every day, AND THEN mop and vacuum when we got home, my kids can surely do a little scrubbing once a week.

April 4, 2009 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Phat Mama said...

When I come home from work & the house is spotless, shiny, Pinesol scented, dinner is made, laundry done...

I wince. I grimace. I clutch my purse.

Because I know that my two teenagers and/or hubby want something. Or a lot of somethings. And it's going to cost me.

April 4, 2009 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I've taught my children to pay me to get of chores. And this works great because they really aren't good at cleaning. It is going to suck when they move out.

April 4, 2009 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

We haven't had anyone in to clean for us since before our kids were born. It all comes back to Einstein's theory that "people + kids = poorhouse" (or something like that).

And I'm willing to admit that I'm a terrible housekeeper. I just don't have that much time and my kids are still really young, so they're too busy creating messes to help. All I can say that I do consistently is keep the kitchen and (usually) bathrooms clean, stay on top of the laundry and nag my husband to pick up his own things (he ignores me since he's perfectly comfortable with the squalor).

So as far as I'm concerned, you are a domestic goddess. Or at least your housecleaning service years really raised the bar on your expectations for cleanliness.

April 4, 2009 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger lizspin said...

One time before company arrived, I asked my husband to clean the toilet. He took it the seat off and started soaking the nuts and screws. . .

I just meant a little swish, swish, with the toilet brush. . .

Needless to say, I have NEVER asked hime to clean the toilet again!!!!

April 4, 2009 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger HoodChick said...

Damn, I knew I was missing out on something by not having kids.

April 4, 2009 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

Tell them it's either working for you or working in a factory in NJ that the child labor dept. hasn't found yet.

April 4, 2009 at 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch out, cleaning the windows could be orgasmic!

April 4, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger OHmommy said...

my cleaning lady was laid of two months ago and my children have put on a little weight since then. it's all the chocolate i have been bribing them with.

now. if i wrote the above statement on my blog i would be bombarded with christian readers' nasty emails. on 2nd thought... i might go ahead and spin off from here. thanks!

April 4, 2009 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

My lad used to clean like crazy, unitl he figured out that he did ore than anyone else. He got all salty about it. But he realy did a better job than his sister.

Now I pay him... I'm thinking of sending him to stoneskin during the summer for a beer.

April 4, 2009 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I hope you get your cleaning people back soon. No woman should be without household help. I should know, I've never had household help but desperately need it.

April 4, 2009 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Frogs in my formula said...

Ah, shit you're funny. Rekindled love amidst the Lysol. It doesn't get much better than that does it?

April 4, 2009 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Annje said...

I was totally scrubbing bathrooms, washing major dishes (no dishwasher), and doing laundry by 7. No allowance--that was just one of the ways of enjoying being a part of the family.
I am glad you are getting moral support--those kind of comments would warm my heart too.

April 4, 2009 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger Fragrant Liar said...

See, when my kids were young, I developed a chore chart. Because there were four kids and seven days a week that I needed them to be Merry Maids, all kinds of squares were filled up. Always made me a Merry Mom. ;0

April 4, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Julie B. said...

We stopped our cleaning last spring cause we were getting into the nitty gritty of our addition and it was just a big mess here and then just as we were about to resume in September, I get laid off. I think my hubby would also fall in love with me again if I cleaned the bathrooms regular but that's just I continue to buy or make him baked goods to make up for my complete distaste of housework and the slovenly shithole we live in.

April 4, 2009 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger anymommy said...

I will give up Starbucks first.

April 4, 2009 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Threeboys1mommy said...

Sounds like young Ladrinka is a Madoff in the making ;-)

April 5, 2009 at 1:04 AM  
Blogger Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Imagine! He actually noticed?! Do you know what hard work that comprises?! My husband can stay in a cesspool (our present state) or a sparkly apt (my ethiopia) and not notice the difference!

April 5, 2009 at 1:30 AM  
Blogger SweetPeaSurry said...

I have never had a maid, although I'm seriously thinking about hiring my good friend (who does housecleaning) to help me cull out my apartment. I figure it would be better if I had direction from a 'professional' I suck at that stuff!

April 5, 2009 at 1:58 AM  
Blogger Tooj said...

I've never had anyone clean my apartments or house, but that could explain why they've never been clean.

April 5, 2009 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

When we were looking at cutting expenses before Christmas, I offered to make the sacrifice and give up the maid service (who in any case only visit half my house - I "clean" the other half myself). I was surprised and relieved when my husband decided to keep them. He said he "didn't want things to go back to how they were before", which says a lot about my enthusiasm for housework.

Our other excuse is that we are giving someone a job and stimulating the economy. But mostly we just don't like dirt.

April 5, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

That bastard is making you CLEAN? WHO does he think you ARE???


April 5, 2009 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

I just realized something.

No where in my wedding vows did it say "...and to cook and to clean," so I am in search of a very good lawyer. Not for a divorce, but for some "marriage alterations."

April 5, 2009 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Jennifer H said...

I'm with Akilah. Where do the vows say THAT?

Stupid economy.

April 5, 2009 at 8:42 PM  
Anonymous zelzee said...

Joan Rivers said it best:

"I hate housework. You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again."


April 5, 2009 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger texasholly said...

UGH. Housework is the absolute worst. How dare the economy require THIS of us?

April 5, 2009 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

My cleaning people are gone too. My kids are too young to enslave. I'm just testing how much dust I can stand before I break down and maybe consider cleaning. This economy can so bite me.

April 5, 2009 at 11:36 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

Honestly, you deserve a cleaning person every 2 weeks. Either that, or give Nicky some extra money to tidy up when she's not doing cat things.

April 6, 2009 at 12:19 AM  
Blogger Belle said...

Oh that Husbandrinka. He's so romantic!

April 6, 2009 at 4:23 AM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

not only does our el salvadorian cleaning lady clean, but she also rearranges the furniture and knick-knacks - a brave thing to do in a gay couple's home. the sad part is, her arrangements are better than ours.

April 6, 2009 at 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Nydia said...

LOL ... I love that your son asked for money to help ... and that he came back with the dirtiest rag because he scrubbed the bottom of his skateboard and sneakers LOL .. I'm dying over here!

I love this blog!

April 6, 2009 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Must be a new type of foreplay...complimenting you on your cleaning!

April 8, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use todays maid service on aweekly basis they are great their phno number is 718388-6243 -212-444-9933 the website is Good luck

June 16, 2009 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Daphne said...

you name it we clean it
best house cleaning in los angeles ca

July 27, 2009 at 12:18 AM  

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