Yesterday the Cat Daddy took the boys out for donuts and errands, leaving me with nearly 3 hours of solitude (except for the dogs, but in this case they were having a lazy Saturday and didn't require anything of me). It wasn't exactly "free" time, as I had promised to do chores.
I know, I know. Call me crazy. "Three free hours and you chose to do chores? What are you smoking, Skerrib?!" Well, first off, if one asks the Cat Daddy (or most other spouses, I imagine) to take both kids for three hours just for the fun of it, he is likely to put up at least a little resistance. However, if one asks the Cat Daddy to take both kids so one can make the house look visibly nicer, the Cat Daddy cheerfully grabs the kids and the diaper bag and bounds out the door with a veritable spring in his step.
The Cat Daddy also calls home in an accusatory tone and ask if one "left any diapers in the diaper bag" for the Littler One, and one will feel constrained to remind the Cat Daddy that whoever travels with the Littler One really needs to be the one who makes sure there are diapers in the bag. Or at the very least, the Cat Daddy needs to ask one to check for him prior to departure. Because sadly, while one is awesomely-awesome and would never want to throw one's family members under the bus, one is not psychic when it comes to the availability and quantity of diapers in the bag. **End rant**
And also, the wood floors were gross and needed more than a Swiffing, to the point that goofing off the whole time wouldn't have been as fun. So after a lovely (quiet) breakfast and just a little bit of (quiet) goofing off time doing a crossword, I (quietly) set to work. I swiffed, mopped, and dried most of the upstairs. You're not supposed to use water on wood floors pretty much at all, so I went in small sections so I could dry along the way.
Sounds like eyeball-plucking work, yes? But I found it strangely relaxing. It made me think of the mini-series John Adams, where Abigail was up late at night worrying because John totally blew her off while he was over in France, and she would do crazy-tedious things like scrubbing floors, and cleaning each individual window square, and stuff like that. And that made me really grateful that cleaning my floors was so straightforward. It was a dedicated, uninterrupted time to complete the chore, but also to let my mind wander to whatever thoughts came meandering through.
When I was finished I said to myself, "Enjoy it now, because within 30 minutes they will start spilling stuff on it again." So I looked across the sunlit living room and enjoyed the clean for the moment that I had it. Then my crazies came barreling in through the door with treasures to show off and stories to tell, and we were off for the rest of the day.
The ending of the story is that the boys and I had a birthday party to attend, leaving the Cat Daddy with his own 2 hours of kid-free quiet time at home, which certainly helped matters when I was asking him to take the boys out for the morning.
And no, I won't clean your floors for you...