I wanted to serve dinner on the floor. Without plates. BECAUSE I COULD.
I mean, everything was clean. The ceiling fans. The mini blinds. The baseboards. The INSIDE OF THE MICROWAVE. The light bulbs. When Bill got home from work he took a deep breath and said, "Ahhhh. They even got rid of that musty smell!"
It's an old house, what can I say?
Of course, within moments of living, our house was messy again. But messy is totally different than musty. A messy-clean house is probably the best we can hope for with two small children and life happening all the time.
Unfortunately, hope is not the best house keeping strategy. But with me manning the cleaning supplies, hope sort of feels like all I've got. I SUCK at cleaning. I still do it, of course, and I actually keep a pretty clean house, but I don't feel like I know how to do it right.
Plus, I hate it.
Which is like, "Oh, stop complaining. Nobody likes to clean." But that's so not true. My sister loves it. She actually looks forward to it! Scrubbing the toilet is like her reward for working full time (and changing lives while she's at it), raising her son and being an all around awesome person. (And yet, we were raised by the same people so I'm confused...)
The night after we had our house cleaned was the best night ever. It felt like we were at a hotel! We didn't want to do anything but lay around admiring our surroundings and breathing in that must-free air. What a way to live!
Now that I knew what I'd been missing all my life, I didn't want to live without it. I had the quote for regular cleaning service rolling around in my head and was determined to find some way to make it happen. It wasn't that much money. Surely we could find something we were spending money on that we'd just as soon do without. Something we'd be willing to give up in exchange for must-free air. But what? What?!
Finally it hit me: date night! The cost was about the same but the benefits of a clean house I didn't have to clean myself FAR outweighed the benefits of date night.
I mean, maybe it's just us, but date night always seems to let us down. I'm not talking about going to a party or a show or something like that. That's a plan for which you need a sitter. I'm talking about date night date night. Where you come up with something to do outside the house for the sole reason of spending one-on-one time with your spouse. Like dinner and drinks at a kid-unfriendly restaurant or something.
Here's why I think it's overrated:
1. The time we would want to eat dinner at a restaurant is the same time our kids are in bed. So more than half our house is kid-free but we're paying someone to watch it for us so we can go have some one-on-one grown up time somewhere else. That's just dumb.
2. We don't eat meat so kid-unfriendly restaurant food is sort of lost on us. $15 for a plate of couscous? Really? I hate to be the person who's like, "We could have made this better at home," but that's what's up. Unless we go for Mexican food or pizza or something like that but then we're like, "You know who would have liked this? THE KIDS."
3. We really like hanging out with our kids.
4. Every night is date night! After the kids go to bed we can cook fancy food or make fun drinks or watch a movie or listen to music or talk or not talk or whatever we want. Every night! It's totally free and there's no pressure to have X amount of fun to make it worth paying a sitter.
5. When was the last time date night cleaned my coffee pot?
I was totally convinced. There was no reason NOT to have a regular cleaning service. So I set to work making it happen. Which means I put it on my wish list and started singing Mariah Carey to it in my head...
It's true. I don't want a lot for Christmas.
There is just one thing I need.
Since November 13th it's been stuck in my head. I've been mentally serenading that sweet cleaning lady, telling her, "All I want for Christmas is youuuu....baby!" And guess what? It worked! Bill gave me my present last night because the cleaning crew will be here before Christmas to get the house ready for Santa. I was so happy I put on a red unitard and started doing interpretive dance right there at the dinner table.
BEST. CHRISTMAS. PRESENT. EVER!