Monday, September 18, 2006

A moment of grumpiness

There's this saying that keeps cropping up - now that I read so much parenting stuff - about how you should spend plenty of time playing with your kids instead of trying to keep your house clean, because when they grow up they aren't going to look back and wish their parents had cleaned the house more.

To that I say rubbish rubbish rubbish.

I'm no Bree van der Kamp (I can't cook, don't keep my house spotless and don't care if TLM wears mis-matched clothes), but I do think it's important to keep to a minimum standard of cleanliness.

The reason people don't look back on their childhoods and wish they're parents had spent more time on the housework might be because they already died from a terrible bacterial infection caused by a dirty toilet.

15 comments:

flying kiwi said...

What's this housework concept of which you speak?

Rainypete said...

I'm all for keeping your house in a fashion that will not compromise the safety of your kids. That's why we go around the house each night and knock down any particulary treacherous piles with a long stick to prevent either of the kids from being pinned under a crapalanche.

Juliabohemian said...

I agree. I think that adage was formed by women who didn't want to clean their houses in the first place and were looking for some moral justification to perpetuate their laziness. Sorry if that sounds mean. It's not like my house is perfect. But, I think there is a basic minimum cleanliness that should be maintained -for sanity and sanitary purposes.

It's been proven that a cluttered and disorganized environment leads to stress and lower productivity. I personally feel depressed when my house isn't clean.

Here's a thought...why don't we engage our children in the cleaning WITH us? It's their house too.

Gary James said...

When I was a little boy, my mother and I used to play this old parlour game called Polish-Off-First, the object of which was to see if I could polish all the rosewood furniture before my mother could polish off a half-pint bottle of Gordon's gin. The loser had to run all over the house with a carpet sweeper tied to his back.

“Oh, nearly beat me thish time!” my mother would say as she slipped gracefully down the wall. “Now, be a good little shoulder and shtraighten mother'sh wig.”

Happy days...

ElizaF said...

So who pays for one to do this "house-work" of which you speak? Does mixing cocktails count as hose-werk? Gin-fizz anyone?(hic) :) E.

The Editter said...

if the bacteria don't get you, you might die from a terrible editorial infection. "they're parents" indeed. I suppose at least you put an apostrophe in.

Violet said...

flying kiwi: and well you might ask. I still remember staying at your house 3 months after you moved in, and you still hadn't gotten around to vacuuming the place.

rainypete: how does one knock down piles? Doesn't that involve rubbing, with ointment?

juliabohemian: I've been thinking of stapling a rag to TLM's pant-seats, so that all her bum-shuffling can be put to good use. But then I have to work out how to get her to cover the entire floor area.

gary james: oh, what fun you and your mum must've had! Your mum, anyway.

elizaf: do you know gary james, by any chance?

the editter: oopsie! Wee would'nt want you to be redundent, wood wee?

Ms Mac said...

It's all a question of balance isn't it?

If only we could all be like Mary Poppins and make tidying up so fun!

Urban Chick said...

sh*t

that is my life's motto

besides, i'm trying to cultivate a new form of penicillin in my unwashed coffee cups

what would have happened in alexander fleming's mum had been a bree van der kamp type, huh??

:)

Kazzer said...

I cleaned the house once. Couldn't find a damn thing for months afterwards.
Besides, if you have allergies, you really shouldn't disturb the dust.

Violet said...

ms mac: if only we could all have a Mary Poppins working for us for free...

urban chick: you are so right :-)

kazzer: about the disturbing of dust - that's not even half as jokey as it sounds. One of the worst asthma attacks I had was after a vacuum cleaner salesman insisted on doing my carpets, and then left little mounds of dust behind when I decided not to buy a $2000 vacuum cleaner.

Wormbrain said...

My wife was cleaning recently and told me I had to load the dishwasher. Thinking this meant I had to get her drunk, I bought a bottle of wine. She wasn't too impressed and made me do the dishes anyway, and she kept the wine too.

Violet said...

wormbrain: and I bet you looked real sexy to her afterwards ;-)

glomgold said...

Ah, but if you expose the child to bacteria and germs early, the kid'll develop better resistances to them and thus be heartier in the long run, no? Or do they just get more sick as adults?

Scholiast said...

Kids (at least mine) love to help cleaning the house. Mine has helped vacuum cleaning - kept them busy for 10 minutes and happy for 1 hour! Not to mention when two of the boys were left to wash the dishes all by themselves, they were beaming with pride!

Kids don't need you playing. They need you. And if they get to help they feel needed which is a very nice feeling, even for the little ones... (Then you can spend your time playing, like on your blog, while she's sleeping...)