I swear that I have scrubbed the kitchen sink before. I’ve used four different kinds of cleaning products and elbow grease and even some foul language, but the sink stayed grimy and orange.
And sure, I’ve dusted and polished and wiped and mopped, but there always seems to be one more dust bunny hiding somewhere. At some point, I’ve always shrugged my shoulders, assumed it was as clean as it was going to get, and packed up the vacuum and cleaners and called it a day.
Let me tell you – I don’t think I even knew the meaning of the word clean until I saw this house today.
We’re putting the house up for sale tomorrow. We’ve spent the past few weeks – well, weekends – packing things up and getting rid of junk and making sure the basement doesn’t seem haunted and generally trying to make this building look like a home, just not our home. We want people to walk in and think, ‘I could live here,’ and not, ‘Someone with two dogs and less-than-impressive cleaning abilities lives here.’
Well, it was crunch time, so my husband and I decided to give our parents the honour of being invited over to help us tidy and clean and finish man-projects. The men worked away with their tools down in the basement, and the womenfolk toiled away on the main level with our rags and our brooms.
How did they do?
Here’s an indication: Before they arrived, and while my husband was still off at school, I updated the back splash in the kitchen. The options for the super-cheap and probably-not-Mike-Holmes-approved method I chose were limited, so I went with a white option with green and brown accents. However, the cupboards in the kitchen aren’t white, they’re Swiss Coffee, which I guess is kind of like white but less white. So my husband got home and asked, “Why did you go with white?” I told him it was the best option, but it was hard to miss what he was saying – instead of accenting the kitchen, the new back splash just made the rest of the room look kind of dingy.
Once the mothers did their thing, however, the back splash seemed to blend with if not highlight most of the kitchen. It now matches the new drapes and the good-as-new appliances and, yes, even the formerly-orange sink. I think the sink scrubbing has single-handedly made the kitchen the slickest space in the house.
But it’s not just in the kitchen. The bathroom sparkles, the living room gleams, the bedrooms shine, and somehow event the grey cement basement floor looks fresh and inviting.
These women are incredible.
I was thinking about it, admiring their abilities and their generosity with their time and effort, and thinking that maybe it’s just a universal ‘mom’ thing – like shirts with birds on them, singing along to the radio despite knowing only 40 per cent of a song’s words, and a weird affinity for doilies.
That’s when it hit me – in a few months, I’m going to be a mother.
I’ve been woefully unsuccessful in all my super-cleaning efforts before. Sure, things are better after I’m through with them, but it’s more kind of a reassuring ‘we won’t die now’ clean rather than a ‘wow, this looks incredible’ clean. Is this the kind of thing that I’m supposed to have mastered by now, or is it taught in some kind of class, along with the healing powers of kissing open wounds and how to maintain self-esteem while repeatedly wiping someone else’s butt?
I can only assume the latter, since it seems like there’s a lot to cover that intuition just won’t be able to handle on its own.
Maybe that’s what they teach in prenatal classes? Thank goodness I signed up for one – if that sink was any indication, I have a long way to go before I’m ready to be a mother.