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Well before seeing those two pink lines that changed my life altogether, I wasa sort of a cleanliness freak. I had to have the floors clean all the time, vacuumed (carpeted floors in the US) the whole house every week, the kitchen counters and bathrooms were sparkling clean. The car seats were vacuumed too!! I always cribbed that my husband had his wire-ridden laptops and electronics all over the place. Call it OCD if you may, but I was someone who would change pillow covers and clean my comb each time I washed my hair, could not use any other pillow than my own, cleaned my brush with a bit of toothpaste every single day, before using it to brush my teeth!!
And then came the news of pregnancy. The family was elated, to say the least. We had to move back to India due to visa issues, and there started the downfall of the cleanliness streak. Nausea and tiredness overtook the impulse to clean up every nook and corner of the house. All I wanted to do was eat, and binge watch TV series. But yes, I did manage to broom and mop floors often. I had to keep myself active and these are essential daily chores, you see. Soon enough, I was the heaviest I had ever been. We had just moved into our new home and I got busy with getting stuff in place. We got a help to clean up the house and do the dishes, but she lasted a month. If you have to re wash all the scrubbed dishes again then what is the use of keeping a maid in the first place. :D
Anyway, the day finally came when she was born. Right from that moment, things took a drastic plunge. I did not have either the time or the energy to make sure the house was "the way I wanted it to be". My mom and MIL took care of the basic cleaning of the house and all I did was, take care of the baby and myself. Things change you see, so do priorities. Wherever you go, you see a wipe, a diaper or a rattle lying around. After a while, it becomes the norm. This is how a newborn's house is, is what you say to yourself. I did not have enough time for myself - I couldn't start getting fussy over pillow covers and toothbrushes!! And I got so busy that I did not even have the time to nitpick on my dear hubby!
I moved to my mom's after a month and he managed the house by himself for close to 6 months. Mom has a house help to do the dishes and cleaning and my hometown is not as dusty as Bangalore. So when I came back home after 6 months, I was jolted out of my dream of a spic and span house. Let's face it. Guys are guys. They have this ability to live in a messy room in peace. And my cleanliness levels are,well,quite different from my husband's. He had of course tried to keep the house intact, but me being me, started my cleaning mission.
After close to 2 years, I can say that the cleaning mission is still a work in progress. In fact, I do not see any progress in the near future. As I sit and write, I look around. There is bubble wrap (daughter's favorite time-pass, hence the house is strewn with bubble wrap sheets ALL OVER the house) on the sofa, a bat and lot of tiny toys around the TV stand, two or three wipes around the sofa, few more toys on another couch and a dozen paper cups with different colored water (use paints and mix with water in transparent cups. It's messy but lot of fun!) on the dining table. She insists on keeping this colored water there for I don't know many more days. We cleared up the floors before she slept, otherwise all her dolls are always "sleeping" across the hallway. All of us are now well adept at walking across this puddle of toys without stumbling. That requires talent, right?
She is someone who loves these little knickknacks. A small coin here, a small doll there, beads, stones, empty boxes - she just loves collecting it all. And the worst part is she remembers. EVERYTHING. Few weeks back, she had misplaced a small penguin of hers, and kept asking for it every other day. Right when I was thinking of ordering a spare, she found it amidst the couch seats!! So, this means I cannot throw away stuff. Because she will remember and ask for it in a few days.
I have tried - asking, grumbling, ordering and finally putting the toys away in their places. But for how long? She wakes up from her nap, comes looking for a toy and there they go, all over the place, yet again. What is the point of cleaning up? So, I have given up. Given up on this dream of having a sparkling clean, well decorated house, with no dust or dirt, and everything in place. Given up on having a clean and well-made bed with just the bedspread and blankets, neatly tucked. Given up on having a dining table meant just for that - dining. Given up on the books being put up on the book-rack.
For the time being, I will have to get myself to live in this tsunami-struck home, but with a very happy and satisfied toddler! That makes it all worthwhile, I guess!! :)