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all content 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Suburban Island

Company's Coming
Wednesday, Jul. 23, 2003, 8:49 a.m.

QUESTION: Who needs a clean house?

WHAT I LEARNED: Do the chores first.

Today my best friend and her teenage son are driving 17 hours to make an impromptu visit. We are all excited to see them since most of our friendship is conducted by phone given the distance.

Of course, this means an emergency house cleaning. That's all right; I can do it if I just whip around with my arms full of spray bottles and paper towels, and a duster in my teeth. It just takes some coordinated effort and a little elbow grease and a few hours less sleep. This is what I say to myself on Sunday night.

Monday night, I stepped off a curb funny and a terrible pain shots through my foot. I have been limping around ever since. I think it is some kind of sprain. Trying to clean the house while saying - Ouch, Ouch, Ouch, leaves something to be desired. Nevertheless, guests are still coming and the desire to straighten up everything in sight is overwhelming.

That's okay, the kids can help. My daughter does help by cleaning her room. Although it wasn't global enough for my taste, as it didn't seem to include any other space in the home - still, it was cleaning and that worked for me. My husband did pull out the stops and clean some bathrooms. Better him than me.

I cleaned out the tub in the hall bath because it had become an extra storage area for towels and personal care items including a Revo Styler, all Revo Styler accessories and an instructional videotape, a hair dryer, a facial steamer, 2 bins of shampoos, cleansers, and the like. Additionally, it housed piles of towels all folded up and waiting for the next shower, as well as all the beach towels we owned - the family's real bathtime favorites. It was like we had all said - Hey, close the shower curtain and voila, a new place for the family to stash junk. I just want to see a white tub with a couple yellow rubber ducks on the edge. Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday night my son flew out the door promising to help me with this chore and others as well. He also swore to knock out his room upon his return. Two hours later he did return with a huge scraped up knee and a story that scared me, because after all I am his mom and all mom's do secretly worry every time our kid is out riding their bike. He tells me the story about how he feel off his bike into the sand and gravel so he didn't tip into the direction of oncoming traffic - even though he was on some kind of sidewalk/bike path - and later as he is asking me for multiple helpings of dinner while he sits around like a wounded pasha, he refers to the evening as the night he almost got killed. Mommy doesn't need any more gray hair, sonny. Let's find the Neosporin and some Band-Aids. No more long bike trips for you.

He got three helpings of dinner served to him on a tray and it looks like I am on my own with the house cleaning. Next time he is doing his chores before he heads out with his pals.

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