Wednesday started with me cleaning up the results of a backed up toilet. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why it even backed up. That is, until a few hours later when Mikey skipped out of a different bathroom and said, “Mama! I flushed the toilet and this time the water went doooooooown not uuuuuuuup!” Uh huh. Something tells me an entire roll of toilet paper preceded the aforementioned flush in question. After I cleaned up the toxic waste in the bathroom, I spent the rest of the morning mopping down the house, mainly because the wood floors needed the attention.
Later that afternoon, I was in the office replying to emails when Mikey’s proud voice called out to me like a siren’s song from the enclosed patio. “Mama, I cleaned the floor all by myself! It looks great!”
Huh?! What the? I was already getting up and heading towards the patio. “Why does the floor look great?” I said nonchalantly. “What was on the floor?” I’ve learned to never sound accusatory. They can smell a stint in time-out coming from a mile away. Cajole them into telling you what really happened and you might actually find out why the floor you just spent all morning mopping would need to be cleaned by a three year old.
“Nothing was on it, Mama. I just cleaned it to make it better!” I looked him up and down. No stains or wet spots and everything in order. I didn’t bother to look inside, because if he had spilled anything it would have been all over him. A rookie mistake.
“OK. No more cleaning the floor, alright? I already mopped them today.” A quick kiss and a hair tousle, and I’m off ten paces to the office.
Now, where was I? I started working on an email and a few minutes later gave Mikey a quick glance. “Mikey! I told you not to go through my drawers. Put that glitter back right now!”
“OK, Mama!” And off he went. All of a sudden, it hit me.
“MIKEY! WAS THE GLITTER ON THE FLOOR?”
“Yes, Mama! And I cleaned it ALLLLLLLLL UP! It looks GREAT!” I turned those 10 spaces into 5 and bounded up the stairs to the patio. There was Mikey, covered head to toe in gold glitter stirring what looked like gold soup in a miniature play-doh container. “Now I’m putting my chili in the bowl.” Not chili. And, not a bowl. It’s my white vase, which I keep on a tray table next to the picture windows.
But you know what I can’t clean up? The fine glitter on the hardwood floors– or what we now refer to as “The Yellow Brick Road.” You see, hardwood floors made from actual planks of wood have cracks in between each plank. And cracks accept all sorts of fine particles of matter–especially gold glitter. It’s like I grouted my floors with fairy dust.
A few pounds of glitter did manage to escape the cracks in the floor and adhere to our bare feet. How do I know this? Because I have gold footprints all over the house. The bathroom–where I banished Mikey to wash the glitter off his body–looks like the inside of a gold disco ball.
After I finally admitted glitter defeat, I moved on to the kitchen to start dinner. I gave Mikey strict instructions to stay away from anything wet or sparkly. Mark my words: this kid is a born litigator. He finds the loop holes in everything, as I quickly discovered once The Mister got home.
The Mister: “Wow. Did you see what Mikey did?”
Jules: “What? The glitter chili and Yellow Brick Road? Yep, I saw it.”
The Mister: “Noooo. Maybe not the that.”
Jules: [Now moving quickly out of the kitchen and towards the patio] “Why? What did he do this tim… MIIIIIIIIIIIIKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Mikey: “Hi Mama! I was just making fruit salad for Buddy and Buster!” This, my friends, is fruit salad in the eyes of a three year old. 10 pounds of dog food strewn as far as the eye can see. Because that’s what I need: random bits of food to attract rats and hawks.
Hey! You know what’s harder than cleaning glitter off a hardwood floor? Sweeping round dog food bits into a pile! Because, let me tell you, without a graduate degree in physics you’ll have an easier time herding feral cats. Dog food is round, and when you try to sweep up round things they start to roll around and bump into other round things and before you know it you are barefoot and trapped in the middle of the world’s largest game of miniature pool. Hundreds and hundreds of little pellets dancing beneath your feet, which by the way feel like bullets if you’re unlucky enough to step on one while you’re trying to avoid the twenty million others. Trust me–you’ll only step on one at a time because that hurts. It’s similar in concept to lying on a bed of nails without hurting yourself but crying like a baby when you poke yourself with a pin. [p=dF/sA] Pressure is equal to force divided by area. See? You need physics to clean up dog food.
At least there was a golden nugget of wisdom tucked in all the poop, glitter, and pellets of yesterday. Mikey is feeling better. Welcome back, Mikey. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome baaaaaaack.