Friends

No one cleans the house like Mamma

You know the old saying that we girls eventually turn into our mothers when we grow up? I only wish I were more like my mother now that I have a house and children of my own. Somehow she managed to keep everything so neat and tidy and spotless and she taught school all day. My mom was and is a clean and neat freak. Here are a few of the things my mom does that continue to amaze me because I contend I physically am not coordinated enough to perform these tasks(and therefore I can’t do them):

  • Ironing anything other than a straight line, as in a napkin, has been a major challenge for me. My mom irons everything that doesn’t move and that is made of fabric. Luckily my dad was never a daily-wearing oxford button down shirt guy, but if he were, she’d iron those, no problem. Here are some other examples of her ironing lunacy and my deficiency:
    • My mom irons the sheets. Is anyone else with me on this one? How crazy is ironing the sheets? I told my husband about it and he said, “Gee that sounds really nice.” So I guess I am the idiot here.
    • My mom irons t-shirts. Aren’t t-shirts meant to be messy because they are either worn under something else or it is kind of accepted that when you are wearing a t-shirt you are in “cas” mode?
    • Socks and undies. Need I say more?
  • Vacuuming. Now I love a good vacuum therapy session to get my house in order. I was way excited when I got my new Windtunnel-it was almost like getting a new car-and nothing beats pulling the hose out and getting under things like the couch or radiator and watching those dust bunnies get sucked away never to be seen again. I love when I run that baby over my carpet and get the marks that say to the world, “I am a clean rug!” But that is about the extent of it for me. My mom, on the other hand, doesn’t leave the vacuuming to things on the floor level alone. Her vacuuming has height. She actually vacuums the books! And not just the tops or the sides, but one by one, my mom picks up the books off their shelves and vacuums them all around, then does the shelf and then replaces them neatly. I don’t think I have yet once vacuumed the books on my shelves since I moved into this house three years ago. The horrors!
  • The kitchen floor. Every night after dinner, my mom would get on her hands and knees with her bucket of hot soapy water and wash the kitchen floor by hand. No Swiffers or mops for this lady-it’s hands and knees all the way. She even has knee pads just to wash the floor, like an athlete. You could say my mom is a “varsity” floor washer. In my effort to find short cuts, I have become a standing floor washer with some kind of mop and nice smelling leave-on floor polish, but I’ll tell you, the other day, I got down there to do a hand wash version and I did not like what I saw. The floor was really dirty and I realized I had been just pushing around dirt into various corners of the kitchen with the mop. Mamma was right on this one. Nothing beats the hands and knees.
  • I don’t do windows , but my mom does. Twice a year, she gets out her squeegee or removes the windows from the frames and washes them front and back. That means my mom might be inside the house on a ladder washing the windows, or I might find her ready to break her neck in her outside window washing position. Picture this: window is open, my moms legs are inside, her tush is on the sill and her front is outside with her face towards the house. She is reaching up to wash the windows above her, like Spiderman about to scale a building. Now I would risk my life for my children and husband, but for the windows? Not for me, but for my mom, not an issue.

I could go on and on here but at the risk of really making me look like I don’t keep house at all (why does it feel like it’s all I do?) I figured I take a breath and go throw in a load of laundry. In the meantime, I’d be tickled if you shared any funny stories of your moms and things they did like this back in the day.

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