Sunday, December 05, 2004

I'm No Florence Nightingale

First, the good news. I survived my dinner party (6 guests) and there is, indeed, leftover peanut butter cream pie. My house is clean, the dishes are washed, the floor is grime-free.

Now, the bad news. I lost all chance of winning The Mother of the Year award this afternoon when my twin boys said, "Mom, my stomach hurts," and I said, "Well, if you use the bathroom, be sure to wash thoroughly." And then, after they threw up, I threw up my hands and said, "DON'T TOUCH ME! DON'T COME INTO THE KITCHEN! DON'T BRING YOUR GERMS HERE!" I did not kneel next to them on the bathroom floor and mop their brows. I did not tenderly lead them to their beds. Their colorless lips did not faze me.

My husband said they will probably need therapy and they will tease me mercilessly when they are grown. Let's hope they find the humor in my pathetic, non-nurturing parenting style.

I washed my hands so many times that they are rough, like a fine-grade sandpaper. Between Babygirl's running nose and the boys' running to the bathroom, I can practically see the germs dancing closer to my delicate mucus membranes. Fortunately, YoungestBoy feels fine already. Meanwhile I am afraid to walk through the boys' room, to touch their doorknobs, to peek into their bathroom.

I had an out-of-body experience this afternoon while I was preparing for my company. I'd already prepared all the food (stuffed mushrooms, date-almond bacon wraps, potato casserole, peanut butter cream pie, pecan pie, chocolate cookies) and I was cleaning, somewhat obsessively. As I dumped crumbs from the toaster and cleaned the individual burners on the stove and washed behind the flour, sugar and tea canisters, I wondered why? Did I think my guests would notice the sugar crusted behind the canisters?

I don't spring clean, though I suppose I should. I company clean. I felt a little crazed while I did it, but I knew it had to be done.

And now, hooray, it's done. The flurry of preparations have left my house decorated and the Spode Christmas Tree china clean. The outside lights are on, the gigantic snowman waves from the front yard and we are ready. I only wish that Santa would actually bring presents so I wouldn't have to find a golden-egg laying goose to solve my money shortage.

Now. I'm eating pie and pretending it's not almost time to go to bed.


Blogger WordsRock said...

Hey, I'm no Florence Nightingale either and my boy survived.

I think you cleaned behind the canisters because it needed doing. And oh what a feeling to have it done. :)

Enjoy your clean and decorated spaces!

5:20 AM  
Blogger Hillary said...

Well, I am Florence Nightengale, a registered nurse in adult and pediatric onlology. Might I suggest alcohol based hand gel? It is recommended by the CDC and better on your hands. They make bottles in all different sizes and shapes and I carry them wherever I go. I even bought bottles with carabeners (SP) for my neices & nephews to clip on their backpacks and they are all trained to gel throughout the day. I am obsessed with germss largely because I teach infection control to all new employees and germs kill my patients.

On that happy note, I bid you farewell.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Thanks for the tip, Hillary. I did wipe down the remote controls with alcohol and the doorknobs, too, this morning. Hopefully, we've seen the last of the stomach virus. Oh, and I used bleach wipes in the bathroom. Blech.

10:56 PM  

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