Saturday, May 3, 2008

I Couldn't Make This Up...

So first, the confession:

I have a cleaning lady.

Now, before you throw your hands up in the air and curse the fact that I, a stay-at-home mom, enjoys the luxury of having my home regularly cleaned by professionals, please remember that, in addition to spending my days caring for children and doing the basic duties of keeping house, I also work as a freelance writer during nap and bedtime (the best times for serious cleaning).

Oh, and yes, people actually pay me to write on occasion.

And my cleaning lady and her entourage are great. Natives of Portugal, they come every other week and completely restore my home to the normal standards of livibility, a condition that I bask in for at least 10 minutes until my little ones reclaim their space.

Having established all of this, my story goes as follows:

My normal cleaning day needed to be rescheduled due to more than a few conflicts and so, I arranged to have them come at 5:30 on Friday, after the Picture Party.

The day went very well (as I posted), but my little miss skipped her regular nap as the excitement and the sugar we gave them to keep them content did not make for a sleepy combination. Though she really stills needs her daily serving of sleep, she can usually make it through so long as I get creative.

This creativity amounts to an early bath in the "big tubby". We go for a "swim" early in the master bathtub because (1) it is fun and different, and (2) the early time revives her and avoids a bathtime battle after exhaustion really sets in.

So, the three of us head into the bathtub for some bubbly fun before the cleaners arrive. All goes according to plan until I hear a car door slam and wonder if my husband decided to come home early.


The cleaners arrived an hour early and they were already charging in the house (3 women, 1 man).

I took but a second to digest my current conundrum, before I shouted, "Let's go...they're here!"

As quickly as possible, I unloaded my charges and threw towels over them. (I actually wear a bathing suit...not because I have a problem with bathing with my children, but because I have a problem bathing with myself).

I allow myself to think that I may have things under control when I hear the thumping footsteps coming up the stairs coupled with the shouts in Portuguese. I run with the baby into the bedroom while my daughter runs down the hallway, leaving her towel behind her.

I hear the steps stop and then laughter of the kind only a naked child could produce.

Clutching my little man, I peer out from the door to see where she is in the hopes that I may try to lure her back in to warmth, clothing, and humility.

No luck--- she is running up and down the hallway, shouting "woo hoo", naked as a jaybird.

The entire crew is in hysterics while I flashback to images of her aunt as a toddler doing something very similar before a gaping audience on Allegheny Ave.

I could deny it no longer: she has Jeannie in the genes.