Clean Carpets and Kiddos

My husband loves to clean the carpet. He does. I mean, he won’t admit it. He won’t come out and say, “Is it time to clean the carpets yet? I’m DYING! I can’t wait!”
But he does get a certain thrill over running the cleaner over our always-less-than-spotless brown shag (stylin’!) carpet. The past two nights, he’s done a different section.
If everything goes as planned, the carpet will be cleaned back to working order by Friday. This is no real hazard, but it is a pain in the b’hind.
We won’t even talk about my kitchen suffice to say: I can not get in it.
Today I’ve claimed my southwestern print (stylin’) love seat as my own little Island of Elba. I’m going to do laundry all day because -frankly -that’s all I can do. It will all be worth it in the end. Clean carpet makes everyone feel better.
I’d just finish the job myself, but I’d hate to take away the pleasure of cleaning from my husband. And I mean that in ALL seriousness.
The kids are handling it well. They don’t mind messes so much.

Speaking of my kids, I forgot to tell you about the time I tried to teach the girl how to rhyme. It was Saturday. We were parking our car downtown, and the kids were on the brink of losing their composure. They were hyper and loud… so I started spouting off rhymes.
Lacy doesn’t know what it means to rhyme, and what better time to teach than when you’re in two-lane crowded traffic in the middle of summer with pedestrians walking so close to your car that you have to constantly apply the break while doing your best to parallel park?
“We are parking!” I said, brightly. “Bark rhymes with park. Bark, park! Lark rhymes with park. Lark, park! There’s a dog. Log rhymes with dog. Log, dog! bog, dog!”
“Mom, dumb!” came her chipper reply, “Mom rhymes with dumb!”
Keep in mind that she is NOT a snarky teenager. But I imagine she’ll make for a great snark someday.

Last night, I ran an errand and came home to find that Lacy had gotten into my essential oils. She snuck them into a hiding place and then dumped the better part of my lavender oil out. I asked her about what had happened -why she had done it (“I just wanted to smell pretty like you!”) and after we worked out all the details, I asked her what she should have done instead.
“Asked,” she said, crying.
I told her the oils cost money, and that she would have to pay for what she wasted. Her eyes grew the size of dinner plates.
“ALL MY MONEY?!” She asked.
“You’ll have to use your money,” I nodded.
She dropped her head into her hands and sobbed. It absolutely broke my heart. It really did. Isn’t that the worst part about parenting? I wanted to take away her tears -wipe them clean. I wanted to tell her it was totally fine that she snuck my expensive essential oils (that were a gift) and used them without asking permission.

But I also knew she needed to be taught or else she’d keep doing it (it’s been a real problem for the past few months). Oh, she cried. And cried, and cried.
I gave her a hug and went into my bedroom where my husband was watching Prison Break on his iPod. He plucked his head phones from his ears and we both listened…
“ALL MY MONIES!” Came the sobs from her room, “They’re just going to take it ALL!”
That night as I was eating dinner (alone. Not sure why), my son came in, pointed his finger and said, “You! Don’t take! Lacy’s money!”
I put him in his place, “Don’t you ever talk to your mama like that.”
And he took off.
Thank goodness, because I about died laughing. Little protective thing. I also lightly tugged at the back of his head earlier that day when he repeatedly disobeyed my requests to STAY OFF THE WET CARPET.
He ran into his room and cried and cried -more from emotional hurt than physical. A few minutes later, he emerged with his finger pointed.
“Don’t ebber touch my head aGAIN!” He ordered.
“Don’t ever get on my carpet again,” I replied.

And that’s how we roll.

Isn’t that the sweetest pile of money you’ve ever seen -all wadded up?
She confessed to me as she handed it over that she felt so much better inside -not yucky anymore.
(Here’s the kids watching the rain last evening:)
I’m glad I could take some of the hurt away. She’s already started earning her money back, by the way. She’s washed her kitchen… and sung for me.
There’s really nothing sweeter than listening to her sing the theme song from Veggie Tales The Ballad of Little Joe.


  1. The rhyming part had me laughing loudly. That is hilarious. And the part about you and Danny listening to her cry.

    Oh poor Lacy. You have your hands full for the next — years.

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