Mom Humor: Cleaning House - MetroFamily Magazine
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Mom Humor: Cleaning House

by Heather Davis

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

My girls sandwich the holidays with their birthdays. My older daughter was born in November and my younger daughter was born in January. One might bemoan the fact that we have approximately 10 straight weeks of celebration, but not me! I revel in the fact that we have approximately 10 straight weeks of a clean house. 

As soon as the revelry that is Halloween slips into its sugar-induced coma, I become a woman on a mission. Just knowing that my in-laws, the neighbors, the BFFs and a merry assortment of other party-goers will be descending upon my home within two weeks is enough to light a fire under me and my buddy, Mr. Clean. Literally: Mr. Clean, the detergent. It’s not in any way, shape or form a nickname for my hubby … unless I was going for sheer irony. 

I make lists and buy all the good cleaning supplies: that which is good for the environment and my family and that which promises instant results if I’m willing to compromise the immune systems of my family. And, sometimes, I am. 

I create a multi-paged spreadsheet, assigning each member of the family a job to do so I can avoid my least-favorite chores. Wait. That’s not totally what I do. I mean, sure, I am in charge. Therefore, I can give those cleaning assignments to someone else, right? (Just nod and mutter “Amen.” You know you want to.) Then, we get to work.

I threaten to donate the television to a needy family that still watches one of those with rabbit ears and tubes if the girls don’t do their part. I’m pretty sure they know I’m kidding because I really can’t give up “Criminal Minds.” But, for now, it’s a threat that gets my living room dusted. 

I also threaten to give the cats away to a pack of wolves if the litter box area isn’t swept and mopped and sparkling. It’s a threat I’m willing to keep but the girls aren’t worried about. Those cats would have that pack whipped into shape the first night. 

We pull the fridge out and mop behind it. We dust the light bulbs in the lamps in addition to the lamps themselves. And even though everyone insists on coming in through the garage, I make someone sweep and dust the front walkway. This is a task that usually falls to the baby sister because the big sister once found a spider on the walkway the day after Halloween. Sure it was a plastic spider, but “why risk it” is her motto. 

Finally, with the house smelling like a chemically-supported pine forest, we are ready for the 10 weeks of birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthday. The other forty-two weeks of the year, we sit back and enjoy the fact that our house was once clean. 

Then, last year, I got a bee in my bonnet. For real. A bee in the house. Actually, I believe it was a mutant wasp the size of a grapefruit that, I swear, spoke Spanish as it dive bombed my head. Then it flew into the corner cobweb and was never seen again. It was enough to have me not only don a haz-mat suit, but to also break out the ol’ Birthday Celebration Spread Sheet.exc. (Yes, that’s the official document’s name.)

I think because this happened at the end of the school year—that magical time between spring and summer when life is too busy to see the dust accumulating in front of the television set and “Criminal Minds” is showing reruns—my family was a little bit too stunned at my appeal for a clean house to put up much resistance. 

Oh, let’s be clear, they were sure ready to try and get out of the work, but they didn’t put up too much of a fight. In fact, the spider-phobic daughter actually swept the front stoop before she realized what she was doing. And when my younger daughter mopped the litter box area, she kept right on mopping and did the whole laundry room. That wasn’t even on her tab of the spreadsheet to do, but I’ll take it. 

Once the house was sparkling, and even though the wasp was still MIA, I was somewhat satisfied that the cats had disposed of the transmuted insect properly (this is why I won’t really give them to a pack of wolves). I marveled that the pine scent was still just as powerful in the spring as it was in the fall. I sat down to enjoy the clean house when my family approached. They had designated the younger child as their spokesperson. 

“Momma?” she said with a sense of excitement in her voice, “When’s the party?”

“What party?” 

“The party we had to clean the house for.”

We had the party that weekend … no particular reason, other than I really like a clean house. 

Heather Davis is an Oklahoma momma, a writer and less-than-steller housekeeper. She’s the award-winning author of several humor books, all available on Her website is

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