Thursday, May 27, 2010

Twintentionally Not-So-Good Housekeeping

As soon as we learned we were having twins, advice poured in from all corners of the globe. And as is the way with voluminous advice, solicited or unsolicited, we dismissed much, and clung to only a few select morsels.

Undoubtedly, the suggestion I found most appealling was the “Housework should be a low priority with newborn twins” admonition. Of course, never having been much of a housekeeper pre-twin pregnancy, adhering to that charge would be minimally challenging, and provide a long-awaited, highly-credible rationale for my imperfect household management.

Little did I know that with twins in residence, housework wasn’t just a time-management/cleanliness issue, but on occasion, a heart-wrenching obstacle.

For example, one evening when our son wasn’t more than four months old, he was peeking through the panel on our front door to greet returning-home-from-work Daddy, when he left a greasy, perfectly diminutive handprint on the glass.

Naturally, the window was already a panoply of noseprints, grime, and indecipherable smears, but to me, the wee handprint shone like the glimpse of heaven it was.

Many weeks later, when my mom (now affectionately known as Grandma Ross) in a heartfelt effort to “help out” approached within a few feet of the door, Windex in hand, I shrieked as if she were about to be hit by a car. When I close-to-tearfully revealed the already outgrown handprint, my mom in loving deference to my reverence, returned the glass cleaner, and redirected her energies to a bathroom...a locale with far less twin-centered sentimentality.

Months later, through no efforts of my own, I noticed sunlight streaming unimpeded through the sparkling clean door panel. Woefully handprint-free. As maternally and mentally imbalanced as it may seem, I still tear up reminiscing about that tiny hand’s perfection.

Of course, dirt is dirt. The vast evidence of my domestic disability has far less emotional impact.

Cases in point:

-Snot streaks on a navy blue chenille sofa. (God willing, I discovered and addressed them quickly.)

-Raisins/Black Olive Slices/Cheerios/Goldfish Crackers/Flintstones Vitamins...
all of which I have peeled off the bottom of my bare feet after eating breakfast at our dining room table. (I should really consider slippers...)

-Pancaked Play-Dough on Pajama Pants. Discovered when putting laundry in the washing machine. (Perhaps that alliterative phrase should be the title of a children’s book...budding authors, anyone?)

-Wayward clumps of Miss Piggy’s synthetic blond hair. My heart skipped a beat when I discovered a sizeable handful of blond strands closely resembling our daughter’s hair color pinched between the dining room chair leg and the floor. Thankfully, a closer examination of nearby Miss Piggy’s scalp revealed it’s true origin.

When our twins were about nine months old, I decided to splurge on a simple sterling silver locket. My logic was, that housed in that pendant’s embrace would be a constant visual reminder of my children’s presence in the world. Not that I regret that investment for a minute, but I could have saved the $22. If only Bobby Blue Blue Fish didn’t need his water changed periodically in order to survive, the matching sets of peanut butter kisses on the fishbowl would have served just fine.

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MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Isn't it funny how the smallest things can hold sentiment? I still have the maternity sweater I wore to the hospital in the bottom of my clothes hamper. Yes, it's "lay flat to dry" (which I hate!), but I just can't stand to wash it. :)

Terra said...

you people cringe when they find out we "craft" in our family room, on the carpet - glue, markers, scissors, sparkles, glitter the whole 9 yards....

I have a vacuum. and the time spent on the floor together beats all

Rebecca said...

I love those little handprints and totally get why you wanted to "preserve" them. Bare feet is a thing around here too...I just wonder how things end up stuck to me!

Kathryn at TwinParenthood said...

Holy Cow! You could be me... or I could be you!!! This sounds so much like our household.

I couldn't bring myself to throw out some of the "stuff" on the floor in the car -- so had my girlies make a collage out of it. Pieces of cheerios, a piece of gum, legos and pine cones. A work of art.

Christina said...

What a sweet post. I love it. :)

Anonymous said...

How good of your Mom to respond!

Some memories just have to live without the physical evidence.