Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'd Sweep, But Who Would Hold the Baby?

SOMEONE has decided that napping is not something to be done in a crib (or a swing, for that matter; and let's not even talk about the carseat...) for any extended period of time. No, only a pair of arms will do. And that's only after crying hysterically for a few minutes to get the point across that she's REALLY TIRED, PEOPLE!! We're hoping it's a side effect of the growth spurt which will disappear (any day now?) when said spurt is over. If not, well, it's only 4 months or so until I'm comfortable going through some sleep training of the Cry-It-Out variety...

Anyway, I'd like to be all flexible and laid-back about sleep, one of those moms who just gets her child(ren) up from a failed nap with a cheerful smile and goes about her day. Unfortunately, even though my children (Finn was the same way for a long time, and even now occasionally pulls this kind of stuff with naps) don't seem to want to sleep for long periods of time, they get really upset about being awake. It's the whole "I'm really tired and want to sleep, but I just can't get there or stay there myself" problem. So we do what we can to make sure sleep is obtained, because otherwise, EVERYONE is miserable.

Actually, as I type this, Lucy is sleeping in the swing. She tried to wake up too early (less than an hour in) from her first nap, and miraculously, popping her in the swing while still swaddled has bought me a bit more blog-reading/typing and coffee-drinking time. She stirs, though, so I'm clearly on borrowed time here.

In other news, M. and I have hired a cleaning lady. The crumbs and dust bunnies and cat hair all mounted an attack, wore down our defenses, and forged a treaty that involves us shelling out $75 twice a month for someone else to clean up our messes. Though we cannot afford this luxury at all, it's the best money I've ever spent. Honestly, the cleaning just wasn't getting done. I could blame it on Lucy, but in reality we've struggled with this since Finn was born over two and a half years ago.

Though he voiced the idea first, M. then punted and put me in charge of finding a cleaning service. I called a couple of companies I found online to get estimates, all of which were gasp-inducing. I blame the extremely vertical layout of our house. It's not just a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom townhouse. Those rooms are spread out over not the typical 3 floor layout, but instead FIVE floors (you'd think, after 2 years in this house, I'd have gluts of steel, but sadly I do not), with all the accompanying carpeted stairs you might expect. Whatever formula they use to calculate cleaning costs clearly equates my little house, which only technically has two teeny exterior walls of its own, with a mini-mansion of sorts.

Enter neighbor recommendations. Apparently, to my surprise, we are the only suckers that have been cleaning (or not cleaning, as the case may be) our own house. Just about all the neighbors we are friendly with pay for a cleaning service. That's how I found Irma - she cleans at least 2 other houses in my end of the neighborhood. She started yesterday, and I must say, the house has never looked better. It's due mostly to her cleaning skills (she was a tornado of cleaning for over 5 hours), but also partially to our mad scramble to declutter/pick up so that surfaces could be exposed for cleaning. Yes the confounding but age-old "cleaning before the cleaners come" conundrum.

This couldn't have come at a better time, as my sisters (one of whom is very jealous of my new cleaning lady, I'm sure) will be arriving this weekend, and M.'s parents are coming for a visit two weeks later. They can sleep safely on the pull-out couch or futon without fear of paralyzing cobwebs or sentient hair balls.


  1. Every time I come home to a clean house I feel like it is money well spent. I feel the same way about our Nanny (who picks up and cleans a little to boot). It makes me consider whether you really can be a successful single mom so long as you have enough disposable income to hire people. :)

  2. I love my house cleaners. Many things would leave the budget before our house cleaners.

  3. Hmm, apparently you have a very bad case of momnesia! Who said sleep was in the equation? Or better yet a clean house? I've had cleaning ladies for a while - I will tell you the two problems:
    1. The decluttering can be tiring after work. Always a problem when you have to declutter for the cleaning lady to come
    2. Two days after she came, your house looks like she never showed up at all (oh wait that's my house).