Why you wait to mop the floor -or- why I wish it had been the baby that fell down the stairs

Bear in mind as you read this that I am currently seven and a half months pregnant and that the baby to which I am referring is seventeen and a half months old (please don’t do the math).

I’ve been meaning to mop the kitchen floor for about a week now. I really have intended to do it but it seems that every day something else ends up being more important, urgent or just more appealing and so it hasn’t gotten done. And it wasn’t going to get done today either, I had already determined that. Until…. I went grocery shopping today, the baby and I made the every other weekly (bi-weekly? or is it bi-monthly?) trip to Costco and we bought, in addition to many many other things, liquid laundry detergent. Now the store being Costco the bottle is enormous, it does something like 100 loads of laundry, or laundry for about a month at my house (did I mention that I also have a seven and a five-year old?) So in the course of bringing the groceries in I did not take the huge enormous, heavy bottle of laundry soap up-stairs. I set it on the stairs about four steps up for someone (me) to take the rest of the way later. I put the rest of the groceries away and promised the baby that I’d go outside and play with him as soon as I moved the laundry (only six loads!), another of the chores that I had determined that I would do today, along. I pulled the clothes out of the dryer and as I did so I hear something with a fair amount of weight behind it fall down the stairs. Fearing it was the baby I looked out into the hall the baby is fine and sitting on the stairs. It must have been the bottle of detergent I conclude unconcernedly. I put the stuff from the washer into the dryer and throw the next load into the washer and it’s only then that I head in the direction of the stairs.
And from the top of the stairs I see the contents of the bottle of laundry detergent spreading in a puddle on the tile at the bottom of the stairs with the baby standing in the middle of it.
“No, no, no, no!” I yell as I race down the stairs and into the kitchen where I grab every available rag in an attempt to staunch the flow and particularly sop up some of the soap before it hits the carpet. Amazingly I’m successful, for the most part, and very little hits the carpet. From this point I decide on a bucket and one of those flexible cutting boards to try to scoop up some of the soap. this even works fairly well and by the time I start mopping, something I have been meaning to do for a week but never could quite get around to, I have about a dozen detergent soaked rags and an inch and a half of soap in the bottom of my bucket. and then I mop and I mop and I mop and then I mop some more. this mopping is of course interspersed with trips outside to find the baby (I didn’t mean to leave the door open) and then reassurances to the baby who’s very bothered by the extreme slickness of the floor (he doesn’t stay on his feet all that well when the floor is bone dry) and after about half an hour the floor is relatively soap free. Except for the spot under the bucket. So I pick up the bucket and set it on the the stairs. It promptly falls down the stairs leaving at least a pint of detergent (something I’ve managed to avoid thus far) on each step as it goes, and ending on the tile at the bottom of the stairs. And the cleanup begins again.
And the cleanup begins again.

But at least my kitchen floor is clean, if somewhat sticky from the soap that hasn’t come up yet. I guess I get to mop again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after…
At least I didn’t waste my time this morning.

Now before any of you call DCFS, or Social work, or some other well-meant but often interfering and almost universally ineffective organization, about the woman who wishes that her baby fell down the stairs let me just say that no, of course I don’t wish that the baby had fallen down the stairs but let me also say that it has been my considerable experience that a fall of three or four steps rarely hurts a child (I did mention that I have three, none of them blessed with very impressive coordination) and the baby would also have cried less. He doesn’t like being ignored, unsteady and if there’s one thing that upsets a child it’s seeing it’s mother cry.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. suburbancorrespondent
    May 01, 2008 @ 06:26:03

    And were you thinking, like I would, that it doesn’t really pay to buy in bulk if it means that when I spill things, I spill more of them?

  2. Mother of the Wild Boys
    Mar 21, 2009 @ 19:35:10

    Oh man, I hate when stuff like that happens!

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