Company’s coming. So, I’m cleaning — which is quaintly naive, in its own way, because the minute our guests arrive, see the lake, they’ll immediately drop their things in a heap and head straight for the water. They won’t even notice whether the cottage is clean or not. But, I like fresh clean smells; and getting to the root of all potential foul odors is really the point of cleaning. That, and also, getting rid of clutter.
It was just me and the two little boys, and we had a full day of cleaning laid out in front of us. I started cleaning while they played imaginary games, using their picture books to build houses for their stuffed animals.
When they got bored, I put them to work. Mostly stuff like “Find the prettiest flower and fill these three vases… one flower for each vase.” Or, “find me a basket to hold wash cloths,” or “bring me the broom.”
We worked hard. The cottage was done, sparkling, and they both had that look of satisfaction that only comes from a job well-done. I assumed, at the time, they shared my satisfaction. I was mistaken.
While I was busy scrubbing floors in the guest house, they were noticeably absent. “Back to building houses,” I assumed. Soon, it began to get annoying to not have anyone around to work as gopher…”Go get me a sponge,” or “bring me a mop.” You’d be surprised how many steps and how much time little gophers can save you. Plus, I was beginning to get a little worn out from all the work I had accomplished so far.
Reluctantly, I went back to the main cottage to get the supplies I needed. I didn’t notice anything unusual, but then he had to just come right out and say it. “Why do my feet feel so sticky?”
The floor couldn’t be sticky… I just scrubbed the floors on my hands and knees. NO way could the floor be sticky. Clearly, his eyes were testing me, he was giving me more information with his eyes, if only I had the foresight to dig a little deeper. Clearly, his eyes had one message: I did something wrong, and I want to get caught.
I scanned the room… no, it couldn’t be. Yes. It was. Snow Cone Syrup. The brand new bottle half gone, and in their bellies, and dripped on the floor.
Whether I wanted to or not; whether I was tired or not; I was scrubbing the floor again.