“Cinderella, Cinderella”

My husband took the girls to the grocery store this morning. He does this almost every Sunday and after he leaves, my head fills with ideas of what to do for that glorious hour…I could read, watch TV, take a long shower, write in my journal, straighten up the clutter, start the laundry, organize toys, ugh just thinking of these mundane chores causes my spirit to plummet.  Gee that happened so fast.

Usually I just sit, almost paralyzed with the idea of an hour to myself, while the clock ticks and my minutes of freedom just pass me by…is there something wrong with me I wonder? I guess it’s like people who get out of jail and don’t know what to do with themselves…I waste so much time thinking and before you know it, the door busts open, the house fills with the shrieks of little girls, “Mommy, mommy- we ate donuts and we bought Scooby snacks and can I eat them now please, please, please!”

Sigh– the peace and quiet is over and I have yet another food battle on my hands.

I might as well just start going to the store with them from now on.  This jailbird does not sing – Maya Angelou clearly was not writing about me.

On this particular morning, I looked up, I looked around, and then I looked down. I saw crumbs and dirty marks all over the floor…I started getting anxious, and a tight feeling started in my shoulder muscles, the start of a panic attack beginning to form.

There was no quick sweep and spot cleaning my way out of this – I had to bring in the big guns.  Pine Sol.  I don’t know about you but I absolutely hate mopping the floor more than any other household chore. There is nothing gratifying about it, it’s so time consuming, so many steps, filling the bucket, mopping the floor, getting out the brush and scrubbing the corners, rinsing, drying with the towel, and when you done, it still doesn’t look much different and it’s dirty within five minutes of my kids eating some snack.

And they are ALWAYS hungry. They always want a snack. And they always leave a trail.

By the time I got motivated to actually start the mopping, the girls were home and I said to Gia, “Hey, want to play Cinderella!”

“Of course,” she said with a giggle and started dancing and wiggling about so excited.

“Great,” I thought to myself.  This is the answer to all my mopping woes.

We got the bucket and I gave Gia a brush to scrub and she starting scrubbing and giggling and whooping with delight.  She was so enthusiastic about this chore. “Look at me Daddy, I’m mopping, I’m Cinderella!”

A smile spreading over my face, “I am ingenious,” I thought.

Thoughts racing through my head like a run-away train, this is so awesome, we are going to mop all of the time, we are going to clean the bathrooms, were going to put away clothes, and straighten up rooms without bribes of ice cream! My cleaning woes are lifted forever, or at least until she’s out of the princess phase, hmmm, maybe we can make games out of this, the possibilities were endless.

Humming along, lost in thought, I suddenly realized I was alone. Stranded on the tile. Not a princess in site.

“Giiiaaaa! Where are you? What happened to my Cinderella, we have to clean and then get ready for the ball.”

“I am not Cinderella- I’m Gia, and I don’t want to help you anymore- I’m tired and I just want to lie down.”