Clean like you want your own room!

"Clean like you want your own room."  

That's how I greeted each of my children as they trickled into the house after school today.  We had our first showing scheduled and our home was not quite ready for visitors when I arrived at 3:00.

My girl sobbed, as she does when she wants to get out of something, but tromped up and down the stairs despite tears when I told her to take one armful of laundry up and put it away, then come back and tell me why she is crying.  Magically, she wasn't crying anymore when she came down for the next armful.

My third born did a whole lot of stomping like he does when he doesn't get his own way (at first, then he organized all the shoes neatly in the closet).  

As expected, my second born said he was making his bed every time I saw him standing around, and that ended up taking him a full 30 minutes at the very least.  But he made sure to put on catchy energizing music to help the process.

My oldest - my firstborn - he asked almost right away, "What can I do?"  That was after he had already come in the door, put away his laundry, made his bed and tidied his room.  It was after he had said he needed an after school snack and I said no because I didn't want the kitchen messed up.  He didn't complain.

This boy, who has amazingly grown taller than me in the last six months said, "I'll finish up all of this," as he motioned around the basement.  I had asked him to vacuum, but he offered to do it all.

Quickly the five of us worked on bits of the house.  Hubby came home and vacuumed over all of the carpets in the house that needed a little extra help.

While I washed the floor, the kids fought outside the door and sprayed each other with water until someone was angry and/or crying and they got in trouble for it.  Then we all went for dinner, and hubby and oldest headed off to band while I dragged the other three to the library to wait out the hour-long booking.

The people did not show up.

The PEOPLE did NOT show UP.

I knew it the second I put the key in the door.  It was confirmed minutes later when I texted our realtor to check.

It is frustrating when this happens because six people is a lot of people to move around.  Dinner for six people is not an inexpensive outing.  An hour away is both too long and too short.

But the most frustrating thing for me is to know that my kids worked hard today to help get the house ready.  Even though it is unnatural and difficult for them, and is absolutely not something they would like to be doing in that moment (in any moment), they did it anyway.

And it ended up being for no reason at all.  This will only teach them that they don't have to clean for showings anymore because no one will show up anyway. Heck, that's kind of what I feel.

I'm proud of my biggest boy, though.  It makes my heart leap with joy when he "steps up" in a situation, because it means he is growing up and it builds my confidence in his ability to take care of himself and be a contributing member of society.

I also am happy to have a show-ready house again.  

As I rounded the littles up for bed, I reminded them, "From now on, every time you leave a room, turn around and look at it.  If it looks like somebody was in there, fix it."

We shall see how long we can keep this up.


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