Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Arch Enemies

Every superhero has a nemesis. Lex Luthor, the Green Goblin, the Joker--these are some truly BAD guys. Our son Kimball thinks he has a nemesis, too, (although I don't know if you call it that if the nemesis is a duo). These two women are seemingly innocent-- in fact, I count them as one of the tender mercies of the Lord in my life! Bronwen also adores them, cheers when they arrive, and frequently mentions them in her nightly prayers. Who are these deceptively evil creatures? They are our housekeepers.

I have hesitated to write about this otherwise compelling subject because if you have preconceived notions about the kind of people who have housekeepers, we probably wouldn't fit that bill--but if you only know me virtually, you would probably make some assumptions. And I have admitted before that I do care what you think, at least those of you who read often.

We are not wealthy (at least by American standards), and in fact make many sacrifices so that I can be at home with our children. We are blessed, however, to have housekeepers who are willing to trade services with my husband. And I will admit that it makes our life nicer. I could technically function as a homeschooling mother of nearly 5, but I wouldn't have a clean house. And Jared and I both agree that having order and a clean house makes a big difference in our life satisfaction, so it might just be worth it to us if this trade ever runs out. And our children still get plenty of opportunities to help with household cleaning and chores, as once a week is not enough to keep the house clean--it is just enough to stop it from getting away from us completely.

Anyway, now that I've issued my disclaimer, let's get back to the subject at hand: Kimball vs. Housekeepers. Months ago I noticed that he got a scowl on his face whenever their arrival was anticipated. He began complaining that they always put his things in the wrong place, that they remade his bed too tightly (as in perfectly), that they mixed up his and Henry's pillows. And don't get him started on how they move his Lego creations around in the playroom. Anytime he misplaces anything, anytime things aren't just where he expects them to be, he begins grumbling about "the housekeepers".

This always launches me into a little lecture about how lucky we are to have them come, how much I appreciate that they come, and how he is responsible for his own things. "If you put your things away before they come like you are supposed to, they won't move them around," I remind him. But it falls on deaf ears. No one will convince him that the housekeepers aren't out to get him. Each week they hatch another maniacal plot to bring agony into his young life.

In an attempt to teach them accountability and ease Kimball's Monday Anxiety, I have agreed with the boys that if they clean up the playroom and vacuum it before the Terrible Twosome arrive, I will instruct them to skip it. Some weeks that works, some weeks it doesn't. And yesterday when we came home to discover that Kimball's recently lost tooth had been thrown away, he was pretty sure that life as he knew it was coming to an end. (Never mind that I had advised him to stash it in his sock drawer, quite sure that they wouldn't recognize a lone molar swimming in a gallon-sized Ziploc--his doing--as a treasure we were keeping for the tooth fairy. He left it in the middle of his bed and they assumed it was garbage, since it looked deceptively like garbage.) Sigh.


At least he hasn't made any "it's them or me" ultimatums. I would hate to have to choose.

16 comments:

Scrappy said...

Too funny! I love your last sentence. :)

That must be great to be able to trade services, although I am sure you probably run into problems with that sometimes too.

Aubrey said...

Trading services is such a great idea. I am going to encourage my husband to pick up a housekeeping client so we can do the same!
I have to tell you that Kimball, even though I really don't know him irl, is one of my favorite kids.
I imagine mothering him is a wonderful challenge; he is too smart for his own good. And cheeky too. YOur posts about him are my absolute favorites!

myrissa said...

If he ever makes you choose we'll take him. He completely cracks me up!

Ritsumei said...

What a funny story! Thanks so much for visiting my blog!!

Prudy said...

I love that you've been posting so much this week. It makes me miss you even more. I wish I had some HKs around here for the kids to blame things on. House keeping is definitely something that falls through the cracks with homeschooling. Kimball is hilarious!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that Kimball has a nemesis...every superhero must have one. Since he is so obvious "super" I am relieved that he has to deal with an arch enemy that will at least keep his room clean.

MyrnaMom

Yvonne said...

We have (had) a housekeeper too, and sound similar to you... I cannot do it alone and we sacrifice other things to have her. She is moving away however and after 9 years with us, we are at a complete loss of how we will cope with this! She might be back after she gets settled, but I am not going to hold my breath (or not clean) waiting for her. My kids ADORE our housecleaner and when they come home after she has been there, they take a deep breath of the cleanest smell and sigh, "oh,...Anna..." Hillarious! Good luck to Kimball... and I am sure that the tooth fairy will understand.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Trading services ... that is awesome! And the fact that it brings so much peace into your (minus the nemesis situation), makes it even sweeter.

Anonymous said...

LOL - I knew Kimball was going to write to the tooth fairy but I love how he still blamed them for his lack of obedience. And for this he still gets a reward. Life and times of R. Kimball.

Love, Papa

Sonja said...

Holy.cow.

You are absolutely right. Kimball and Sam were cut from the same cloth. I mean, that letter? The sarcasm? The "absence of tooth" wording? It was sooo eerily familiar.

I don't think any less of you for having some help around the house. :) I only wish my husband was in a position to trade for that. :)

Good luck to Kimball in his efforts to vanquish his nemesis and retain his teeth!

Andrea said...

It is fun to see you blogging before this baby comes! I'm sure the tooth fairy understood Kimball's problem. (Maybe even give more loot!)

Hope you are feeling well!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

We too have have a housekeeper come once a week while Matt's working and in school. It helps me a lot. We only pay her to clean surfaces, so we always have to have everything picked up before she comes, so my kids dread mine, too. (I say she'll vacuum up whatever they leave on the floor.) My daughter idolizes her and follows her around the whole time she's here.

Jeannetta said...

OH my gosh this is hysterical!!
I love visiting your blog, always something to bring cheer!

Keli and Mike said...

So funny! Kimball always cracks me up!

Christine said...

Natalie lost her tooth- wrote a note to the t.f., got paid, and then miraculously FOUND a tooth in my jewlery drawer a few days ago that she thinks is her lost tooth- so she has it in the "tooth pillow" hoping to get paid twice... I'm terribly jealous of your housekeeper. That is one of the things missing in my life that is keeping me from true happiness.

Christine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.