raisins are an outdoor food

One of the most surprising and disheartening realities of becoming a parent is that your floor will never (at least not for 20 years or so) be as clean as it once was (or could be). I say disheartening, because your realization of this reality will come slowly, and with much denial.

The first stage is optimism: "When the baby starts sleeping more, then I'll be able to mop." Then defeat: "I'm the only person I know whose baby sleeps 20 hours a day and I STILL can't get the mopping done!" Next is acceptance: "When they're all grown up, they're going to remember that their mommy played with them a lot, not that the floor was dirty." Add a few more rounds of defeat and frustration, and you'll end up where I am: determination.

At some point, the babies will sleep long enough and you'll need to take a break from playing with them, and then you begin to think that your inability to keep your floor clean defies all logic. So you decide that this is a battle you CAN win, and so the fighting begins.

One of two reasons why my floor will NEVER be clean

For me, it's come down to my "weapons." First, let me begin by saying a high-quality broom and dustpan are necessary, and you'll use them, oh, about 12 times a day. After trying numerous versions of this, I'm sold on plain old corn husk brooms. Good stuff. 

Then, for the mop. Mops gross me out in general - aren't you just spreading around a bunch of dirty water? Before kids, I stocked up on Swiffer pads and when I mopped, I'd use half a box so I wasn't spreading around the dirt. But when you have kids, you want something they can lick without serious consequences. So, I started using a Method mop and cleaner (from Target). It smelled good and was supposedly harmless (it even said something about licking it on the bottle), but I couldn't help being grossed out by the fact that I was using the same cleaning pad the whole time. So then I went back to Swiffers (whatever doesn't kill them makes them stronger, right?). But with any soap-like product, you're going to get a residue, and that makes your floor feel a tiny bit sticky (even if it does smell clean). 

And then I discovered the Shark. This whole post is basically a long-winded way for me to sing the praises of this glorious invention. The Shark is a steam mop that "cleans and disinfects all at once!" Sign me up! You just put water in it and a towel-like pad on the bottom and off you go. No soap to make the floor sticky or the kids sick, and the steam actually kills other bacteria that your kids could be licking! The best part is, you can get extra mop pads so you can switch it out like the swiffer. I couldn't be happier. I look forward to mopping, and I guess it shows - every time I pull it out, my little one says, "Mommy, you love your mop? I love it, too." It is expensive - about $100, but it was the best $100 I ever spent.

Needless to say, I feel like my floors are much cleaner these days, and I wholly attribute that to my Shark. I have also heard about something called the G2 Swivel Sweeper that my mom and Granny swear by - a cordless vacuum-type thing that would take the place of my broom. I'll let you know what I think of that if my husband ever allows me to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond again after spending $100 on a mop. While I'm there, I might pick up a brush and dustpan. I keep thinking that'll make my table cleaner. 

If all else fails, remember these rules:
- Raisins are an outdoor food
- Spaghetti is for grown-ups
- If it crunches, it's a bad idea

Happy mopping!

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