My kitchen floor is the thorn in my side. It gets swept three times a day and mopped 1 to 2 times a week, and still, it always looks a mess.

I didn’t realize just how hard children are on floors until my husband and I moved out of my parent’s house (after saving up for a down payment) with our two small children. You see, my parents had a dog.

Annie was a golden lab, gentle and sweet. My then toddler Andy and the dog had the ultimate symbiotic relationship. Like the rhino and the tic tic bird, they met each other’s needs while fulfilling their own: Andy would throw stuff off his highchair and spill his soup and Annie got a hot meal and kept the floor spic and span. And the dog wasn’t mine to take care of! It was a perfect match.

By and by, Paul and I saved up enough for our own kitchen floor. It was then my contempt for the kitchen floor grew…and grew. One mess maker, two, then three mess makers, four! I’ve had tile, wood, Pergo and linoleum. What I want is a drain in the middle so I can hose it down!

Believe me, I’ve thought about getting a dog like Annie to solve the problem. I even sat through an entire 17 minute show called “Pet’s Rule” at Sea World thinking it was a fab idea. Then the bright lights died down and the dogs went back stage for their treats. As we walked out of Pet’s Stadium it felt like a sunrise in Las Vegas. Take away the snazzy lights and professional trainers and all you’re left with is just a dog and all the other messes that come with that. I just can’t do it. Not now.

So, take yesterday. I was coming down the home stretch of a big sewing project. (I am making Dean a quiet book for Chrismtmas–shhh.) My sewing machine is set up on the kitchen table so you can imagine the sea of scraps and thread already littering the floor. Then comes in Kate asking for a snack. She thinks Marshmallow Mateys in a baggie will do the trick. Dean is hot on her heels and as she retrieves a zip lock baggie from the drawer, Dean gets a kung fu grip on the cereal bag and dumps it all out. All of it. Onto the floor. Then Kate is thirsty. And while I’m concentrating on straight stitches, she finds a can of contraband orange soda. She opens it and leaves it on the floor while she looks for a cup. Dean saunters by… You can fill in the rest.

Boy, for making a “quiet book,” I sure did a lot of yelling and screaming that day.


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