Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My secret is down the drain...

I have a secret (sort of). A secret that is going to be revealed for the sake of this post. I am going to tell you about a very important person in my life, with some hesitation for fear of being judged. Cecilia. I have known Cecilia for about 2 ½ years. I tried to keep her secret for a while, but eventually word started getting out and I decided to come clean (no pun intended); to embrace the fact that I have a housekeeper. I could blog a list of how I can justify it, but when it comes down to it, I just need the help. Cecilia comes each week to help me at my house. And for a few brief hours on Wednesday, my house is clean. In fact, I love when people come over Wednesday afternoon. I open the door wide and let them in. (which is actually slightly more polite than standing at the door, blocking their view of the living room)

I love Cecilia because she just gets done what needs to be done. Changing bedding. Mopping. Dishes. Cleaning the refrigerator. She pretty much jumps in and takes care of everything. Sometimes, on really bad days, I have dishes on the counters and in the sinks. She empties the smelly food and stale water, cleans the dishes and shines the counters. You see why I love her? There are a couple drawbacks, however. So minor though, I always overlook them.

First, I do not speak her language and she does not speak mine. There is a lot of pointing when we try to communicate, but mostly just smiles and nods. I keep telling myself I need to learn her language, but then reality sets in and I go on pointing.

Second, Cecilia has an odd habit of misplacing and rearranging things. I have found my sugar dish on my bookcase, photos from my piano repositioned – upstairs by my bed. Shoes stashed in storage bins… you know, stuff like that. After 2 ½ years, I have sort of learned how she thinks and can find most things she moves. It is a little maddening – try explaining to your son’s teacher that his homework was misplaced by the family housekeeper – doesn’t go over well. We have learned to adjust, every Wednesday morning, we all hide (ie: actually put it away) our important stuff so we can find it post-Cecilia. Novel idea, I know.

One week ago, we received a lovely gift via the ward carnival. Like many parents, we were surprised that one of our children won a real-live, have-to-take-care-of-it, gold fish. My dear friend, who was the mastermind in this plot, reassured me, as well as other apprehensive parents, that the fish was not healthy and would soon meet its maker. Whew. I found a sense of morbid comfort in this promise.

Each morning, I would awake to a happy, “swimming-all-over-the-stupid-bowl” fish. And each night, I would wonder if this was our last night with our unnamed pet. You see, I had told my children the fish would probably not last very long, so no one bothered to name the poor creature. Sure as sunshine, this little fellow was strong and healthy this morning before school.

Certain this finned friend wouldn’t live too long, I made a home for him in a vase I had on my counter. We changed the water daily, but it still was murky. He became part of the hub that only a family kitchen can have. There he sat, amidst all my dirty dishes, looking, to the untrained eye, like another bowl to be washed.

Tonight, while I was making dinner, I admired my clean kitchen. The non-sticky floor, the fingerprintless fridge, the glossy counters, oh – and my vase looks so clean! WHAT? My vase? Only a few hours earlier, our nameless fish had been happily swimming around. As my eyes drifted over to my sink, and then garbage disposal, I realized, only partially horrified, what had happened. As strong as our gilled friend was, he was no match for my Insinkerator. And then I had to imagine the scene because Cecilia, not speaking my language, couldn’t tell me. Did she look a little worried this afternoon when she left? In her haste to clean up, she must have dumped the water, fish included, into the sink. I imagine she noticed the fish about the time it became unstuck from the rubber drain guard and slipped into the whirring blades.

Oh boy, how do you explain this one to the kids?

I don’t know how soon I will be able to turn on our disposal without thinking of our sweet fish.

11 comments:

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

You are awesome! Thanks for your posts and your blog they make me :)

Our Crazy Family said...

Kathy, you crack me up! Poor little fish! BTW--is it necessary to admit that we have a housekeeper who helps out? I love my 3 girls that come every other week. They make my home sparkle, and I almost want to cry when I come home to a clean house! But we both know how quickly a few kids can destroy it don't we!

Heatherly said...

I'm liking this idea! I can hear it now.... But the Penrods have one! ha ha! I think I will have to get some more kids under my belt first though!

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

P.S. I just signed up to follow your blog I love it :)

"Summershine" said...

That is so funny! I love how you tell stories. We had a situation like that after I moved from home that I was told about. I think it was Hyrum who was the accidental murderer of the poor fish, whom they named something hilarious. It was a joke for a long time. I have to get the details and tell you.

A housekeeper sounds wonderful. It has my brain ticking and trying to figure out how much it could be and if we can somehow squeeze into our already squeezed budget. :)

threehappyhansens@yahoo.com said...

All I have to say is "MY FISH!!!"
Oh and be careful what you wish for......
Poor little fishie!

Erin said...

That poor fish. But Cecilia was just trying to help! I wish my house was clean on Wednesday afternoons.

Natalie said...

I love your story telling abilities. Thanks for the laugh. I am still the proud owner of my carnival gold fish. I wonder how many other parents are still looking at their carnival fish. I really thought those guys wouldn't last this long.

Sharla said...

The poor fishy! It sounds like a horror movie! Annika's fish is still alive, even though we catch one of our cats fishing in the bowl every now and then. I'm surprised "shimmer" hasn't died of a heart attack yet!

And as far as the housekeeper goes, you lucky duck! And all this time I just thought you were an amazing housekeeper. You still are in my book!

Brian and Shawntel Ashcroft Family said...

Kathy! I love it! Bye the way, here you are strange if you don't have a house keeper which is me. I dream of the day when I get my house keeper to come in and help me once a week for a few hours. Maybe then I will actually get my bathrooms cleaned and the ironing done. Or even the upstairs vacummed. There is so much to do and so much mess these kids can make. Extra hands are always needed.

Erin said...

yep, still have a swimming fish at our house as well... your story was awesome!
Loved it.
Miss my housekeeper days, doing it myself makes me appreciate it SO much more, but also get SO much more upset when it is destroyed!