Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Domestic Diva...in training

I've always admired those women who could remove a purple popsicle stain with sparkling water or vanish gum from the carpet using only a sliver of ice and a hot iron. These are the same women who know how to use a label maker and have their spice rack alphabetized. Martha Stewart, the Grand Mamma Jamma of this realm and Heloise, the antiquated version, can make even the most tedious tasks look simple and even fun!

I, on the other hand, have always viewed myself as more of a 'Bring home the bacon...fry it up in a pan...' kind of gal. Until the other day, when I lugged out my ironing board in order to save a trip to the dry cleaners, my daughter, staring with wonder, at the rickety contraption asked, "Mommy, are we having a rummage sale?"
"Uhhh.. No, why? And where did you hear that?"
"From Max & Ruby." she replied. I realized she had no more idea what to do with an ironing board than I would have with a scalpel.

Another time she twirled and whirled through the dust that was streaming in through the sunlit window declaring to all the world that she had discovered 'Fairy Dust!' It was at this moment I realized that I was leading my daughter down the slippery slope to domestic ignorance.

It's not due to a lack of education on my part either. My mother, who I believe to have at least a master's level of education in the Domestic Arts (D.A.) gave me ample schooling as a youngster. I've heard her lament on how she could have done more to teach us better technique in the fine arts of dusting or dishwasher loading, but to her credit, she was an excellent instructor and did the best she could with the pupils in her charge (me and my younger sister). To her worries of failure I say, "Pashaw!"
My sister is no domestic slouch. She owns books on the subjects of stain removal and organizational awareness. She has taken it upon herself to further her education...a sort of self imposed, self taught, learn at your own pace type of schooling. She too, is probably now at the master's level in the Domestic Arts. Somewhere between high school and now, my education came to a screeching halt. I hold, what I imagine to be a junior college degree in this area. Enough to get by in the real world but never enough to impress.

So, inspired by a girlfriend who holds 'boot camps' for everything from 'Ice-cream Licking' to 'Stair Climbing', I have decided to implement my own training program. My children will begin their training starting yesterday! It's a rigorous, fast paced curriculum, not for the faint hearted or lackadaisical child. The program entails several pre-requisite courses...Bathtub Toy Tidy, Napkin Folding 101, and The Science of Sock Matching. After these subjects are mastered, we can move on to more sophomoric, philosophical studies such as...Bed-Making Technique, and Vacuuming Without Guilt. My son will receive the same, (in my house gender bending is the rule, not the exception).

So far, my daughter's only plea is that she must wear her tiara while she toils. I decided that this would be OK. In fact, I tried it myself! It's like the Mary Poppinish saying, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.." Plus it makes for a much more pleasant picture of domesticity.

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