In anticipation of Tim's Tuesday arrival, the children and I have been cleaning like mad. Saturday was our official put away day and we began after breakfast by making a list of chores that needed to be accomplished and put a child's name down next to it. By 2pm the barn was tidy, the garage was clean and swept, the tent was collected from the clearing in the woods and put away, the bikes were lined up, and the inside chores were finished as well: laundry, changing sheets, mopping floor, etc, etc, etc.
However, making things tidy on Saturday is a far cry from keeping things clean until Tuesday. For of course, the garage was a mess again after the children creatively turned it into a bowling alley with cardboard blocks substituting for pins and boat lines delineating the lanes. Will, Julia Ellen, and I have been sick so it was inevitable that the baby coughed so hard that she not only threw up two evenings in a row in her own bed, but once in mine. My freshly mopped floors have been baptized with spilled milk several times in the past 2 days, and someone smuggled crackers into bed, leaving a huge crunchy mess on the floor.
I still want the place to look nice for Tim tomorrow, but the only option left seems to be to cancel school on Tuesday, scrub everything before the children wake up, and hustle them out of the house until his plane lands. Yes, it will all be back to sticky floors and piles of clean laundry waiting to be folded soon enough, but there will be that 20 minute stretch of time when he can see that we really did miss him and made an effort to please. Welcome home honey!