Sunday, August 01, 2004

Hostess of the year

Today my friend Laila (yay, Laila’s back in DC!) and her son Noah came over for lunch. Noah is 15 months old and Laila had warned me that he gets into everything. No problem, I thought. It’s not like we have china figurines all over the place. We have clutter, but nothing really breakable. I’ll just vacuum and clean the bathroom, and we’ll be all set. So this morning I was looking around my living room when it dawned on me. My house is pretty much a toddler death trap. It’s not that we have breakable things. It’s just that we have a lot of stuff. Laila was due in about an hour, though so I decided to tackle what I could and started cleaning. The bathroom went fine, but the vacuum just wasn’t sucking up the dirt, which is what happens when the bag gets full. Changing the bag is always messy, so I got a big trash bag out. And then I thought, “Oh I might as well throw the kitchen trash in here while I’m at it.

Big mistake. The kitchen trash was nasty. There was about six inches of disgusting trash water in the bottom of the can. Naturally, I spilled some of it as I tried to stuff the little trash bag into the big trash bag. And this was one of the worst smells I have ever encountered. I seriously almost threw up. I ran the trash down the trash room and when I got back upstairs, and the trash was all I could smell. So I frantically hosed down the kitchen, and the trash can and washed everything that had even come close to the trash can.

At this point, John came through the door with a “What is that stench?” look on his face, making it clear that my efforts had not been very successful so far. We banished the trash can and the little throw rug from the kitchen to the balcony and dug up every scented candle anyone has ever given me. The hollyberry/apple/vanilla/lavender combination seemed to be helping, so with about five minutes to spare, I threw myself into hurriedly vacuuming the living room and front hall, skipping the bedrooms completely, but managing to finish moments before Laila arrived.

I think they had a good time. Noah is awfully sweet, and seemed to enjoy the grilled cheese sandwich I made him. Lucky for me, Laila is one of my oldest friends and still loves me even though I live in a stinky, filthy-carpeted, cluttered apartment, chock full of sharp objects, pointy stuff, and all kinds of little things that a small child wants to swallow. I hope they'll come back again.

But I don't think I'm in the running for hostess of the year.

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