The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Sunday, January 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Germs an easier fight than image of moms on TV

Now that 2012 is officially cooked, I'm feeling pretty good about honoring the New Year's resolution I made last year: use a meat thermometer.

Score one for me, because I no longer live in fear of serving my family undercooked meat.

My resolution for 2013 is equally simplistic. (That's why I have a fighting chance of accomplishing it.) In 2013 I resolve to disinfect the television remote control on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, even if I accomplish this lofty ambition, that won't stop me from feeling inadequate every time I watch a Clorox commercial.

Their fake moms are always perky and organized. They find time to clean off light switches and doorknobs. When something spills on their kitchen counters, they wipe it up with one paper towel and a quick squirt of disinfectant.

Excuse me with a reality check, but the last time my 3-year-old spilled her milk it took multiple paper towels, a bunch of rags and the vacuum cleaner to pick up tiny shards of glass.

Then my husband had to move the refrigerator, because some of the milk spilled under there, too.

Maybe that's why almost all of the cleaning commercials make me feel like a housewife reject. Nobody ever comes into my house and remarks that it smells like a pine tree forest.

I don't even look happy when I do laundry. When I see a grass stain on my son's jeans, I never smile determinedly and think, "Yes! I will conquer you!"

Even my laundry baskets are pathetic. Each one has been used as a carpet sled one too many times.

The only cleaning advertisements that I can really relate to are the ones for steam cleaners.

I don't have an adorable dog that leaves muddy footprints all over my carpet, but I do have a 7-year-old. My son got so sick from the flu last year that we abandoned his room and made up a bed for him on the couch.

A Stanley Steemer crew from Woodinville came out the next morning in the middle of a snowstorm to deal with the mess. I guess that wouldn't make a very good commercial though, because it's so gross.

Any time one of my family members comes down with the stomach bug, I board the train to Bleach Town pretty fast. It's the only time when I could give a Clorox mom a run for her money.

How hot can the dishwasher go? When's the last time I washed the pump on the hand soap? Can I clean air?

Those are the types of questions I think about while I wait for my turn to get sick. Being the last healthy person left in the house is rough on the psyche.

Still, 2013 isn't going to be the year when visiting babies eat Cheerios off my floor.

But it is going to be the year when we have a germ-free remote control. The next time I see a cleaning commercial on TV, I won't get sick when I change the channel.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.blog.com.
Story tags » Parenting

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