Sanders: To dust or to rock the baby |

Sanders: To dust or to rock the baby

A new grandbaby, Ashley Rose, arrived early on Christmas Eve morning. It is exciting, though I won’t see her for a while as she lives in Michigan. She joins a brother and three sisters who are thrilled.

The birth reminded me of when we had little ones. Back when I had nothing much else to do, I was an excellent housekeeper, cleaning the entire house twice a week.

After our babies came along, I concentrated more on clean floors than dusting the tops of shelves. It wasn’t fun for them to crawl on a dirt-speckled floor, and no one could see the shelf tops.

The year that got me off track as far as cleaning is concerned was a benchmark year. That was when one son got out of kindergarten at 11 a.m, and when he got home, he was ready for dinner.

“Now that I’m a grandma with children around, I am re-evaluating my cleaning routine, or lack thereof.”

At noon, my husband (and any seed corn dealers, equipment salesmen or bankers that had shown up about eating time) came in for dinner. After I got the second set of meal remnants cleaned up and a load of laundry done, it was time to fetch the other son from school, about 2 p.m. Naturally, he needed food.

Then, it was off to the field to give a snack and coffee to my husband. That allowed for a little family time when the older son could tell him about his school day and we could find out what chores or errands the rest of the day held for us.

None of this was earth-shaking work. It was simply time-consuming but totally necessary, and it allowed for little else. Day by day, my housework took a hit. Instead of twice a week, Saturdays were relegated to cleaning day.

After the kids got older and Saturdays became full of school and other activities such as 4-H, cattle work, farming and ranching, even my Saturday cleaning was sporadic. Then it became ‘a lick and a promise’ as my grandma used to say.

Now that I’m a grandma with children around, I am re-evaluating my cleaning routine, or lack thereof. My house is dirty enough to be happy and clean enough to be healthy. We enjoy our home, and we use it.

We don’t remove our footwear before we enter, though we do scrape off extraneous matter. Cleaning floors is a necessity; dusting is not. After all, what is dust but a protective coating for furniture?

Although the author is unknown, and I’ve taken liberties with the poem, this pretty much sums up my philosophy:

Babies Don’t Keep,

Cleaning and scrubbing

Can wait till tomorrow,

For babies grow up

We’ve learned to our joy.

So quiet down cobwebs,

Dust, go to sleep,

I’m rocking my grandgirl,

And babies don’t keep.

What a way to start the New Year, with a new life in the family.❖

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