Now, I am not one for hyperbole, but... Carol's father is the greatest high school basketball coach in the history of... the universe.
That's right, I said universe!
I am always looking for a good topic to write about each week, and a funny book review for the daughter of a great basketball coach sounded like a novel idea. I was sure her book would have had something to do with basketball. Sounded like a great plan... right up until I read the inside cover! Spoiler alert: This book is not really about basketball at all!
I quickly made two assessments.
First, I decided that I would not read the book. The real topic did not interest me, and it would have required too much of an effort from me. Second, I hid the book from Cheryl because... well, because the topic did not interest me, and it would have required too much of an effort from me.
Several weeks went by and life was good.
I wasn't reading much of anything, and frankly, I was not putting forth too much effort in any of my daily endeavors. Then I made the mistake of attending a fundraiser at Pallotti High School. As part of the fundraiser, Cheryl and I purchased a "going away to college" basket for Gracie. It had lots of fun stuff: a wicker hamper full of sheets, towels, a microwave oven, a lamp, a clock and... that book!
By the time we got home, that book was buried at the bottom of the hamper, so I couldn't sneak it out before Cheryl spotted it. Life as I knew it, was over. Once you hear what it says on the cover of the book, it will all become perfectly clear to you:
~ TEAM CLEAN ~
~ The End Of Cleaning Alone ~
~ The Ultimate Family Clean-Up-The-House Formula ~
Truth is... cleaning alone never really bothered me.
In fact, I enjoyed it.
To clarify: Cheryl cleaning alone never really bothered me.
She isn't perfect, but when she gets going, she's good. And bonus: when my mom comes over for the weekend, the two of them seem to get all the cleaning stuff done... no sweat.
Suddenly, I knew Cheryl would read this book and get some lame-brain idea to include me in the cleaning process. I bring home the bacon and I occasionally fry it up in the pan... do I really need to wash the pan, too?
Look, I don't care if she drags the kids into this Team Clean thing, but is it necessary for me to grab a bucket and mop?
My fears became a reality about three weeks ago when Cheryl announced that we were going to be a Team Clean family. She made a chart and everything.
The way she explained it was that each family member is a player on the Team Clean team. We are assigned a position/job, and once a week we will set aside a specific evening for cleaning the house, each with our specific jobs to do. If done correctly, "the whole process takes less than an hour." Once the job is done, the family/team orders take-out and enjoys a fun family activity.
The banter began. I went first:
We already eat out as it is... and we do fun family stuff all the time. Do we really need to clean up first?
I will agree that we do eat out a lot... and we do have fun together as a family... but the house is a mess!
I'll see if my mom can come over more often. You two work great together!
You're sad. We are doing Team Clean! By the way, the kids bet me that you wouldn't do it.
How much did they bet you?
Give me five, collect ten from them, and we both get to wet our beaks!
Did I mention that you're just sad?
Cheryl picked Thursday night to begin the Great Project.
I say no, Thursdays are bad for me... I have stuff going on. You know, as I look at my calendar, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday don't look too good either!
This little trick did not fool my wife.
Thursdays it is!
It gets worse. She picked the first Thursday of the NCAA basketball tournament, and there were games to watch. There is no way our friend's dad, you remember him, "the greatest high school basketball coach in the universe," would have ever wanted us to start on a Thursday when there were games to watch!
At least Cheryl asked me which task I wanted to work on. The answer was easy: wherever there was a TV, so I could watch the games! I drew the 36 inch TV in the bedroom.
On a side note... Man, we've got a lot of clothes.
We started at 6:45 and planned that after our hour of cleaning, we'd eat a yummy dinner and watch a show or play cards... all by 8pm.
Big mistake. The hour turned into two... then stretched into two-and-a-half.
Finally, the house was clean... but the kids were famished!
I was sure there had to be a learning curve here and that Week 2 would surely go a bit faster. I know that the bedroom was going to go faster because there was no way that I was going to let anybody leave a towel, a sock, a bowl, or a wrapper anywhere near that room during the week. I became a bit territorial and I even considered... ahem... marking my territory just to let everyone know to back off. I decided against it when I realized it would just result in more cleanup work for me on Thursday!
I am happy to report that Week 2 did go much faster. In fact, I got done so quickly that I was able to actually get to my other position... cleaning the kitchen counters and appliances.
In fact, it went so well that I decided to actually read the book.
What I discovered was shocking... Cheryl was not following all the Team Clean Building Blocks. We didn't declutter. We didn't purchase the correct "game equipment." We didn't get waste baskets for every room (although that one seems to be optional). I think she just wanted me to help clean up.
Chapter 9 says that the coach should be "the one who blindly believes in Team Clean!" If Cheryl thinks that she can keep her job as coach, she'd better stick to the game plan because I am all in.
Of course, if UCLA is playing Florida, I am all in... in the bedroom... with the 36 inch TV.
As far as the book is concerned, it is a quick read... and after two weeks, it seems to be making a big difference in our household.
So on the sponge scale... where one sponge is the worst book ever... and 5 sponges is a life changer... I will give Team Clean 5 sponges!
I highly recommend it.
Not to cheat Ms. Paul out of a sale, but I have an extra copy if anyone needs it.
|Our Team Clean Chart|