Anyone who has a baby who has reached high chair-readiness has a kitchen-floor problem. New eaters are messy! Everything they touch ends up on the floor with a very small percentage making it into the mouth (or hair). It is an untenable situation for anyone who does not like walking on cheerios and small smushed up pieces of banana. Here are my excuses for always having a gross kitchen floor:
1. Wake up and start breakfast. Put baby in highchair in rubber bib with big pocket. This is supposed to catch most of what he drops and, as an extra bonus, he can fish around in there for more when his tray is empty. This seems to work, until baby figures out he can push the bib aside and again, the floor is a visible target. Ninety-two percent of baby’s meal ends up on floor. I proceed to step on half of it and track blueberry prints across the floor.
2. Call dog to clean up. Unfortunately my German Shepherd is pretty much useless unless the baby drops steak. His entire purpose is to clean up after the baby and he has fallen down on his one and only job. He is a disgrace to the canine community. He eats his own vomit but turns up his nose at half chewed grapes! Beyond that, he has taken to leaving his own food on the floor also. This brilliant idea has not gone as planned. (See video)
3. Get out vacuum and try to get most of the mess off the floor. Think about reaching for mop and opt for wiping with damp rag instead.
4. 6 year old comes through the kitchen from the backyard tracking sand and mud on top of the sticky fruit residue that the damp rag missed.
5. Before that can get cleaned, it’s lunch time. Feed everyone, floor is now twice as bad as before. Pieces of chicken nuggets have joined the sticky sand concoction and cheerios are now crunching merrily underfoot.
6. Clean up lunch mess while thinking about dinner. Wipe down baby’s highchair and bib.
7. Get motivated to vacuum again, but sticky chicken sand is not budging. Grab damp rag again, begin to pry filth off floor. Baby begins to scream in high chair. Stop cleaning floor, leave rag on top of mess, get new rag, wipe up baby and try to put him down for a nap.
8. Thirty minutes later, come back to kitchen to find dog has stolen damp rag and is licking it…but not the food-cement on the floor. Stick of butter is also missing off table. Wrapper found, grease side down near growing ant bait on floor. Yell at dog.
9. Vacuum again and get out mop. Mop whole floor. Stand back and admire how clean it looks for 45 seconds before 9 year old walks through the kitchen from the yard tracking in sand and mud.
10. Head for wine cabinet.
11. Make 9 year old vacuum up the sand and mud she tracked in. This takes 30 minutes longer than just doing it myself. Promise self to not do that again.
12. Dinner prep. Several chopped onions end up on newly mopped floor. Dog runs through kitchen, dropping hair on top of onions in order to bark obnoxiously out the window at a squirrel. Yell at dog.
13. Family sits down to dinner. Baby throws 95% of dinner on the floor with the hairy onions. 6-year-old eats garlic bread like Cookie Monster, 40% of which ends up on floor.
14. I’m exhausted before dinner cleanup begins and the baby is screaming again, so cleanup has to wait. Baby is washed up and changed into pajamas and put to bed. Thirty minutes later, dishes still on table, floor a disgrace, and dog is chewing on something that looks suspiciously like underwear. Yell at dog.
15. Ignore dishes, lie on couch and decide to deal with mess in the morning. Consider that buying special rake for a food-scrap zen garden on kitchen floor might be easier than fighting against the crumbs. Search Amazon for novelty rakes.
16. Avoid eye contact with spouse when he looks at the mess in the kitchen and then at me with the side eye of disapproval.
17. Surf Facebook.
18. Realize that surfing Facebook isn’t going to get the kitchen floor clean.
19. Give in and clean the kitchen at 10:30 p.m.
20. Go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow.
Does anyone have the answer to this conundrum? How do you keep your kitchen floor from being a disaster area? What am I doing wrong? Please share your tips below.