Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Scarily clean

I was reading an article on Kiddley about getting kids to do their chores/tasks, and it linked to this woman in America who is called "Technomom" online.

At first I was quite interested in reading her method of organising her family (two stepsons and a daughter, plus her partner and herself) - it seemed pretty well done. They have cards - one card for each task, and each card has the details on what needs doing. e.g. "Clean kitchen - wipe down benches, put away clean dishes, stack dirty dishes into dishwasher" etc. The cards are colour-coded by frequency (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly), and each task is worth a number of tokens which are collected once the task is completed satisfactorily. Sounds fairly reasonable, don't you think? I was quite in awe.

But then, I continued to read her site. Specifically, the pages about her homemaking, and ideas on grime, etiquette, the token system and so on. The more I read, the more disturbed I became! She very helpfully made available a copy of her task cards, and some of them were quite alarming. Every day (or is it twice a day? I can't remember) she requires that all the bathroom surfaces are wiped down with some sort of antibacterial wipe (I presume it's antibacterial)... She prefers not to go out to other people's places because she is uncomfortable with their levels of cleanliness. She complains that she and her daughter suffer from terrible allergies. Well, duh! If you're going to live in a sterile environment like that, how are you going to build up any resistance to the most common bugs and things?

I'm more than a little scared by it all. There's no way she'd ever set foot in my house - not because I wouldn't invite her, but even if I tried my hardest to get the place up to scratch for her visit, it wouldn't be good enough. We don't vacuum daily. We wash the dishes every few days on average, we only empty the internal bins when they're full, and we certainly don't change towels every day! (Man, think of the washing!! And we're having a serious water shortage at the moment... perhaps not where she is, though).

I don't know - I'm sure that she's not as obsessive or intimidating in real life as she sounds on her web pages... they are a very limited view of her life, and she does profess to ranting a bit. But in any case, I'm glad I'm slightly more relaxed about our way of life. Although I do have to admit that she has inspired me a little to do a bit more cleaning every once in a while.

No comments: