Life is about learning from our and other people’s mistakes.

We form our view of likes and dislikes at an early age observing our parents. If we approved of their example, we might follow in their footsteps. Some kids are contrary and will choose the opposite path no matter what. Whatever new direction they take might be what they desire or worse than they expected. In either case, they will make different mistakes because we are human.

Urchins of overprotective parents will lean toward a less controlling path when it comes to raising their children and living their lives. Hence, conservative parents will deal with liberal adult versions of their sweet baby girl and boy.

Conversely, parents who mistreat their children by violent behavior may find that the issue of their loins will not have children because they fear to repeat their mistakes. Those who treat their urchins with benign neglect giving them materials things instead of attention and love might find grandchildren raised with loving discipline and hands-on care.

My mother did not like to waste time on housework. She preferred to play with her children, and read when time permitted. The result was one daughter who followed in mother’s footsteps when it came to excessive shopping or hoarding or a cluttered house, but not so much when it came to child-rearing.

On the other hand, this writer eschewed a messy house to the point that she mopped and waxed the wooden floors in all six rooms of her and Hubby’s first home. So much so that her mother-in-law suggested: “Don’t bother setting the table, Liz. We can eat off the floor.”

This writer embraced her inner clean-freak with such gusto that it led to some unintended results.

As you know, most refrigerators are tall, bulky, and hard to move. But that did not deter our intrepid and short lady when she decided to move the appliance and clean under it.

The result was an incapacitating back injury that required months of extensive treatment, including what she termed the modern version of the medieval rack. It was a precursor to decompression treatments of today. The process included having the patient lay flat for long periods and attaching weights to her ankles. It was uncomfortable, boring, and ineffective. Eventually, a friend suggested going to a chiropractor.  All that snap, crackle and popping of the bones was mentally frightening but was successful.

This writer’s penchant for a clean house included teaching her toddlers to make their beds, pick up their toys, and keep their rooms tidy. The sweet kiddos performed their requested duties until they hit the teenage years. Suddenly, they decided they liked messy rooms. At one point, our son asked the cleaning lady not to dust his room. After a while, the dust gave his furniture a whitish hue.

Lately, whenever our daughter called to chat was a perfect opportunity to clean the bathrooms, because it could be done with one hand while holding the telephone in the other. Before long, that silly female child told her friends her mother’s toilets were so clean you could eat off of them. Unknowingly, the young woman channeled her grandmother’s comment on her maternal parent’s overly clean floors.

In the past year, this writer discovered that too much cleaning is detrimental to the health of small appliances.

When she removed and cleaned the toaster tray, she noticed crumbs on the inner ledges of the toaster. She could not reach the spots with her fingers, so she used an ice pick to loosen the crumbs. After that cleaning, the toaster stopped working, and a new toaster joined the family.

Our son’s response to the ice pick incident was “Please tell me you unplugged the toaster before poking around inside with the ice pick.”

“Of course, I unplugged it. I’m a clean freak, not stupid,” she replied.

The other day, a déjà vu moment occurred. While cleaning the toaster tray, she saw crumbs inside and gave the toaster a vigorous shake. After that, she had to hold the button while toasting bread. The enthusiastic cleaning called for the purchase of a new toaster.








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