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Our Very Own Cinderella

Cora, like other kids her age, has an
unreasonable (and, I’m sure, fleeting) love of cleaning. I
remember Maddie waving briefly at this stage in passing, but Cora
has parked her car in this particular stage of life and shows no
intention of moving on.

Which is, as you can imagine, fine by me.

Let’s start with the counter
cleaning. Our counter spray bottle lives under the sink, and to
Cora’s frustration there’s still a child-safety lock on
the door. So every time I do get the spray bottle out, she’s
running over, begging to be the one to use it. She’ll
methodically clear off the counters, use both hands to mist the
counter, and go to town polishing and rubbing. I mean, my counters
look good. I keep a big jug of cleanser in the pantry – a
homemade mix of dried lavender, vinegar, and water – and when
Cora sees me get the big jug out she exclaims, “Ooh, goodie!
Time to refill the spray bottle!” Which happens more often
than it would if an adult were doing it, since my child goes to
town with the spray bottle.

She’s not one to shy away from icky cleaning, though –
she’s hard-core. Her newest love is cleaning the toilet.
Seriously. She’ll beg to clean a toilet almost every day, and
our bathrooms have never been shinier. I’ll let her HELP
squirt the cleanser under the rim, and we’ll leave it for
five minutes to “get to work” before we come back to do
our share. Cora will grab the scrubbing brush before I can –
once using both hands to grab the BOTTOM of the brush, which
skeeved me out for about half an hour and left her with nearly
burned hands from the scalding water I ran over them – and
she’ll insist on scrubbing it herself. I’ll wipe down
the rim of the toilet, and she’ll beg and beg – but I
just can’t go there yet. I can barely stand to do it myself.

Cora’s first and most passionate love, though, is the floor.
Sure, she enjoys a good broom and dustpan – what preschooler
doesn’t – and she’ll willingly clean up any flour
spills she makes while baking. But all else pales in comparison to
the mop.

Up until recently, we had a swiffer wet jet – sort of. We had
the mop part, and the pads, but no liquid. I’d run out, and
the chemical-phobe in me didn’t want to buy more for my
barefoot family. So Cora had been using a squirt bottle filled with
homemade cleanser again, and she’d walk to a spot, squirt
with both hands, put the bottle down, pick up the swiffer mop, run
back and forth over the area, put the mop down, pick up the bottle,
and so on. She was thorough, and our floor was thoroughly coated,
but it took FOREVER.

A few weeks ago, though, I found what has turned into Cora’s
early birthday present. It’s the O Cedar Pro Mist mop, and it
is the bee’s knees. The thing looks like a swiffer, with two
important differences – one, the mop head is washable, so
you’re not throwing it away and buying new ones all the time.
And two, it comes with an EMPTY cleanser cartridge – you put
your own cartridge in of whatever you want to use and away you go.
I’d seen it online and finally remembered to get one from
Target – well, a friend of mine called from Target, said,
“Do you need anything?” and something snapped and I
said, “Hey, actually, yes!” So my friend picked it up
for me and left it leaning against our front door.

About an hour later, Cora opened the door to get the mail, saw the
mop, and said, “Well, hell-O there! And what is THIS?”
in what I swear was a faint French accent. I explained the new mop
to her and before I’d even finished she was jumping up and
down. “Can I use it now, Mommy? Can I? Can I? Can I PLEASE? I
want to do the WHOLE HOUSE!”

Who am I to get in the way of my child’s dream?

I filled the cleanser container, Cora jumping up and down and
clapping her hands excitedly the whole time. I’d barely
finished before she snatched the thing out of my hands and was off.
She LOVED the trigger spray and said after a few moments,
“This thing turns on a dime!”

Needless to say, our floors have never been cleaner.

So if you’ve got dirty floors you can do one of two things
– head to Target and buy this miracle machine (only $19.99!
Buy now!) OR you can hire a three-year-old to clean your floor for

Listen, she’s thorough, and she’ll work for candy.


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