Whatever went through this family’s mind when they decided the the house needed WHITE floors has dumbfounded me for years. I understand the reason for the floors, it was easier and much safer for Mama to walk on, as she had been left partially paralyzed from her stroke. When she was alive, it was difficult to come in and clean the house. First, she did not like us getting into her “stuff” and so it felt like I was always cleaning around the stuff. Second, I was here once a week or so, not that much, as we Torres5 had our schedule of cleaning/cooking for the folks.
Fast forward to now. Dad and I are roommates and he is fun to be around. I still am not the greatest housekeeper but I feel that I have, respectfully, stored a lot of Mams’s things after her passing thus cleaning around things doesn’t happen that much anymore. Our house has become a very social house and I try to keep it relatively clean and presentable in case anyone wants to stop by anytime. Thus I find myself cleaning constantly to try to keep up with the mess. Mopping floors is a given. As we live on the Ranch, you better know that dust, tierra, leaves, lodo, are all up in that mix. If I let the floors go more than a couple of days without mopping, it is not attractive.
I do everything to let the fam know that it’s “no ins/outs for 20-30 minutes” – tell them, yell it out, text them. Everyone gets the message except for Dad. The minute I put the mop into the bucket, and I hear the sound of the mop sloshing the hot water around, I think, “there’s no way he’ll hear it”, as I hear the sound of the plop of the mop onto the floor, I think, “he better not decide to walk this way/go to the bathroom/get up out of the chair/get out of bed”, even after I tell him I’m mopping the floor. Sure enough, I will have JUST finished one side of the house, or just finished mopping the bathroom, and I’ll hear him moving about. First word in my mind is usually ‘chiiiiingado‘, and then if I happen to catch his eye, he has to hear me go on and on and on with ‘DadTeDijeWhyDoYouAlwaysDoThis?‘, and then I just have to shake my head because yavaliomadre and he has tracked all over my clean floors to go to the bathroom or whatever y ya.
By the time I mop once more, I’m still shaking my head, but my rage is gone. I have always taken care of my father – I’m partly to blame if he’s chiquiado. Daddy’s girl here has always made sure that he eats, that he’s taken care of, that the house is presentable so I’ve enabled him for sure LOL. While I could sit there and talk it out with him, which I have done many times, I know that I am dealing with an 81 years young man who will not change overnight, he does things MikeTorresStyle, in his own way, in his own time. As I mop the floor again, I wonder HOW is it that he KNOWS when I am going to mop the floors LOL?!? I tell myself, ‘NEXT time, I’ll do this or that, say this or that” and then I have to smile — I’ve “lost” this round, and look forward to being able to brag on the day when I can mop the floors of this house uninterrupted. And then I hear it…Oh no, there goes the heater on full blast again…..Sometimes you have to pick your battles. Gotta love Daddy. #52essays2017