Blowing off Steam

I’m essentially housebound this winter with a premature baby who can’t go out in public places, particularly during the season when RSV lands many infants in the hospital. We were there for a month after baby’s birth, and I really don’t want to go back. So basically I don’t leave the house, unless Jeff is around to spell me briefly.

In my state of hibernation, there is ample time to ponder the current state of my family. I had an epiphany this week. Call it the result of lengthy rumination. Call it cabin fever. I’m not sure which it is. Sometimes I suppose it takes being stuck at home with little opportunity for escape to get the creaky gears of this “mommy brain” turning. This epiphany may sound really basic and obvious, but for me it stood out and screamed, “Hey stupid, why didn’t you think of that sooner?!”

It happened as Jeff and I scrubbed another impressionistic mural from Jack’s walls and windows. My mind flashed back to a distant support group outing when my friend April described in glowing terms her newest family addition–a Sargent Steamer, which had proved completely life-changing as she was able to deep-clean and sanitize pretty much every surface in her house with complete ease. April spoke of this machine like it was crack. She just couldn’t quit. After cleaning her entire house in detail, she was moving on to items in the garage, and planning to haul the Sargent to her family’s cabin for a soothing weekend of deep, pressurized steam cleaning. To this mother of a kid with special needs, hearing about said Sargent propelled me into a hypnotic state of fantasizing about a level of cleanliness currently unattainable. Why didn’t I just buy a Sargent myself, you ask? Probably because they cost somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen hundred bones. And probably because I really hoped that this season would quickly pass and wouldn’t necessitate such a fixture in our house. But this week as I struggled with another mighty mess, April’s obsession came back to my mind and I felt like a fool for not already owning such a device.

I decided that while Sargent Steam’s price tag is way beyond what I’m willing to fork out for a cleaning machine, it’s not the only way to achieve the nirvana that April found. I also decided that while no more disasters is the goal, I have to throw myself a bone and find a steamer. I’ll settle for any cheapo version that heats up water and blasts it at messy crevices. My friend Chris, whose immaculate home inspires me to clean with a little more enthusiasm, is letting me test-drive her steamer. So far, so good. We haven’t had to use it yet! Maybe just having it in the house will serve as a talisman against disaster.

  10 comments for “Blowing off Steam

  1. January 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Yes, my Rug Doctor saved my (and others’) life! 🙂 Oh, the possibilities of a steamer… there should be a special needs discount or something!

  2. January 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Immaculate she says. I’ve gotta let you come in farther than the entry way.
    Evil plan to make others think I have it together: check!

    I’m excited to hear how it worked for you.

  3. January 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I had a smaller steamer that worked great! It’s amazing what it can clean! Defiantly get one, you will be happy you did!

  4. January 25, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    We love our steam cleaner. I don’t know how we lived before it. And I totally understand the not getting out. We can count on one hand how many times we have been out with the babies and that includes dr. visits.

  5. January 25, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I don’t have advice on a steamer, but I do have experience with RSV. Being home bound SUCKS–but it’s worth it. Sam got RSV at 7 weeks and it was horrible. Hang in there!

  6. LC
    January 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    My neighbor recently became a $ steamer addict. I had no idea cleaning could be so exciting?!
    For me though, I’d rather spend the money on a cleaning lady to come in and do the once/month deep cleaning.Now, THAT is satisfying!

    Good luck with the cabin fever–I hope you have some beach pictures to look at.

  7. January 26, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I will be interested to hear how the steamer works out. I might need to get one for myself–three kids and one large dog make a lot of messes!

  8. January 26, 2012 at 3:39 am

    hope it brings you some good luck! anytime buster is a bad sleeper, i just warn him we’re going to have to do ‘cry it out’ the next night. he usually shapes up at that threat (even for just a night). maybe jack feels the power of the steamer. and you know if he sees it on, he’s going to loooooove it.

  9. January 27, 2012 at 1:31 am

    I have a shark floor steamer that you can have. Won’t do much for the walls……

  10. January 31, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Megan! When I did Preschool I had one of these and loved it!!! I don’t know if it’s what you are fantasizing about, but it is kind of theraputic to use!

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