Crazy Shakes

I put the green laundry basket, the one with the half the side missing, on my bed.  I dump out the clothes, an assortment of preteen girl pinks, nine-year-old boy blues, and toddler reds.  This could have been load number 15 this week, maybe 20.  I’m not sure.  The summer with the kids also brings never ending laundry, piles of which no longer fit in hampers but have now overtaken the upstairs hallway.  It's like a mold fungus on the set of an alien film. On autopilot, I begin to fold, mostly wad, and then throw the clothes into other baskets.  A green basket gets my daughters, a blue for my son, and a white for the toddler.
"Dad!" I hear.
I stop for the CRAZY SHAKES.
I head back to the laundry room, 8 by 5 with machines that are older than my children. If guests are coming over, my wife insists that I clean the top of the washing machine off. I have no idea why because for the life of me I can't imagine why any guest would want a tour of the laundry room. Besides which, I'm currently having a contest with myself. Can I let the liquid laundry detergent drip enough on to of the washer so that eventually it creates a recognizable landscape? Maybe something by Normal Rockwell.
"Dad! Umizoomi!"
I stop for the Crazy Shakes.
I put in the next load, my wife's clothes? Maybe mine? Probably the neighbors. We are getting quite the collection of other kids clothes thrown in with ours so far this summer. A pair of pants left over from a slumber party, a towel from that kid that we invited swimming. Sometimes I think other parents are telling their kids to leave things at my house for the sole purpose thinning out their own laundry herd. I like the idea, I'm going to steal it. I head back into my bedroom, I need to dust.
"Umizoomi! Umizoomi!"
I stop for the Crazy Shakes.
I don't think I dust enough. The corners of my room would agree with that. The dusting hasn't happened for a long enough time that normal dust has gained consciousness and banded together. They have created cities near the ceiling, where the beige corners meet the popcorn. If there are dust kids in there, I bet they find a way to add their laundry into mine. Dusting walls are one of those things that you never think about until you see entire countries of dust that have somehow gone unnoticed. Or maybe we are just filthy people. That's probably it.
"1,2,3,4! Umi City!"
I stop for the Crazy Shakes.
This isn't so bad, this time. I can shake and dust all in the same moment. Although I would appreciate it if my four-year-old could get the words to the song right. It's "In a world that's not so far away, Umi City." The counting comes in the verse before that one. I know it by heart. My son has been following me around for the last 30 minutes with that song on repeat on my phone. I tried to just put him in front of the T.V. and turn on the show but apparently, you can't do it that way. He's the world's weirdest stalker.
I lay on the ground to grab some library books out from under the bed. I should dust a little bit under there as well. But I'm not gonna unless of course guest are coming over and they would like a tour under my bed after they see the laundry room. I find 4 books, one of them has a picture of Bot on it, from the T.V. show Umizoomi. He's still and lifeless, I see no Crazy Shakes.
"Umizoomi! Umizoomi!"
I do the Crazy Shakes on the floor. If my other children walked in right now it would look like I'm having a seizure. But they won't walk in because they know that Dad is cleaning and that is the best way to insure that your older children won't come find you. Not the toddler though, he always finds me like some sort of god damn bloodhound.
I've tried to get him to help me clean before. It usually ends with him throwing something in the toilet and trying to flush it. When whatever item doesn't flush he throws a fit. But when something does flush, he throws a fit then too. He likes to do three things in this world at the moment: 1. Throw a fit. 2. Flush things. 3. The Crazy Shakes
I open the closet in my master bathroom, trying to put away some towels that the dog was sleeping on. He doesn't do the crazy shakes. He sleeps and barks. Occasionally, he will rub his butthole on the floor usually right after I vacuumed. I kinda hope he does this the next time we have guests over. I put the towels up and notice more laundry on the bottom of the closet floor. Jesus fuck, there is even hidden laundry now.
"You can count on us to save the day!"
I stop to do the Crazy Shakes.
My four-year-old has learned how to go onto youtube kids. I know that he isn't finding the Umizoomi song by himself, his sister is helping him, I'm sure of it. She denied it because 11-year-olds deny everything. Then they scream "That's not fair!" when you tell them that you don't believe them. I think this is supposed to be a power struggle type thing like maybe it's hard-wired into her DNA to argue with me. Except I don't know what her endgame is supposed to be. I also think 11-year-olds don't have foresight.
My son, the youngest one that is obsessed with the Umizoomi Theme song and likes to follow me around, knows how to scroll his finger back to start the theme song video back over or move it ahead to his favorite part, the crazy shakes. So that's what we do on clean days, the crazy shakes, over and over again.
"Dad! Umizoomi!"
We both stop what we are doing, him following me around with my phone and me cleaning, face each other and then twist our bodies. We jump up and down, our arms go wide and then close again. I stick out one foot and then pull it back quick. He bends at the waist, sticks his but in the air and wiggles it like he's trying to attract a mate. We do the Crazy Shakes.
It takes me 3 hours to do a load of laundry and clean the upstairs. In the bathroom, it takes a good 20 minutes to clean the mirror because, after almost every wipe and spray, I have to stop for the Crazy Shakes. I clean the toilet, doing the crazy shakes after each section. Once after cleaning the lid, once after cleaning rim, once after cleaning the bowl.
I clean my dresser, all the crap that ends up from my pockets at the end of every day. Hair ties, bits of trash, sometimes the white paper parts of band-aids--all end up in a little silver bowl on my dresser. I organize them, start to finally throw some of it away. And do the Crazy Shakes five times.
I could take the phone away, refuse to do any Crazy Shakes at all. But that means that I'm just cleaning, organizing and not doing anything at all fun. And that sucks. The Crazy Shakes? Shit, the Crazy Shakes are awesome.
"We can measure, build it together, you can help us, you're so clever!"
Let's do the Crazy Shakes.

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