Today I present you a new story of my crazy Chinese mother-in-law. In the past seven weeks she has been both a big help and a nightmare for us. Big help when it comes to supplying us with food (though there were some issues in the beginning) and nightmare for my wife when it comes to zuo yuezi 坐月, how to take care of the baby and in my special case due to cleaning.
I am not saying that my mother-in-law is not trying to clean up but it is the matter of how she does it and how she leaves her marks in our apartment, car and other places. First of all, it seems she uses the same oily cloth to clean the tables, ceramic cooking field and our glossy kitchen cabinets. Because she uses this same cloth everywhere, it kind of just smears the dirt all around rather than cleaning something. Now, no problem because I am responsible for cleaning the apartment which is usually a pretty easy job and furthermore because my wife told her not to try to clean anymore.
Now we come to the second point, the main issue. It used to be easy to clean the apartment, such as once a year cleaning the windows, once a month making the kitchen cabinets shiny again and basic cleaning all around once a week. In the past seven weeks I have cleaned the windows seven times, I cleaned every second day the kitchen cabinets and I am busy trying to clean everything else nearly every single day!
It basically seems she has an issue with using door knobs and handles, thus leaving rather oily hand prints everywhere, really everywhere. Have you ever watched a child pressing its face on a window to see something outside and leaving a nice facial print on the glass? Well, mother-in-law is the same, each window has on a daily basis new hand and face prints, the window where she sits in the car is one big mess, each door is full of oily hand prints. At first I did not know how every door and window can have so many hand prints each day until I went to the super market with her. There we searched for some ice cream for her and those were behind sliding doors made of glass. Now the average person uses the handle to open those doors (I know, full of nasty stuff) but she pressed her hands on the glass and opened them (looked kind of hard to do so). Well, I guess I have to just deal with it, six more weeks she will stay with us, I should be able to cope with that. Untill then I will have many more doors, windows and cabinets to clean.
Oh, before I forget, my wife can be really cruel/ mean sometimes. After I told her about my “observations” she asked her mother if her dad had already back in the day his OCD (cleaning everything three times etc.). She told her that in the first few years he was still normal but it changed shortly after they got married and moved together. My wife answered then “Now I know at least the reason why dad became so obsessed with cleaning the apartment!”. Both true and mean at the same time but apparently her mother didn’t get it…