Mothers: the true masters of illusion

By Karrie McAllister

I have yet another skill to add to my motherly resume. Along with chueffeur, chef, and laundry goddess, I think it’s time to insert one more: master of illusion.
Being a highly skilled magician was never anything I dreamed of. Sure, I can steal the noses of my kids and separate my thumb in two, but those are mere child’s play compared to the grand scale of illusion I’m finally realizing that I have achieved.
My magic skills are multi-faceted. There are virtually no limits to my powers of deception, and I find that I practice my trade nearly every day.
And I’m guessing that most other moms do, too, unless they are aliens, robots, or have obsessive cleaning disorders.
But if you’re not sure if you, too are a illusionist, let me share with you some examples of my most famous tricks…
The Great Vanishing Act. This is a fantastic trick to use whenever you are expecting house guests and lately your house has been a catch-all for everything. If there are more puzzle pieces on your floor than in the box, this is the one for you. To perform this illusion, simple grab the nearest empty laundry basket (if you can find one) and rush around the house shoving everything that is on the floor into it, and then hide the basket in a room your guests will not see. If you run out of laundry baskets, you may have to revert to sticking toys and papers in drawers, under couches, or in closets.
Your family will scratch their heads and wonder, “how does she clean so quickly?”
The Amazing Cleaning Act. Another great one to pull out of your bag of tricks when guests are coming over! Remember, you are not actually cleaning the house, you are simply trying to achieve the illusion of cleanliness. A very simple example would be freshly wiped woodwork. No real person has time to actually do that! So instead, I very sneakily grab a rag and pour on some full strength Murphy’s Oil Soap, which we all know is the Very Smell of Clean. With your damp rag, wipe a few key places where people might actually look to see if there is dust. Once that is done, hide your rag in a central location so that the clean smell will serve as an air freshener.
Your friends will come in and say, “wow! Smells like you’ve been cleaning all day! I don’t know how you do it!”
The Incredible Disappearing Act. This trick is one of my all-time favorites. While I seem to spend the majority of my magical career making dirt and clutter disappear, it is with great talent and cleverness that I perform the most difficult vanishing act of all…making myself disappear. Sometimes moms just need to sneak away, to escape the closets full of disorder and the hidden rags of Murphy’s Oil Soap, not to mention the children, the spouse, the pets, and everything else. We just need some alone time. Thankfully there are many ways to execute this illusion. One can plainly say, “I’m going to clean the basement, anyone want to help?” When shockingly no one offers, sneak downstairs with a good book and a blanket. And when you’re cuddled up on a cardboard box, every so often knock something over or drop the book—the noise will make them think you’re actually doing something and they are sure not to bother you!
Other such ploys involve asking if anyone would like to go underwear shopping, run to the post office or bank, or help outside pulling weeds. There’s not a child or a husband who would jump on the chance to do any of those things, leaving you the opportunity to disappear all on your very own.
Finally, a warning: Moms, if you get to the paper and read this before anyone else in your family, quickly tear it out and hide it. A real magician never shares her tricks, right?


Shelly said…
Keep a bottle of Lysol under the kitchen sink. Right before your husband comes home spray some of the counter tops in the kitchen and wipe them down. Any type of bleach wipes do wonders also. Just make sure they have a strong scent.
Shelly said…
Grandma used to keep a an empty dishpan under her sink to put things in that were on her kitchen counter.

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