Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I realize that it is risky to confess on an international stage--(yikes, someone from Turkey has read this blog). However, I have to come clean...in a manner of speaking.

My children are pigs. Completely, without hesitation, porcine in nature and behavior. When I look at buying a car, I consider the ability to power-wash the interior as a big plus. I have seen pens at the State Fair that look more hospitable than my living room on a Friday night. My car has greasy footprints on the windshield. Honestly, I think I would have a better chance being a housekeeper for a group of Vikings.

As I make my continuous rounds through the house, I regularly pick up about 20 hair rubber bands per day, most with hair wrapped around them. Then there are the socks. Handyman and I are constantly finding socks, EVERYWHERE. In the yard, on the tramp, on the driveway, on the porch, in the car, in the hall, in the treehouse, in the barn (not kidding) under the table, on the couch. And why don't I throw them away, you might ask...because then Handyman would have to cough up some of his hard-earned cash to buy more. That whole Arnold Schwarzneggar method of, "if it's not put away, I throw it away", works fine if your bank account is in Switzerland. Mine is a little less self-sustaining.

Plus the efforts keep my back limber, the bending and stooping to pick up the 57 paper napkins under the dining room table each day. I have never seen napkins reproduce like this. I know that no one uses them. I hand them out, they put them in their laps and they brush them onto the floor and we start over...and I've seen that floor up close and personal. There is no re-use going on after that. (I had to train the firefighter's kids not to eat anything that hits the floor here. No 5-second rule, kids. These boots have been in the chicken yard.)

When my jeans hit the floor at night, the left pocket is grossly swollen with teeny pink legos (yes, they make them), Polly Pocket attire to outfit a small city, several Puffs Plus (they don't come apart in the wash!), crochet hooks, safety pins, marbles (no one ever plays with them), dog kibble (to reward those who come--dogs not kids!), apple cores, old band-aids, drill bits (found in the washer) and the occasional odd change.

Fortunately, I am gifted with the indomitable spirit of the insane--optimism. Each day I tell myself, "Today, the bathroom sinktop will stay clean until Handyman gets home." or, "Today I will look for the bathroom sinktop." or "Today, I will go into their bathroom and use a lightsaber on the dried toothpaste foam coating the sink top." or my favorite, "Today, #1 will want to clean/shovel her room out to make herself feel better.

But expect them to A)close the bandaid box or pick up the band aid wrappers; B)rinse their spit from the sink; C)pick up the open shampoo bottle lying on the floor or C)get more toilet paper for the next person...??? That is indeed to set oneself up for disappointment.

#2 and #3 are still small enough that I can make them clean their room. And I am so thankful to have hardwood floor, so we can sweep all the bits into a pile and sort through the dog hair and dirty socks to pick out the princess jewels and (more) Polly clothes.

Christmas is coming, so I sense more toys in the future. I've asked Mimi to take the youngers so I can rummage through their current posessions and clear out. I know we have too much stuff, and that's most of the problem. But these kids would step over me if I was spurting blood on the dining room floor, just to avoid having to help with the mess.

The rule is, if you find the cat barf, you clean the cat barf. So, the inverse is, if you do not "notice" the cat barf, Mom will eventually find it when it is dehydrated and shriveled and we've stepped over it for a week. Also, if we stuff bowls of popcorn at the back of our loft beds, Mom won't venture in this far and we can hoard it. When I do climb the bed ladders to retrieve all my kitchen ware, there are cups with home-grown yogurt going full-steam ahead and candy wrappers by the bushel.

I know they will eventually have their own domiciles and I cannot wait. Just last week, my BFF related how her oldest was complaining about his new roommates leaving the milk sitting out and all the lights on when they were gone. She was ecstatic. Then he bought some whole wheat bread, because one of his roommates said it was better for you. She jerked the cart to a halt in the store aisle and retorted, "Oh, just because I told you that for 18 years, doesn't matter?!"

Amazing how parents get smarter as kids get older...

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