Tag Archives: cleaning

On the Meaning of Messy

I am not a good housekeeper. For me, the struggle is real – trying to keep food on the table and lights on, trying to keep everybody in clean clothes, trying to keep up with the cooking, the dishes, scrubbing the toilets and the shower, trying to keep my kids clean and their rooms somewhat manageable, trying to keep my sanity (oh wait, that was gone YEARS ago)…it all gets overwhelming.

There are days I seriously want to turn into one of those People of Wal-Mart memes, where I don’t give a hoot if I go out in my ratty pajamas and haven’t brushed my hair and I’m dragging children on leashes while I buy a cartful of liquor, frozen pizza, and chicken nuggets. And pudding, because that’s the good stuff.

I don’t think I’ve seen the entirety of my dining room table in a month. My husband plays Xbox constantly, and the entire area around the tv looks like some weird biological experiments have gone down considering all the gauze and bandage supplies laying around over there, and then the dog decided to get a moth that hid in some napkins someone left in my side table, so now there’s shredded napkin all over the place like redneck confetti.

This is my life. It’s a mess, and I have no idea where to even start on it. I could clean the napkin mess up, but in doing that I see that trash needs taken out. When I pull out the bag, I notice someone dumped their leftover cereal into the bin when no bag was in it, so now I’ve got to soak it and scrub that out. Since its so tall, I have to do that in the bathroom and then I notice the toilet paper roll needs changed, someone got toothpaste all over the wall and mirror, and the floor is wet for some reason.

Meanwhile, one kid is hanging on my leg singing a song that consists of “mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy I’m hungry mommy mommy mommy mommy I want chicken fetticinni mommy” and the other one is sullenly playing on her tablet in her room and shooting me evil glares every time I dare disturb her.

I go to cook and have to do the dishes and scrub the countertops (I can’t work in a dirty kitchen). I go to defrost chicken and realize someone exploded food in the microwave and didn’t clean it, so now I’ve got to scrub that out too.

I need coffee. I go to put a new filter in and notice someone didn’t clean the old one out, and when I try to dump it the filter sticks and throws coffee grinds all over my floor. It may not have been sparkly before, but it’s sure as hell pretty gross now.

And people wonder why women are so tired all the time and why it looks like nothing ever gets done. I need a drink, a maid, and a four day nap!

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Is ‘Help, my child has been possessed by a gremlin on crack’ too strong for a title?

Do your kids ever make a mess and when you clean it, you realize how much you really needed to clean anyway?

That’s why I hate to clean.

Tonight was interesting. And by interesting, I mean horrible and hilarious in ways that fellow human beings should take pity on me and buy me some ice cream.

The littlest one came home from her dad’s today. Usually, those are grumpy days. She’s tired, she’s emotional, and it’s hard for her to get back into mommy routines instead of daddy ones.

However, when she came home today, I noticed something different. It didn’t seem to be her that came back… instead, I got a gremlin on crack.Remember that movie? It was full of mean little monsters who were out to get you.

She started off with some spectacular and exhausting meltdowns, graduated to dumping milk all over her sister’s food when she got up to go pee, smooshed globs of ketchup all over the dining room chair she was sitting in, and then, for a grand finale, pooped in the bathtub.

And in case you’re wondering, no, she was not taking a bath and had one just slip right out and go floating.

Nope. My child pulled her pants down, backed her cute little tush up over the edge, and let it go.

She probably sang the song while she did it.

I had no idea until about an hour later when I was tucking her into bed and realized her feet had a certain smell wafting up. Suspicions were confirmed when I saw a strange smear on the bathroom floor and, while moving closer, I got a good view of what was waiting for me inside the tub.

(Dear Lord, I am a good person. Why do you punish me? Is it because I didn’t adopt a child over the television that you make a monthly payment to like I’m promised to if You stopped the toilet from overflowing last week?)

So I calmly walk back into her bedroom and ask her very politely and non-judgement-ly if she pooped in the bathtub. Of course she denies it, but I know I didn’t poo in the tub, my fiance surely didn’t, and I’m pretty sure my ten-year-old didn’t do it either.

Darrick puts on his serious expression and tells her that we’re going to judge to put a sample of the poo in a bag and take it to the police station so they can tell us who did it.

She immediately confesses.

So now everyone else is in bed. I’m still up. I mean, if you’re gonna scrub and disinfect the bathtub, you may as well hit up the sink and toilet as well. Right? Only… then you see that the mirror is all dirty too. And since you’re already mopping, you may as well hit up the kitchen and entryway too. And jeez, when was the last time I washed out the trash can? May as well do the kitchen one too. Why is the door all dirty?

Is it bad that my place is a lot cleaner since my kid pooped in the tub?

Both of the girls now have purged bedrooms, and it’s now onto the biggest mess: my own. I may not have a million and two toys, but my laundry, midnight snack dishes, and trash in general seems to really pile up when I don’t stay on top of it every day.

Come to think of it, I really should make out that chore chart that I’ve been meaning to for the last year or so.

I’m not the only one guilty of it, though. Mr. Darrick is bad about letting his dirty clothes pile up in the corner and having dishes and empty potato chip cans laying around, too. Both of us need to overhaul our closet space, and we still have decorations to hang.

You know, chronicling my whole purging journey like this kinda makes me feel like a failure. Like I suck as a mom and a woman in general for letting it get to this point. If someone walked in my room right now, it would probably take a good minute before they picked their jaw up off of my sticky floor. I’m disappointed in myself. However, at least in admitting to my faults and doing something about it. Everybody lets things get out of hand sometimes. We’re all busy living chaotic, busy lives and minor things continue to pile up until they’re major.

Oh well.

Off to work and then coming home to begin the master bedroom purge. Yay rah!

That First Step is a Doozy

One of my major goals for this year is to get and stay organized in my household. Working full-time instead of part-time like I did at my last job has really taken some getting used to, and I have had a hard time keeping up with cleaning and cooking meas the way I used to, especially with Darrick pretty much put of commission for the time being. It has gotten to the point that it’s overwhelming. I mean, where do you start? Where did all this crap come from, and where do I put it?

It’s become painfully clear that something has to change. That…it’s time. The moment has arrived.

THE PURGE.

Every so often, I get a burst of energy out of nowhere (OK, it might be the massive amounts of caffeine consumed while surfing Pinterest…shh) and I tear through every room in my home getting rid of what I deem, in that moment, to be unnecessary. If we don’t constantly use it or evoke some emotional response in me, I chuck it.

It’s actually pretty cathartic. And bonus! I start noticing all the stuff that needs a good deep cleaning and work on that as I go.

I wind up completely exhausted, but it’s worth it in the end to see everything cleaned, rearranged, and clutter-free.

Maybe this year I’ll make the leap to become a minimalist.

Time For My Least Favorite Game: What’s That Smell?

Between the job loss, depression and panic, job searches, interviews, and not one, but two new jobs over the last few weeks, I’ll admit that housework has been pretty low on the priority list. And it shows. I’ve never been a great housekeeper and likely never will be. I accepted that a long time ago. It just isn’t a dream of mine.

It’s gotten really bad lately. No longer am I slightly embarrassed if someone drops by unexpectedly; I’ve graduated into fully mortified that people will think this is how my apartment always looks. Not only that, but it’s gotten to the point of having no idea where things are when usually I know exactly where things are despite the chaos. Granted, I do have the future mister and two kids adding to the mess, but as the female leader, apparently I’m supposed to stay on top of things a whole lot better than I have been.

Tonight I finally made it a priority. My kitchen is one of the smallest areas of the apartment and gets dirty at light-speed, so I figured I would start there and do more than just the usual quick load of dishes.

Dishes done. Counters and stove scrubbed. Coffeepot scrubbed and sweet tea made (awesome!). Trash taken out, floor mopped.

And then it was time to face my nemesis:

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It isn’t evil, but either evil lurks within in the form of a funky smell, or we’re growing a cure for ebola in there.

Was it the leftover mashed potatoes? When did we even fix mashed potatoes last? The bag of leftover fast food from last week? Did something drip when it was thawing and I missed it? Good lord, what is it and where is it coming from???

Turns out, I had completely forgotten about a bag of oranges from who knows how long ago stuck in the back of a drawer.

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They weren’t orange anymore, and now they can continue their runaway science project from the dumpster.

On a side note, U.S. #2 or better? What, I didn’t feel like springing for the number one oranges that day? Sheesh.