Coming clean

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Last week I came home from something like seventy-eleven hours at work. It was late on a Friday evening and I just wanted to kick back with a healthy drink and an unhealthy snack and enjoy the remainder of the evening before my 10 p.m. bedtime because I am terminally old.

What I got was the shock of walking into a house that I thought may have been burglarized, trashed by bears, or perhaps ransacked by raccoons? Whatever it was was definitely something bent on destruction.

Interior tornado

There was “stuff” everywhere. Mail. Papers. Shoes. All evidence of a life well lived. I get that. All of it useful and none of it remotely where it belonged.

Someone in our midst left for the evening and left a plate of food on the table. Who does that? We are not the Three Bears, people! Goldilocks is not coming to taste our porridge.

We are also, as a team, good for dumping clean laundry on the floor in front of the dryer and leaving it there. Why? We have baskets? We have closets! We are not lacking in options beyond “floor.”

Don’t even get me started on toilet paper rolls. I can’t even with the new roll balanced atop the empty old roll. It’s like a weird modern art installation.

What happened? How did this happen? The Wonderkids had chores growing up from a very early age. They’re both much better with outdoor work. In fact with the chopping firewood, and lawn mowing, and taking care of small livestock, they actually do quite a bit. I don’t want to not be aware of that.

Nonetheless, four adults live in this house. Surely between the four of us we can manage to change a toilet paper roll.

Why am I the only one who routinely seems to have to flip out because I can see the squalor? They will all help if asked but I shouldn’t have to text instructions to grown people.

We had a family meeting and things improved. We are still a work in progress, but we no longer look quite so much like we’ve been invaded. I have seen a real uptick in putting dishes away and taking care of the shoe mountain.

I don’t have all the answers, but I’m hoping to share my special “clean vision” with willing participants.

As an aside if you want your son to clean up around the house have him invite a new young lady over. He’s old enough to have her in his room for TV and video games with the door open.

Turns out his closet door CAN close and the carpet is cream colored! Who knew?

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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