Sunday, June 9, 2013

"Parent"dox: If You Clean It, They Will Dirty It

Sunday Night "Parent"dox #15:  If You Clean It, They Will Dirty It

This "parent"dox is not incredibly clever or witty or insightful.  (Just setting the bar low and giving you an easy out if you're not up for reading this entire post.)

It is this simple truth:  If you clean it, they will dirty it.

To elaborate upon it a bit further:

If you have cleaned it, it will get dirty.  Soon.

If it is already dirty, it will not get any dirtier.  It will remain at that level of dirtiness from now until the end of time.  That is, of course, until you actually clean it.  (When it has been cleaned, please see the above statement.)

Two recent incidents in my house have made this amply clear.  

Warning: They both involve bodily fluids.  Fear not.  You're a Mom.  I know you can handle it.

Sheets, Sheets and More Sheets
Washing sheets always seems like such a big job to me for some reason.  

First, there is the taking off of the sheets.  In my house, that means one bed that has bed rails on both sides and one bed that is part of bunk beds.  Neither of these are extremely easy tasks.  Next, there is the washing of the sheets, and the remembering to move the sheets from the washer to the dryer.  Then comes my least favorite step in this whole process, which is putting the sheets back on the bed.  Remember the bed rails and bunk bed thing from step one?  Doubly un-fun when it comes to putting the sheets back on those beds.  

Here's where it gets complicated, though.  I need to complete all 3 of these steps within a reasonable amount of time, meaning after my children wake up in the morning and before they have rest time in the afternoon OR after rest time and before bed time.  This puts a bit of a time crunch on things and does not leave much wiggle room for distraction or forgetfulness on my part.  

You should know, both of these things run rampant in my world.  

I know what you're thinking.  Take one set of sheets off, wash them, and while set one is washing, put a second, different set of sheets on the bed.  I know, I know.  But here's the thing.  Then I'm actually going to have to unfold a perfectly (well, not perfectly, but you get the picture) set of folded sheets, and even worse, I'm going to have to now fold the sheets that come out of the dryer.  This is creating an entirely new step of work that can avoided with just putting the sheets from the dryer right on the bed.  

I'm all about efficiency.  Or laziness.  It's your call.

(Those of you with more than 3 sets of bedding to regularly wash or actual top bunk beds you have to change bedding on, God Bless You.  I mean that from the bottom of my heart.  God.  Bless.  You.)

I remember watching an episode of Oprah a few years back and she made a comment about how she liked to have new sheets every other day, because the first day they felt clean and the second day they felt OK, but by the third day they felt used and like they needed to be changed.

I love Oprah.  I really do. 

But every other day?  

I would absolutely love to hang out with Oprah and having her spend the night at my house would be beyond amazing.  But after watching that episode, I learned I'd have to ask her to leave after the second night because the sheets at my house will never be changed every other day.  Never.  As in ever.  As in even for Oprah.

In theory, I wash the sheets once a week.  In reality, I get to it every other week.  In times of desperation, it's more than two weeks and I am not going on record as admitting how long that can be.  Please don't judge.

(This has turned into a super long back story on the deep, underlying issues I apparently have with washing bedding.  There is a point to all this rambling.  Somewhere.)

It had been one of those "times of desperation" in our house as far as washing bedding goes.  During that entire undisclosed amount of time, all was good with all things bedding related, including any type of night time bodily fluid incidents from either of my children.  

I finally got around to washing all 3 sets of bedding and got them back on all 3 beds just before bedtime.  I was actually feeling pretty accomplished and glad to have that unfavorable task completed.  

Unfortunately, you already know where this is going.

In the wee hours of the morning (emphasis on wee), I heard the all-too-familiar cry from my son's bedroom that I knew instantly as the "I had a accident because I was sleeping so soundly" cry of shock, fear, embarrassment and uncomfortable-ness all rolled into one. 

So yeah, those sheets were clean for a good 6 hours before I was washing them again.  

Days and days and days and days and days of being dirty?  Nothing.  One night of being clean?  I should have known that would be an accident-filled night.

Cute Monkey Bath Mat
You now know about how much I despise the whole process that is washing sheets.  You'll be relieved to know I do not have such a relationship with bath mats and bathroom rugs.  I actually don't mind that task, because it's fairly easy and straightforward.  However, you should know, I get to washing those mats and rugs even less frequently than I wash sheets.

The other day, my kids got paint on the cute monkey bath mat in their bathroom.  (Don't even ask...that is another story for another day.  Remind me at some point and I'll tell you.)  Not a big deal.  As I put both of my paint-covered children in the bathtub, I tossed the cute monkey bath mat right into the washing machine.  

After air drying for the rest of the day, I put it back in their bathroom just after my kids had finished their bedtime routine of brushing teeth and going to the bathroom.  It was actually not even totally dry, but it was close enough and I wanted to put the drying rack away before bed and check that off my list, so there you go.

I went downstairs, and before long, I could hear the pitter patter of little feet and a "Mommy!"  I went upstairs to find my 3-year-old standing on the cute, clean, not-even-dry-from-the-washing-machine-yet monkey rug.  She looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said "I didn't make it!"

So close.  So very close.  She tried to get from her bed to the potty, but as she said, she didn't make it.  Needless to say, the damp bath mat was just a little bit more damp at this point from her contribution.  

It had been clean.  For one entire hour.  And back into the washing machine it goes.

Such is life when you're living in a "parent"dox.  But you know what?  I wouldn't change that for anything.

You Are a Good Mom because you keep on washing stuff, even though you know it's just going to get dirty before the day ends anyway.  Keep at it, Mom, keep at it.

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  1. Carrie, my love, you have nailed it here perfectly. Arrow to the bull's eye (altho I HATE that metaphor) Clean that bathmat and muddy boots will tramp in to pee... Vacuum and there will be some dang thing to drill on the coffee table...

    It's love, we have people who love us enough to come thru our home. That's how I have to look at it. Thanks for your blog, CArrie.

    1. Quite possibly the best thing I've heard all day... "We have people who love us enough to come thru our home." Beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing!


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