Nov 16, 2011

Pack today, clean tomorrow

I've become that frazzled lady who is late to everything, has perpetual wardrobe malfunctions, and can't remember the substance of a conversation from five minutes ago.  I haven't looked at my mail for at least a week, the dried milk under the table is starting its own germ colony, and I'm pretty sure I have spit-up in my hair.  Seriously, I am ridiculous.  The pace of life around here is so frenetic that I often find myself standing somewhere and suddenly realize I have an urgent need to use the bathroom (because I haven't for five hours) but the next opportunity won't come for at least 30 minutes.  

Add to this chaotic scene the preparations for a major road trip.  Yesterday I started the laundry, and today I started to pack.  I had put off the laundry two days more than the usual interval, making the chore exponentially larger.  I started folding it all onto the coffee table, but the piles multiplied onto the couch, the love seat, and the floor.  Seven suitcases were open all around me, and systematically I began to fill them, mentally ticking off all the categories of clothing each person would need: play, church, family picture, sleep, swim, car.  I spent all morning in this fashion.

Then I fed the baby, put on some leaving-the-house clothes, and took the girls to pick up Gavin.  Then we had a crazy trip to Target and a lovely lunch with some of the other mommies in the ward who had babies this year.  Those three events took three hours.  The packing project was quietly waiting on hold.

On the way home I picked up a voice mail from my exterminator, who stops by once a quarter to rid our property of nasty pests.  I didn't realize we had an appointment, so he had come to an empty house.  We arranged to meet back at home in a few minutes.  I was glad we could take care of the visit today.  I didn't even think about the state of my house.

As soon as he arrived, I remembered.

Breakfast entrails were still on the dining room table: spilled cereal and milk, bowls and spoons, boxes and bags.  Chairs were in the middle of the room instead of around the table.  The kitchen was worse: bags of food from yesterday's grocery run on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink, a broom on the floor, ironing board in the middle of the room with a heap of wrinkled clothes on the end, books strewn everywhere, a burp cloth on every horizontal surface.  Oh yeah, and that week of mail in a giant pile.

Downstairs was the hurricane of clothing and suitcases and laundry baskets and hangers.  Legos were all over the carpet by one bedroom, and little rubber bugs were strewn down the hall.  Zach's bedroom had socks and underwear on the floor, three blankets and a giant stuffed bear in a heap on his bed, and tiny bits of paper from his Origami creations all over the place.  His room offers access to the crawl space, so of course Mr. Exterminator went in there.  The entrance to the crawl space was obscured by boxes we had shoved in there but were too lazy to put away properly.

I was thoroughly horrified at the display, but what could I do?  I wrote Mike a check and left it on the sticky table because Kate needed to nurse.  When he came back upstairs I was facing him, completely covered up, but it was still a little awkward.  Then he walked through the kitchen and around me to go into the back yard.  As he walked out the door, he said, "Should I throw these dirty diapers away?"  I groaned and said that of course that would be fine.

It wasn't until later that I realized my shirt was hiked up in the back, exposing my substantial muffin top to  my poor exterminator.  I'm laughing now, but I was pretty embarrassed then.  Mike's the nicest guy ever, and when he came in February and saw my PICC line and pole he was horrified.  I realize that he has seen me in some pretty crazy situations this year.  But I digress.

I'm not sure what the moral of this story is, except that I have a babysitter coming to my house in the morning and I am waaaaaay too tired to clean up.  Every Thursday, when I'm embarrassed about my messy house, I swear that the next Wednesday night I will make sure the house is spotless for my Thursday morning babysitter.  But it never is.  Maybe if I cleaned as much as I blogged....

But I will clean tomorrow, because I know I can't come home from a 10-day trip to a messy house.

Or maybe I can.
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