The Cost of Cleanliness

If there's one thing I've learned from having more than one kid, it's this: when you add a child to the family, you have to rethink your comfortable little routine. Because the once-successful strategies you used when you had one less child just. Stop. Working.

I should have reminded myself of this today. But you know how you hope against hope that, just this one little time, doing something against your better judgment will actually work out in your favor? Yeah. Today was one of those times. You see, I needed a shower. And I don't just mean I felt a tad bit unfresh. I mean I neeeeeeded a shower: as in, I-showered-after-mowing-two-days-ago-and-put-on-PJs-afterward-and-haven't-been-out-of-them-since. I could smell my own pits, people. SKANK.

Anyway, I thought I'd squeeze one in while the kids were napping. Because, despite all my parenting failures, I do have one thing going for me: I have Colin and Cameron on the same nap schedule. So I put them down and prepared to hit the shower. Except it was like going to bed - something I couldn't just do. There's so much stuff I need to cram in while I have some alone time. So I put on a load of laundry, fed the baby, waxed my eyebrows (before those fuzzy caterpillars started trying to mate with my face): you know, things I like to do without "help." The last thing on my list was to scoop the cat box. But while I was doing that, I heard the pitter-patter of little feet upstairs, and Cameron calling, "Mommy! Where aaaaare yooooou?" They were both awake ... an hour earlier than usual.


There went my shower, I thought as I trudged up the stairs. But then I looked at the boys, who were just sitting in the chair together watching "Dora the Explorer." I thought about the times before Coby came, when I had managed to bathe for ten minutes while the boys occupied themselves. And if there were a time when I could possibly accomplish that, it was now - while they were engrossed in their TV show.

So I went for it. I took the baby, sleeping in his bouncy seat, into the bathroom with me. I left the door open, because I couldn't very well close myself in. And I got into the shower.

No sooner had I wet my hair than I heard something and peeped around the curtain. There was Cameron, rummaging under the sink, where I keep the extra soap - and the extra toilet paper - and the trash. I hissed at him to get out of there and flicked a little water to make my point. A minute later, I looked out again. This time, the toilet paper was laid across the lap of a peacefully sleeping Coby, and Cameron was nowhere to be seen.

I finished my shower in record time. When I stepped onto the bathmat, I yelled, "Colin?"



No response.

Dripping wet, I wrapped the towel haphazardly around me and hurried into the living room, where I saw the following ... Colin still sitting in the chair, positively glued to the TV, and this:

Cameron. With my spaghetti spoon (or whatever the hell you call that thing), and a torn-open box of soap, and a brand-new, full box of baby wipes strewn all over the living room. In a span of - I'm not joking - five minutes. Of course, I grabbed my camera phone because I thought, I've got to blog about this. And then I went to retrieving baby wipes, stuffing them back into the container.

... And realized that in the midst of the melee, I had let my towel drop, and was now standing stark naked before my living room window. In full view of my across-the-street neighbor who was outside in his driveway. I don't know if he saw me, but if he did, he'll probably need therapy.

I know I do.


  1. Excellent post. I was cracking up. My daughter tore through a box of kleenex once and I thought, well, that's the cheapest toy I'll ever buy.

  2. With mine, it was a bottle of baby powder. He got a hold of one when I thought he was napping. I heard all this giggling, opened the door and was enveloped in a cloud of white dust. He's squeezed (poofed) the bottle out all over the room - and because I was not paying attention, this happened twice - white powder everywhere - in less than 5 minutes!

  3. Stopping by from SITS. My kids are now older (9 and 10) but I remember those days well. It's amazing how quickly that they can destroy a room (and what's left of your sanity). And what is it about the diaper wipe box that just begs to be strewn all over the floor? I don't get that. But it is a tried and true kid favorite activity!!

  4. Things could have been worse. A friend of mine at work had twin girls who got up one morning and finger painted the entire kitchen with a can of Crisco shortening. What a MESS!!!

  5. That sooo reminds me of the time my two boys raided the bathroom cupboard and in the course of like 5 minutes managed to open up and stick every pantyliner I had, to the tub, toilet and sink. AND open up and float about a dozen tampons in the toilet. I was pissed because that's expensive!, but laughing because I knew that in 10 years they wouldn't touch those things with 10-foot poles. How I wish I would've had a camera:)

    I'm blog-hopping through SITS' rollcall today, just because:)
    Hope you have an awesome weekend. Take Care!

  6. So funny. My daughter LOVES to pull out all her wipes. This is why I've had to put them wayyy up.

    My daughter won't nap anymore and she's two. It stinks :(

    So I get minimal alone time now.

  7. Oh man, so true to my life. I think that this was me just the other morning. Only it was a kleenex box in the bedroom.

  8. Hilarious! I love how you think about things in terms of blog posts. That is how I totally live my life. Everything is a blog post waiting to be written.

    And standing naked in front of your window and the neighbor outside- Bawahahahahaha! You'll have to take extra special notice of how he reacts to you next time he sees you and let us know.

  9. LOL Well, you keep the neighborhood interesting with your flashing, anyway!
    I remember when you were little and made milk-and-Mentholatum-soup all over your little kitchen set. And the time Steve & Amy spilled the bubble bath powder on the living room carpet and then attempted to clean it up with water. Oh, the joys of parenting!

  10. LOL oh no!!! This is such a great story. Well done with taking a pic for us!

  11. ahhh, my laugh (at your expense) for the day

  12. Luckily, my daughter hasn't done any of these things... yet. I'm sure my time is yet to come. Probably once we finally have baby #2.
    But really, that's hilarious!

    BTW, what's SITS?

  13. I guess it's a good thing he didn't get the trash from under the cabinet!


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