"Honey," I breathed into the phone in my best low voice, "I have something that I need you to help me with tonight, after everyone goes to bed."
I felt him sit up on the other end of the phone like an alert hunting dog. "Reaally?" he asked.
"I'm in one of those moods.." <pause for effect> "and I was wondering if you could help me...sneak around the house to throw out some toys."
You know you've been married and fighting to beat a path into the kids' rooms past the toys for a long time when talk like that can get your heart rate up. Dodging things falling out of closets to save the one unbroken toe you have left after tripping over another Power Ranger ("RY-YAN!!") tends to make you look forward to that big bag heading to Goodwill or the trash can.
Under cover of darkness, or when they are at school, is the best time for this kind of mission.
Oh, and I'm all over it. I just need to act before I get soft, and sentimental, about the Godzilla that roars when you push the right button. Hmm. I'm gonna try to get to it tonight, but I have a feeling I'm really going for it on Tuesday, when they go back to school. Heh heh heh. Out of sight--out of mind--out the door!
I was walking around the house today, making mental lists of what I want to tackle. One of the tasks came to me in the middle of the night, during a bathroom excursion. OMG, I thought, as I looked around their bathroom. Is that...toothpaste? And what IS that smell? Are we missing our mark again, boys? OY. It's a good thing I was sleepy, and eager to get back to my dream, because I might've cracked out the Scrubbing Bubbles at 3 am, it was that bad. Guess what I did today? "MO-OM! Why is the toilet water blue? I have to go!" "No, you don't. That just needs a few more minutes, and you'll live. There's always the backyard, buddy." "I'll wait."
I should've seen this coming. Earlier this week, I was reading Remo's journal about the spring cleaning taking place in his house. And I was reading Chantal's journal yesterday, and she was talking about her car and the fragrance within. All this cleaning...got me thinking...
It reminded me of what happened to me earlier this month, when a friend of mine asked me to give his son a ride home one night, and another asked me to bring her daughter home from school the next day. I transport kids all the time, back and forth from school, etc. so I don't mind at all giving anyone a ride. However, since I have Audrey's carseat behind the driver's seat, I rarely look into the van from the passenger side. For whatever reason, the day my friend made his request, I looked inside the van from that angle, and felt that vein in my forehead start to pulse. You know, the 'danger' vein all parents have and all kids know means trouble should they be seeing it throb out the "I'm gonna kick your ass" beat.
Holy crap! Jackets. Happy Meal toys and their wrappers (empty wrappers). Valentines and valentine candy (and this is March, people, March). CD players. Stray headphones. A few Gameboy games (this is a serious offense). Bits of ....paper? What the hell, are they shredding government secrets in the backseat? And what is THAT, a dried up splatter pattern on the underside of the seat (thank goodness, on a wipeable surface)? And WHAT is that SMELL? Did someone sneak a rodent in here that died?? A stray sock. A sock!!
I have to admit, I usually leave the unpleasant cleaning the van duty to Mr W. Hey, if I'm gonna do vomit, then the least he can do is don the HazMat suit for the van.
But I realized that he wasn't in any condition to do it, and should he see what I just saw, well, I might be down a kid or two by the night's end.
You know it's truly a mess when you are embarrassed to let a 12yr old get in your car. So the next day, I vacuumed, and informed the children that if it was important to them, they had 2 minutes to claim it, or it was getting thrown out. I never knew they could move so fast. I had to laugh, though, when Ryan threw up his hands and said, "But Mommy, I can't carry all that. Can I have a bag?" "EXACTLY," I told him. "There is too much crap that shouldn't be in here in here. You should never have to ask me for a bag!" I took out Audrey's old carseat, and graduated her to Ryan's "big kid" carseat. I'd bought skinny mulligan a new booster seat earlier that week, and in it went. I wiped off the splatters. I wiped out the cup holders. And yet...that smell. Sweaty little bodies? Probably. I grab some air freshener, and spray enough in there that I nearly started to hallucinate. Oh well. We drove with open windows for a few minutes, and no one passed out, but I did swear that I saw stars until it aired out some.
I knew after that incident, it was a matter of time before I was gonna be itching to get to their rooms. And I'm itching, itching, itching right now.
But I'll have to suffer until Tuesday. You know what they say, about scratching an itch...it only makes it worse, so I'll wait until I can do the job properly. And hopefully, they won't notice right away that some things are...missing.
I wonder, would Godzilla make a good addition to my dresser?
I don't have to wonder how long my van will stay clean. Here it is, two weeks later. They are still cooperating about getting their things out of it when we get home. But we go back to school next week, and I know that once that happens, all bets are off.