Ready for Drop-By Guests?

by Abby on May 21, 2012

It’s that time of year — the weather’s nice, everyone’s outside, and neighbor kids run in and out of your house for drinks or snacks or to use the bathroom. It made me think of this post from my archives, about how non-guest-ready my house usually is.

BTW, I did see “What to Expect” this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. The dads were my favorite part, including Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy‘s real-life husband. Also: Will Schuester from Glee! How did I not know Matthew Morrison was in this movie?

Clean House? Not So Much

A clean house is a sign of a wasted lifeI may have mentioned a time or 20 how I try to squeeze as much freelance work into as little kid-free time as possible, which necessitates arrangements so complex that pulling off a triple axel on dull ice skates seems easy in comparison.

So it was nothing short of a miracle when the mom of my son’s classmate offered to give him a ride home once a week. This meant Miles could stay an extra couple hours for the after-school program instead of being forced to come home and be quiet while his baby brother naps and I work. Plus, I wouldn’t have to cut the baby’s nap short to pick him up. Win-win, right?

The first time this other mom brought Miles home, however, her son needed to come in to use the bathroom. Terror shot through me.

You see, people, our bathroom is not what you’d call “guest ready.” Not only do we not have decorative hand towels and French-milled soaps, but you’re lucky if there’s toilet paper and no puddle on the floor. You might find a half-eaten banana in the bathtub, a sippy cup of milk in the sink, and a toothpaste self-portrait finger-painted on the mirror.

It’s disgusting. I know. But when you have 2 small, exceedingly messy boys and no time (or cleaning lady), that’s what you get. Certainly if we’re expecting guests I’ll run a Clorox wipe over the counters and toilet and chuck the mess behind the shower curtain. But if it’s just us, what’s the point? A clean bathroom lasts only until the first potty break.

So, disguising the panic in my voice, I said to this other mom, “Sure! Of course! Let me just run in there real quick and make sure we have hand soap.” (As if. That was used up long ago when the boys decided to give their action figures a bubble bath in the sink.)

The next week, I was prepared. The bathroom was passably clean. But this time she asked to fill up her kid’s water bottle in the kitchen. Where she encountered a sink full of dirty dishes from breakfast… and lunch. I was humiliated. I’m not striving to be Martha Stewart, but there are low standards and then there are frat-boy standards. We were probably violating several health codes in the kitchen and bathroom alone.

So the following week, my house was CLEAN. Really clean. (I mean, not under-the-couch clean, but come ON. Let’s be realistic here.) And you know what happened? The other mom was running late and drove off without stepping foot in our immaculate abode.

I took some small, sick comfort in the fact that when my son came home from a playdate at their house, he said the kid’s room was really messy.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan May 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

I have a friend (with two kids, nonetheless) who is obsessive about having a clean house. I don’t know how she does it, because she’s also at every ballgame, scout meeting, church event, etc. On a couple of occasions, my kids have been with her and she has offered to drop them off at the house. You have no idea how quickly I can come up with a “VERY important” errand that I must run, right then. “I have to go out to XYZ anyway, so why don’t I just meet you/come pick them up?” So far, so good. . .

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Abby May 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Ha! Nicely deflected, Jan. Well, *I* can guess how your friend does it — they’re never home to mess up the house!

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Jennifer May 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Oh, my.

I could have written this. Well, not as well as you have written it, but the content would have been essentially the same.

Recently, a friend of ours swung by to pick up my son for the soccer practice carpool. But she got out of the car and asked to come in so they could use the bathroom. My life flashed before my eyes…mostly featuring all the missed opportunities to clean the crusted-up toothpaste off the sink and the dust bunnies around the toilet and all the other gunk in there. I’ve been to her house, and I’ve used her guest bathroom. Her powder room should be insulted to be included in the same general category as mine. I forced myself to say brightly, “Sure!” and hoped that she had forgotten to put her contacts in that day.

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Angie Mizzell May 22, 2012 at 8:17 am

This ALWAYS happens to me. Clean house? No one sees it. Destroyed house? People pop in. It’s a universal law.

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Corey Feldman May 22, 2012 at 9:55 am

That’s kind of a given, the messier the house is the more likely you will have a visitor. Same goes for my car.

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jetts31 May 22, 2012 at 11:43 am

My wife keeps 3 key areas in our house clean at all times for moments just like this. The bathroom, the kitchen, and the living room. Even if she has to clean them at 10 o’clock at night. Everything else looks like the apocalypse on most days.

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Frume Sarah May 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm

UGH! This is a tough one. As a newly-minted SAHM, I can’t seem to keep on top of all the dishes, laundry, dusting, etc. AND get everything else done. On top of that, my DH goes all Martha Stewart any time ANYONE comes in the house. A bad combo, if you ask me.

In other news, we also saw “What to Expect…” this weekend. It was our first date night in a long, long time. Great choice.

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