One of my favorite things to do, with the change of every season, is to do a Google search for home tours.
I like to sit in front of my Big Mac at the desk, with a cup of coffee (heavy on the creamer), and scroll through beautifully-edited pictures of cute little houses, all decorated up. It’s my VERY GUILTY PLEASURE. Clearly, Hubs now knows exactly why our own house still looks like a fraternity of goats lives here this evening; I was very busy this morning, spending those few precious hours while Thing 2 was off at preschool (and the boy was off at high school and Hubs was off at work) sipping beige-colored coffee and looking at online, fall home tours, rather than loading our own dishwasher. I kept gazing at snapshots of perfectly-placed pumpkins and wool throws gorgeously draped over sofas, and it was all enough (along with the pee splatters covering the floor our boys’ bathroom) to make me feel like a homemaking failure.
Thing 2 would’ve crawled up on the table and taken exactly one bite out of each and every single one of those peaches. The table would’ve been covered in discarded stems and leaves that he’d ripped off, and it would be drizzled with fresh peach juice, that had dripped down his chin every time he sunk his teeth into one of the fruits.
Also, the display of plates on the wall would’ve been missing all but three at our house, as the others would’ve fallen down, one by one, over time, with every poorly-chipped golf ball in our house and every fired dart from a Nerf gun that went astray. The wood floor directly beneath those plates would be chipped and dinged and scratched from all the broken ceramic plates that had managed to shatter and crash down.
Besides all of that, Cat 1 would’ve decided that it was her duty as a house pet to curl up in one of those lovely wingback chairs and take a nap. Later, she would’ve stretched, gotten up, and left fourteen pounds of shed hair behind.
This kitchen (from Jennifer Rizzo’s blog) was another one of my favorite rooms that I strolled through on my virtual tour this morning:
If this was our kitchen, the little orange hand towel that’s so strategically placed on the counter would be three days old, and the overwhelming smell of mildew would be strong enough to overpower the Scentsy pot’s effort to make the room smell like pumpkin and spice.
Although Thing 2 can scale kitchen cabinets like a mountain goat on a rocky cliff, without the aide of a stepstool, that industrial stool would be a direct invitation for him to COME ON UP, TURN ON THE KITCHEN FAUCET, AND FLOOD YOUR MAMA’S KITCHEN TO A LEVEL THAT SHOUTS OUT, “WE WERE IN THE DIRECT PATH OF THE HURRICANE, AND WE’RE SLEEPING AT THE SHELTER NOW.”
The little houseplant next to the window would be half-dead, because I would’ve forgotten to water it, and because Cat 2 would have dismembered it in the middle of the night.
Plus? Well, the boy would’ve left three bowls with dried ice cream in them and twelve dirty glasses on the kitchen counter, all of which he had resurrected from the pit he calls his bedroom. Thing 2 would’ve tossed two granola bar wrappers up there on the counter, too, because it’s so much easier than dropping the wrappers into the garbage bucket, and there would be a big pile of junk mail sitting by the sink, begging me to apply for new credit cards and JUST SCRATCH HERE, to see if I’d won the keys to a new Toyota, down at the dealership.
In other words, ain’t nobody who wants to see a photo tour of OUR house this fall, seeing as how OUR fall decorating can best be described as, “There seems to have been a struggle that took place here.”
It’s hard to get folks to focus on the pumpkins and woolen throws, when the bright yellow police tape keeps distracting them.
And? Well… the struggle is simply that this mama, who leans toward the tendencies of severe OCD and who THRIVES on clean houses, has given up, in the name of THREE MALE TRIBE MEMBERS LIVE HERE. But? Do you know what? I’ll take the messes for now. The messes make me crazy enough to pick my eyebrows out, hair by hair, but I know that our boys are going to grow up quicker than I can blink, and that the boy’s last three years of high school are going to be finished in exactly six minutes. And then? Well, I figure then, when I clean the toilet in their bathroom, it’ll stay clean and I’ll cry real tears, as I wish that they could be back, spraying our entire bathroom down with their incredible misses during potty time.
(Please. Let’s just have a moment of silence for that bathroom in our house. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and he won’t depart from it.” Heaven help me; I’ve TRIED. I’ve pointed and shouted, “Hit!! The!! Water!! The water!! For the love, PEE IN THE BIG BOWL OF WATER, and not AROUND the big bowl of water!!” Dear Future Wives of Our Two Boys, I tried. I did. I encouraged them to pee in the big bowl of water, and they still miss, and… well… now they’re you’re problem.”)
Having a sixteen year old in the house has reassured me and Hubs that people actually know what they’re talking about when they say that children grow up too quickly. We, ourselves, have borne witness to this! OUR FIRSTBORN IS SIXTEEN!!! For crying in a bucket! How did THAT happen?!
For now, the messes let me know that I’ve still got boys living here who need me. I try to remind myself of that every single time I walk in the boys’ bathroom and find that someone was distracted at potty time.
But, to the mamas out there who can maintain a wall gorgeously covered in decorative plates, and who would never have mildewed dish towels slopped into a pile on their kitchen counters, I salute you.
And I raise my glass of evening wine to you!