April 27, 2020

I might never be late again, cleaning initiative, & short-shorts

Saturday I attended my third drive-by birthday while in quarantine.  When we returned, Reg asked if anyone got shot at this drive-by.  Maybe there should be a less violent sounding term to describe these new birthday celebrations.

Mini's good friend turned 16 a few weeks ago and I drove there, but made Mini 'the reluctant driver' switch with me and drive out of this girl's culdesac.  She fumbled with the window control and rolled down the wrong window as we passed her friend the 2nd time to wave good-bye.  Mini is the comedic relief for her group of friends, so the b-day girl was doubled over in her front yard.  Then Curly's friend from dancing had a b-day last week with the infamous turban-wearing driver aka Mini, and this afternoon I drove Curly to one of her good friend's houses 1 minute away.

I don't know why, but this time I got all choked up as I sat there blaring the horn and watching this little 12 yr old girl stand in the rain and wave to all the cars.  Maybe the dreary weather made the whole gathering that much more odd.  It just sorta got to me. 

At any rate, this was a surprise honk-fest.  It started at 3:00 after the 2:00 Zoom party complete with games and giggling.  The mom did a group text to be sure everyone was there before the honking commenced. 

That is when I decided that even when we go back to normal times, this is how birthday parties should be . .  . not the drive-by variety, but the 'let's not start till everyone is here variety'.  Um, I tend to NOT be on time for stuff, so this would be ideal for struggling-with-schedule parents like myself.  

The group text would announce:  "The Shenanigans just pulled up, so now we can start the party." - of course there would be NO sarcastic undertones.    

Exhibit A:  we were late for the zoom part because we were still fumbling around for the password, etc at go time. 

This is one side of Coach's recliner.  Do
not ask me how I manage to keep the
 tots I sit for out of this paperwork debacle.
In other news:  I asked Coach if he could get behind my need to clean the house.  He cares about my mental healthy, so he was all about it.  I made a list before I fell asleep on the couch Friday night and Saturday morning I slept in (I was up for awhile during the night) and I walked downstairs to Coach, Curly, and Reg working on the list and crossing shit off as they went.

I thought maybe I was still dreaming.  

Coach and I have been married for almost 24 years and he is just starting to figure out the way to my heart.  Just pitch in, damn it -and make these kids put a little elbow grease in the messes they make.  

And here lies the other pile of shit on the
 other side of the recliner.  I have causally
 mentioned to him that places
 do sell filing cabinets.  Sigh.
Dear friends - most of whom most likely have a cleaner house than I do, I am happy to report that even though there are a few jobs that have not been tackled - I can breathe again.  Showers were scrubbed, rooms dusted, toilets cleaned, cabinets wiped down, ceiling fans were dusted, mirrors Windexed, floors vacuumed, light fixtures cleaned, stuff put away.  And Coach organized his paperwork that stacks up next to his recliner - mark this date in history.

On the list was a suggestion that each person eliminate some stuff from their room/drawers.  Reg will only wear shorts now that it is not below zero and the other kids have been begging him to stop wearing 'short-shorts'.  I suggested that he take this opportunity to toss the small athletic shorts into the Good Will pile.  

Reg modeling Gettysburg short-shorts.
I do wonder if there just aren't any 'next-size-up' shorts ready and waiting for him in the dresser dedicated specifically to 'next-size-up' items in his room.  Sometimes well-loved clothing categories do not endure the wear and tear of three older brothers and therefore do not make it down to the 4th boy.  Workout shorts are well-loved here and worn CONSTANT, unlike wardrobe items that my kids lovingly refer to as 'Church clothes'.  

So, I might need to invest in some shorts that fit him and embrace filling an online shopping cart.  He wore a pair of shorts the other day that I bought at an outlet store when we were in Gettysburg almost 2 years ago.  There is quite a difference in size from a 12 year old boy to a 14 year old. 

On the other hand, no one is really able to see what we are wearing right now and other than siblings, no one cares. 


Kari said...

Aww, I am glad your family pitched in! It's the little things that are big things right now. :)

Enjoy your clean house!

Ernie said...

Kari - of course, it won't last long but knowing it is a possibility gives me hope. Raising a distant glass to you on your birthday tomorrow!

Kara said...

We've used this time to purge a lot of clothes. The oldest kid is the smallest, and has basically worn the same size clothes for the past 6 years. She also has the biggest closet, so had a lot of space to keep her stuff hanging around. She finally got around to going through the clothes and pulled two trash bags full of donations, and another of just trash. I pulled two trash bags from my closet and the coat closet. My husband and other kids have also created a pile of donations. Except there's no where to donate too at this moment.

I find myself obsessing about small things during this quarantine. I care more about the grout in the kitchen then I ever have before in my life. I am searching for the perfect grout cleaner, because my kitchen floor grout is disgusting.

Ernie said...

Kara - I just said to Mini on our walk yesterday that I could probably go through my closet again and get rid of more stuff. Something about wearing the same clothes each week makes all the excess seem unnecessary. I have my babysitting clothes that look presentable, but that I don't care if I get spit up on, etc. Then I have 'real' clothes. I suddenly sound like the I dress like the emperor with 'real' clothes and not so real clothes. Ha. Good luck with the grout. My first floor is hardwood, so I got nothing to suggest. It is an amazing feeling to purge, right?

Busy Bee Suz said...

See, I really AM excited for you!
The pile of papers next to the recliner would cause me to lose my mind. NOT kidding.

The drive-by parties crack me up too because I always think of a drive-by shooting. We had our first drive-by last weekend for one of the coach's softball girls; it would have been her high school senior night.

I honestly wouldn't have taken you for a tardy person; I've learned something today. So, if I invite you over, I'll give you a fake time of arrival.

Isn't it funny, but bac in the 80's those would NOT be considered short-shorts; they would just be shorts. Times have changed when it comes to men's shorts lenght. FYI, my FIL always calls pants "Long sleeved shorts." ;)

Ernie said...

Suz - OMG the paperwork next to the chair is barely visible unless you are leaning over the chair - so trust me, the rest of the shit would really make you insane. I can handle it to a point and then I start hollering for people to put their shit away. Which reminds me I have to write a post about something Tank said last night about me cleaning up, etc.

Yes, I need a fake arrival time. I think my problem is that I always tend to think I can just get a few more things done before I leave the house. I am officially the worst time-estimator of all time. Life is working out pretty well for me right now, because we so rarely leave the house.

Exactly about the 80's shorts. We have been watching the documentary on Michael Jordan 'The Last Dance' and my kids are like: Look Reg, they wear shorts like you!

I love your FIL's nickname for pants. My guess is he lives in Florida too.

Nicole MacPherson said...

Oh, I'm so glad they started to pitch in with the housework! It makes SUCH a difference, I think. Not only does it make less work for you but it also shows such thoughtfulness for your well-being. Yay!

Suzanne said...

Oh wow - what a wonderful sight to wake up to!!! Yay for your family!

Ernie said...

Nicole- So true. I assign regular jobs all the time like ckean out the microwave, empty all the garbages in the bathrooms- but I really wanted someone to clean off the blades of the ceiling fans and scrub the shower walls. Waiting till Coach was around to lead the charge was instrumental. Plus, hello 6'4"- let me introduce you to my ceiling fans.

Suzanne- I did not even realize that Coach knew where I had written the list. It was aewsome!

Beth Cotell said...

I loved that you slept in and woke up to them cleaning the house! Perhaps the same will occur this Saturday morning? :)

Ernie said...

Beth - lightning does not strike twice. Ha. Not holding my breath. Half of the house does not even wake up until noon, so I frequently make lists and the early kids grab their favorite jobs - but this was more of a deep clean/non-weekly jobs kind of clean. It was like an early Mother's Day.