Unlike my husband and children, I have long since outgrown my youthful belief in the housekeeping fairy. However, I absolutely believe, and live in fear, of the housekeeping goblin. The facts are overwhelming: he attacks my home daily.
At times you may see me prancing through the house and wonder if I've joined some new age, abstract dance group. The answer, of course, is No. I am procrastinating a trip to the restroom. But Charlotte, you may ask, don't you have 5 restrooms in that house you're leasing? Surly they aren't all out of order again? Yes, I do, and they're all working (and actually clean right now). The problem is I know as soon as I shut the bathroom door, the housecleaning goblin will strike, destroying my house. It is uncanny! It doesn't matter if I take 1 second or 10 minutes- that goblin is fast. One instant is all he needs.
Sometimes, when the kids come home from school, all I have to do is blink and that goblin has worked its evil magic. Papers strewn across the room, backpacks flung to high heaven, lunch bags freeing their lingering crumbs. Not to mention the shoes and socks decorating any and every flat surface not already taken by art projects and $1 toys from the prize box.
If there is a housekeeping goblin, as I firmly believe, I know where its lair can be found: the playroom. That is the only explanation for the conditions in that room. It doesn't matter how often I clean, organize, and threaten the children to only take out one toy at a time, that room is determined to stay a mess. I finish cleaning, get a drink of water, and come up to grab the broom to find every toy in that room dumped. I've even tried weeding out the toys- it didn't help. Obviously the goblin feeds on a mother's sweat and tears.
So, anyway, in my continued goal to deep clean my house in the first 3 weeks of school, I entered the goblin's hideout today. I dumped and reorganized all those toys. I gathered the discarded dishes and cups, swept the crumbs and took out the garbage. It took 4 hours. While I was gone the goblin made a weak counterattack on my living room (apparently the goblin is greatly inhibited during school hours), but I won the battle today.
Or so I thought until I checked while tucking in the kids. He is already rearranging that room, preparing to redecorate in a manner more suited to his personal tastes; toys and garbage and dishes had already found their way back inside. I would raise a white flag, but that would involve finishing my laundry. And believe me, the laundry fairy is in cahoots with the goblin.
*OK, honestly, the top picture is the "after" of the below "before" one and these pictures are really from a couple months ago (and are the reason I did my great toy reduction), but they convey the idea perfectly so I added them.*