My son was having a play date and when his friend got into our van, he said, "Wow, this van is REALLY messy. It's WAY messier than ours."
"Thank you!" I replied brightly.
A few days later another child was going to come over for a play date. "Your car is really dirty," he remarked.
"Mmmmm Hmmmm. Yes, I'm aware of that!" I answered, clenching my teeth just a little.
When we opened the door to our house, he said, "And your house smells." (My husband's hockey bag is really atrocious; that's the only word for it. He won't let me wash anything because it might wreck the 'fit'. Priorities, priorities!)
Anyway, clearly it was time for action.
All the toys and books and pens and assorted shoes and mittens (yes, from last winter, I'm laying it all on the table here) were cleared out of the van.
I took the van to the gas station and used the industrial vacuum to clean it all out. (I had two of my three children with me, which is a feat in itself. My five year old only vacuumed up his sweater once.)
When it was all done, I was so happy. The van looked new again! It was spotless! Sparkling!
I took a moment and just enjoyed the feeling. This was the start of a brand new page for our family. From here on in, we were going to keep the van clean at all times. Whenever someone dropped something, it would look so incongruous against the spanking clean floor that it would be picked up immediately and deposited into the garbage can that would NOT be completely overflowing with used coffee cups and granola wrappers. When someone played with an activity book, they wouldn't drop it on the floor after; no! They would place it back where it belonged (a truly novel concept) in the pocket in the back of the chair.
I sighed with happiness. This was a turning point! A step toward a more organized life! A...
My son kicked over my extra-large travel coffee mug. Coffee...everywhere...
Reality kicked in, hard.
As I was watching my dreams of a clean car go up in smoke after literally less than a minute, my son yelled, "Mommy! I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, AND I have to go to the bathroom! Right NOW!"