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A Letter to My Children About Their Attempts To Clean

Dear Children who just “finished cleaning”,

Let me be clear about one thing.

I see that you are trying, I really do. But oh my word I feel like making you all eye appointments after looking at the results of your last attempt at cleaning your rooms.

I really shouldn’t have to remind you that I am going to check the corners, I figure you know I have eyes to see and that you have them too and that you understand items do not just turn invisible simply because you push them in the corner.


The middle of the floor is clean, true, but the pile of stuffed animals and papers and pencils and glitter and general garbage in every corner means that your room is not actually clean. We’ve been through this.

Also, your closet doors should be able to shut, if there is too much stuff on the floor in front, your room is not clean.

And if I open your closet doors and my life is in danger from an avalanche of toys and stinky socks, your room is not clean.

If none of your dresser drawers actually close and it looks like your wardrobe is trying to make a hasty getaway, your room is not clean.

While we’re chatting about cleaning here’s a few tips for other rooms as well.

If I walk into the bathroom and all the cabinet doors are open and I have to wade through wet towels to replace a clearly empty toilet paper roll with the half used one on the floor, the bathroom is not clean.

If I walk into the kitchen and the dishes are done but there are crumbs everywhere and a tower of recycling by the sink and a dirty pot on the stove that I don’t want to wash either, the kitchen is not clean.

If there are 7 socks on the floor covering a pile of stray lego pieces (a really, really bad attempt at camouflage sweet children) and all your spaceships are stacked up on top of each other next to the couch and there is a tower of books and miscellaneous crap balancing on the end table the playroom is not clean.

If there is a pile of coats and backpacks and shoes on the bench in the back hall while all of the hooks are empty and I can’t see the rug because it’s covered in mittens and hats then the back hall is not clean.

You are loved.

You are cherished.

And you are not fooling anyone.

No one appreciates your half-assery my dear ones.

Get it done right the first time and I will look less like a crazy person with smoke coming out of my ears and you will not have to listen to this lecture every, single time it’s time to clean something.

Doesn’t that sound good? You can do this. I have faith in you.


Your Mom

(Who is starting to wonder if maybe you’re just messing with me, because really??)

Be Where Your Feet Are Sweatshirt