The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The Booger Heard ‘Round the World

Two bloggers. Two different hemispheres. One vision (largely impaired by too much clutter, dirt, and booze). Exposed for all the world to see as Housekeepers of Ill-Repute, Proprietresses of Dubious Maternal Instinct, and Woefully Neglectful Wives.

Here they are, flashing their dirty bits in the first of three simultaneous postings. Click here to read the sister-post.

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It all started with a booger.

A single booger, which I found stuck to a semi-freshly painted wall in one of my kids’ bedrooms.

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What? Can’t see it? Oh sorry… let me help you with that:

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It was the proverbial straw that broke this camel’s back. That wall is painted with Behr Premium Plus paint in Shortgrass Prairie, 760D-5. It is my favorite paint color in the whole house. My husband and I lovingly painted that room as a peace offering to our oldest child for having to switch bedrooms when our third and final baby was a few weeks shy of  becoming a “fire in the hole!”

I noticed that booger the other day and bitched about it via email to a fellow mother/blogger friend I had recently met through the wonders of the Internet. “Not Drowning Mother” or “NDM” was very empathetic. “Kids are disgusting,” she agreed. Even Australian kids, it turns out. She said “I’ll see your booger and raise you a whole Wall of Mysteries, showcasing a full range of human excretia.” And thus, a plan for a tell-all “simulpost” was hatched.

However, there was so much material that we decided it wasn’t fair to only focus on the kiddies and their nastiness. We would have to out ourselves as well. And in addition, why stop at only housecleaning (or lack thereof)… we also found loads of common foibles in the areas of child rearing and husband tending. But for simplicity, we decided to break it into three separate simultaneous, intercontinental, photo-filled posts.

So here is my portion of part one. A photo-essay on the squalor in which I live. Some of it is kid-induced. Most of it is my own damn fault. All of it is bad enough that I actually did apply to be a home on “Oprah’s Clean Up Your Messy House Tour,” and they actually ARE considering me as a potential guest for the show. No lie. But I don’t want to jinx it, so let’s just leave it at that for now.

Oh, one more thing. You may be wondering why on Earth we would choose to air our dirty laundry like this, and why now? It’s simple, really. A new year begins tomorrow. A new year filled with the promise for change. I am always abuzz with excitement at this time of year! Excited for the potential for living a better life and creating a better life for my family. But I am also a real fan of using one’s talents and treasures to help others. Thus, if I can help even one overwhelmed woman to feel better about her life by comparing herself to the trainwreck that is my home… well, so be it. You are welcome, overwhelmed woman! You are clearly not alone. But you better get on the stick, lady… because I am seriously going to get my shit in order this year. I fucking mean it this time. And once I do, you WILL be alone. So join me, won’t you? Let’s turn over a new leaf (or scrape an old booger off the wall) together.

And now, more proof that your home is cleaner than mine:

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall, my kids fingerpaint with toothpaste on you to have a ball!"

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall, my kids fingerpaint with toothpaste to have a ball!"

...but why stop at mirrors? Every surface in my home is a canvas for dirty, sticky fingers.

...but why stop at mirrors? Every surface in my home is a canvas for dirty, sticky fingers.

Every surface is an equal-opportunity canvas. Yeah, that's a permanent marker. Good times.

Every surface is an equal-opportunity canvas. Yeah, that's a permanent marker. Good times.

never a dull moment, or surface...

never a dull moment, or surface...

Alright, let me explain. I was worried that NDM was going to show me up with her Wall of Mysteries, so I went on a fact finding mission to locate anything of equal nastiness. It didn’t take long. Here you see a permanent party favor from Klepto’s not-so-recent bout with the stomach bug. Yes, friends, that is the “popcorn” ceiling in the master bathroom, and the stains you see are the remains of her regurgitated cheeseburger. Beat *that*, NDM!
But they don't only create messes... sometimes they help me clean too. See? No rinsing required.

But they don't only create messes... sometimes they help me clean too. See? No rinsing required.

Typical kitchen counter any given day... notice clothes, crafting supplies, dirty dishes, an iPod, food...

Typical kitchen counter any given day... notice clothes, crafting supplies, dirty dishes, an iPod, food...

... the aftermath of letting Bucket Head help me unload the dishwasher. This should really be filed under "Good Parenting" and not "Kids are disgusting."

... the aftermath of letting Bucket Head help me unload the dishwasher. This should really be filed under "Good Parenting" and not "Kids are disgusting."

drowning in a sea of dog hair and dust bunnies.

... poor Ernie: drowning in a sea of dog hair and dust bunnies.

... my "craft corner" in the basement... only it is too messy to work in, so I have taken over every other surface in the house. You can see where my kids get it...

... my "craft corner" in the basement... only it is too messy to work in, so I have taken over every other horizontal surface in the house. You can see where my kids get it... bad Mommy. Bad, bad Mommy.

I've taken over the dining room table as well...

... underneath this mountain is our dining room table. Who has time to put things away with all this writing and crafting and present wrapping and booger scraping to do?!

Wow. That’s impressive, even for me. Who else do you know with a six year old plaster casting of her breasts and pregnant belly just sitting on the dining room table? I’d love to take credit for the gorgeous Mermaid-Nymph painting on that belly, but I commissioned an incredibly talented artist/sistah/friend to do it. I have BIG plans to turn that sucker into a night-light for Klepto’s room. Yeah, plans that have been in my head for 6 years. Sigh. Which reminds me…

"Iris, telephone! It's Oprah. She is repulsed by your messiness and thinks the rest of America will be too."

"Iris, telephone! It's Oprah."

“Take a message, dammit. I’m writing.”
Yeah. Right. Happy New Year, ya’ll! And happy cleaning!

©2008 The Bearded Iris

5 Comments

  1. I knew I could count on you to deliver, Iris. Well, I didn’t know but I know now. And to find a cheeseburger-vomit splattering at the eleventh hour? Brilliant.

    Bring on next week’s post!

  2. Great post! I know lots of mothers who have lost their dining room tables under crafts and stuff. I have forwent the dinig room table and opted for the folding table option.

  3. Well, I started reading thinking I would feel better about my house and its constant state of clutter. But instead of just being impressed with your candor, I now have to actually go clean my f—ing house, which is post-food-fight cafeteria compared to yours. (Okay, except the regurgiburger. We have nothing for that. We cleaned the year-old blueberry smoothie vomit off our ceiling a few months ago, before the in-laws came. Let me tell you–doesn’t matter how fresh it is. Ceiling vomit spatters dry like grits to the bowl. Nigh on impossible to clean.)

    Now, where is that vacuum cleaner?

  4. But no backwards “Redrum” on the mirror?

    You two guys are the conjoined twins of fun. Brilliant, brilliant blogging.

    When I was wee I was the last one out of the shared (between three) bath so was always getting the blame for what was left behind. Each week – yes in Scotland we only bathed once a week, they were hard times – I was accused of leaving nose pickings smeared on the tiles but each week I furiously denied it (“It wasnae me”). In the end I was dragged in and had my face shoved into a green slime mess. “Oh that. That’s not nose pickings it’s ear pickings.”

  5. flyingheidigirl

    January 6, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    If I had batteries in my camera (I generously donated them to a child on Christmas morning so he could operate his new robot) I’d join you. I’d post:

    1.) A picture of my papasan chair, filled about 2 feet high with clean laundry, and a beagle snoozing at the very top. (Never mind this dog is waaaaay too fat to have been able to jump that high…)

    2.) A picture of my sewing room dining room, which is a lot like your craft corner except all over my dining room table and spreading onto the buffet behind it with fabric pieces and thread everywhere.

    3.) Random tomato sauce or berry applesauce splatter on the ceiling near our fridge, which I can’t reach and honestly have no idea how it got there.

    My goal this year is to see how much of this stuff I can pawn off on family members, using my newly-diagnosed degenerative spinal arthritis as an excuse. Kids have a way of snapping to when they see you bending over to pick up some crap they left on the floor and you yell “Ow, my back!!!” Maybe not exactly fair, but, I’ll take whatever works to get them taking care of THEIR OWN SHIT. What’s the use of having dwarves if they won’t do chores?

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