Really, We’re Not Always This Messy

Don’t you hate it when people stop by and you’re unprepared?  Oh, I don’t mind if my friends drop by.  They all homeschool, too and have at least as many children as I do, so they know that if you drop by unannounced, you get what you get.  Even if you’ve been invited, you never know when Destructo Toddler and his Evil Minions of Mayhem will have been up to No Good, tearing apart the house behind me as I’m trying to clean up.

So a couple of weeks ago, the Feds showed up again.  I was infinitely less prepared than last time.  It had not been a good morning so far.

Bip has been refusing to sit quietly and eat his snack while I tackle history, science and religion with the older two. I’m sure that the fact that he is 2 years old has something to do with it.  In fact, not only does he refuse to sit quietly, he has taken to whining incessantly. Usually with proper threats of Baby Jail, also known as the pack’n’play, he quiets down enough. This day however, he decided to throw his bowl of cheerios on me.Not his most shining moment, nor mine, as I bundled him off to Jail.

Let me tell you that we don’t often confine him to the pack’n’play. So imagine my surprise when we heard little feet running across the floor upstairs. Young Houdini had escaped Jail and was sitting on my bed. Back in Jail for him, back downstairs for me. Not 10 minutes later, we heard him on the top of the stairs. This time he was quite penitent and ready to come downstairs.

So we continue with school as best we can.  We finish our main subjects, have a snack break, then move to the dining room for seatwork.   I don’t pay much attention to the mess in the living room that we’ve left.  We’ll get to it before lunch, when school is all done for the day.

Then the doorbell rings.  Probably a neighbor kid looking to play.

Nope.  It’s a nicely dressed young woman, flashing a federal investigator’s badge, wanting to know if she could take a minute of my time to talk to me about our previous next door neighbors.  Sure, no problem, come right in, says I.  I tell the children to keep working and scoop up Bip, who is hovering nervously at my feet.  I show the nice lady into my living room.

And then it hits me – the living room the way she must see it. There are school books piled on the couch, snack bowls, toys and the remnants of snacks scattered everywhere.  I’m barefoot with no make up.  Bip starts whining.

I sheepishly clear off a space on the couch, where she perches on the edge, obviously wary of staining her chic trousers.

She asks me the same run of the mill questions about our neighbor, while I bounce Bip on my knee and try to get him to stop whining.  I’m suddenly aware of how oily my face feels.  And I can’t remember anything about our neighbor.  We only lived here for 6 months when they moved, and it being winter for most of that time, we only saw each other in passing.  I can’t remember the wife’s name, what the husband does or where he is stationed now.  I did remember their son’s name is Diego and their dogs were Paco and Lola. That didn’t come up, though.  And to make matters worse, I had to give her my full name and all my dumb non-answers are going to become a part of the public record thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.  At least I didn’t mention the time the wife was out of the country visiting family and the husband went out who knows where and the dogs got out in the back yard and couldn’t get back into the house and barked until 1:30 in the morning.  In December.  Though hopefully that little tidbit wouldn’t be enough to end his security clearance.

By now, Bip is whining so loud that this young woman, who clearly had no children of her own, frowns and asks if Bip has a stomach ache.

Interview over and I show her to the door.  On the way there, I notice the hamper of laundry in the hallway, waiting it’s turn for the washing machine. Sigh. I come back to the living room to see if it really was as bad as I thought.  Yep, it’s that bad.  My only saving grace was that my hair wasn’t in curlers and Bip was not clad in only a saggy diaper and a runny nose.

Honestly, if it wasn’t my life, I’d never believe this stuff.

More Mac and Cheese, please!


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  • I can COMPLETELY relate. My little lad is the exact same way, and he seems to only act up when I’m on the phone. Give everyone my love. Please send me your email address so I can send you some pictures. Love you guys!

  • I used to tell my husband that “I have four kids and homeschool, but when someone comes over I have to make the house look like I don’t have four kids or homeschool.” Not possible. When there’s learning going on it’s hard to hide the evidence. By the way, I love your new graphic!

  • oh good grief. you have feds knocking on your door every now and then?? interruptions like that made me nuts even before we were homeschooling!

  • WHOO HOO!! There are others like me out there??? Can I print your post and comments and wall paper them in my living room/school room?

    Thank you for bringing me back down to earth. Currently my 3 year old is playing hopscotch with the 6 Dr. Suess books someone have left on the floor. I figure, “why not?”


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