Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fifty Shades of Clean

Guest Post By Lynn Shattuck, a writer and mother of two. 

I am a dirty, dirty girl.

No, really. Even as a child, I left cyclones of dolls and blankets in my wake. My cluttery
ways still seem to be inherent, part of my energy field. Electrical cords tangle in my very
presence. My clothes bustle together in little hills throughout our home. Small scraps of
paper scurry around, burrowing themselves into my pockets and the nooks and crannies
of my car. My messiness seems to be as much a part of me as my freakishly long and
flexible toes; not pretty, a little embarrassing, but perhaps an homage to the beautifully
imperfect nature of being alive and human.


I have two little people who rely on me. My children trust me to ensure that they are
fed and clothed. That they have safe places to play. That their clothes and bodies are
reasonably clean. And yet by the very nature of them being here, they add even more
chaos to my already slovenly ways. Particularly my three-and-a-half year old, who has
yet to meet a surface that he can’t turn into a drum set, and who leaves trails of cereal
bars behind him, as if to help himself find his way between the kitchen and the couch.

And so, I find myself squarely middle-aged, and craving order. In the past, I might’ve
fantasized upon catching a flash of well-defined shoulders. Or hearing a song with just
the right thump of bass, or when my husband took a few days off from shaving. Now,
I just want our damned wooden floors in the living room to be devoid of crumbs, small
pieces of fruit, and those brooding grey-faced trains that seem hell-bent on tripping me.
I want to peel my clothes off, very slowly, and… put them in the closet. And color code
them. I want to catch my husband’s eye on the rare moment when the kids are both
napping, put my hand into his warm palm… and slip him the broom.

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