"Seriously, you call this clean?"

March 20, 2015
Notable Stats
Rate of Re-do (RRD) – The percentage time you have to do over the cleaning efforts of your children. The grading systems is as follows : 75% = A, 80% = B, 85% = C, 90% = D, above 90% = F. National average is 96%. 
Circular Waste Time (CWT) – The amount of time your children spent cleaning when actually the dirt was just getting moved from one place to another. Measured in gray hairs.

I know they are trying, well, at least some times they are trying. So I want to encourage them. Yes, when our son is excited about wiping the bathroom floor with hand soap and our best towels, I have to smile and thank him for the effort. I get that.

But what I don’t get is what happened today over a 15 minute period of time that was clearly spent for no reason whatsoever.

Last night, our vehicle was destroyed. We are blessed with two vehicles so I will not complain, but as any parent can imagine, if you do have two vehicles, it is wise to keep your kids completely out of one of them. This is because it is a one-to-one ratio for number of cars they ride in and number of cars they destroy.

Our SUV was pristine until last night and they showed us that it takes less than eleven minutes for three children under 7 to make any vehicle unrecognizable. I think our SUV had black interior, but now it has sesame seed interior. I can’t even see the black.

The snack brigade struck again. My wife conceded the point “We should not have let them ride in the car” was how she came into the house last night. Our son confirmed with a 2 minute alibi and plea of innocence before saying hello. I concluded that our car was impounded.

It was not, but it was snacked in. Our daughter had a class to attend last night, which turned into a playdate and therefore all of our children were welcome. With the long drive, they were hungry, and snacks prevent meltdowns. They also are a form of bacteria. No, not the children, but snacks, but I know you were thinking that….

I kept my cool because of the genuine apology and the fiery will to right the wrong and clean up. I said “OK, tomorrow, you will take this dust buster and this garbage bag and clean up.” No one told me they needed industrial cleaner or a chemical peel, so I assumed a bag and a vacuum would do the trick.

The next morning they spent 15 minutes inside the vehicle with a vacuum and a garbage bag. That, I can confirm with my own eyes. Obviously, I did not take the next step and tell them “by the way, the vacuum is to vacuum and the garbage bag is to put garbage in.” My bad.

Well it was my bad. This morning, I jumped in the black SUV to find whole sticks of crackers in the tracks of the adjustable sliding seats. Sesame seeds that were actually multiplying in front of my eyes. Snow, dirt, footprints, wrappers, and what I thought to be a family of squirrels that had just overeaten, which confirmed that my eyes had to be lying to me.

They were….. only on the squirrels. What in the world were they doing for those 15 minutes?!?? How do you miss 14 cigar sized pretzel sticks? How do they not go in the garbage bag that you brought in the vehicle to pick up garbage? OK, fine, it is a waste of food, so maybe he thought it was recycling. My response, “then you should have eaten them before coming back in the house with an empty bag.”

But guess what? The bag never showed up. He went in with a bag, cleaned nothing, and left the bag in the vehicle. So now he literally spent 15 minutes making our car, more dirty.

He had a partner in this crime. This would be his super clean sister. Was she vacuuming the windows? The air? Her clothes from getting the dirt on it? I think the latter is the most likely scenario. She went in and decided not to get dirty and spent the entire time, cleaning off her winter jacket from filth. She too, made the SUV more dirty.

So what good did this exercise do? They destroyed the car, offered to help, made it more dirty and went to school like they did a bang up job. I drove a trash can around all day, which I will now pick them up in it and make them do it all over again.

But this time, I will be watching. 

- Doug Glanville


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