(How many of you who know me personally are laughing your asses off right now?)
But seriously, something has Happened to me and I can only attribute it to being a mom since that is really the only thing that has changed between the time I was a happily self-proclaimed slob and now. Now, I can't start my day for real until the dishes are done. (What?) Now I can't sit down and relax with my laptop after I put The Who to bed until all his toys are cleaned up and the dinnertime slime has been wiped off the table with a Clorox wipe. Now I can't sit and read books if there is an empty-but-unwashed bottle on the floor. Even if it's covered. Even if it was just finished.
Ok, ok. Have your fun, but hurry up and finish so Mama can clean it up!
One of the newer words in The Who's vocabulary is "dishes." He knows it because I say to him, nearly every morning, "No, I can't pick you up right now; I have to wash the dishes." Just for a frame of reference: once my roommates piled my dirty dishes out on the back porch because they sat in the sink for so many days. And, as a teenager, I once got grounded for throwing away dirty forks instead of washing them. For real.
The other night when I announced that it was time to go to bed, The Who, excited to climb the stairs and take his bath, first took the time to return the book he was reading to the book crate. "Clean up," he said. Cue our mouths falling open in wonder. I mean, I have been intentionally teaching him to clean up after himself since he was too little to know what it meant because I feel like that's a lesson I somehow missed along the way. I paid dearly for it as a kid and young adult, too. I can't even tell you how many marathon room-cleaning weekends I had growing up and tidying has been a major point of contention in my marriage.
Now, it's not really like I've become Type-A overnight. I still leave my dirty laundry strewn all over the dressing room and I am still perfectly content to walk wide circles around the several pairs of shoes I leave right where I stepped out of them, but some things just get under my skin now in a way that they didn't used to. I really don't know for sure what changed. Maybe it's some maternal instinct that refuses to let my kid live in filth.
Good instinct, I guess.