Who needs a self-cleaning oven? What I want is a self-cleaning kids’ room!

I made arrangements for the girls to spend the night with Mother-In-Law last night…not so that Deputy Dad and I could have a romantic night together – although that would have been nice, but so I could surreptitiously clean out their room while they were away. I do this periodically when their room reaches the Point Of No Return, the point where they – literally, I am not exaggerating – have to take turns putting their shoes on in the morning, because there’s not room enough in the floor for both of them to sit down at the same time.

I spent FOUR SOLID HOURS (in the interest of disclosure, I did take one 2-minute pee break) cleaning out their room this morning. I wasn’t surprised it took so long, because Every Single Time I clean out the girls’ room, I always, always…

…fill anywhere from 2-6 large (lawn size) black garbage bags with trash, broken toys, lidless markers, broken pencils and crayons, etc.

…find toys I’ve never seen before. I have no idea where the girls get some of that junk. (Where does this stuff come from??)

…find dozens of tubes and containers of lip gloss, lipstick, and lip balm. (My rule is…if I find one without a lid, it goes in the trash. I threw away at least a half dozen today.)

…find those tubes and containers of lip gloss, lipstick, and lip balm EVERYWHERE, often in the strangest places. (The prize for Weirdest Find today goes to The Drama Queen. I found a tube of hot pink lipstick in the bottom of her pillowcase.)

…find dirty laundry everywhere but in the hamper. (Another prize for The Drama Queen. I found one lone, dirty sock in a backpack she had stuffed with toys.)

…find toys, clothes, hats, purses, jewelry, etc. that have been missing for days, weeks, or months.

…fill at least one plastic Wal-Mart sack with small toys (mostly forgotten Happy Meal toys). Those go to my kindergarten teacher friend’s classroom “treasure box” (The kids in her class often get to pick a “treasure” from the treasure box as a reward).

…remove several toys and a dozen or more stuffed animals the girls never play with. They almost never notice anything is gone.

…find everything in their room covered in glitter. (Seriously. What is up with that?)

…worry my vacuum cleaner will meet its doom, that it will be injured beyond repair trying to suck up a Lite-Brite peg or a Barbie shoe.

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