Tuesday, May 28, 2013
They spend the whole afternoon doing homework, playing video games, and fighting with each other. I don't remember the last time I saw them take out a toy--AND play with it. I mean really, when do they make these messes?
For example, we have a cushioned bench under the picture window. The dog (Dr. Watson) likes to sit on it and stare mournfully out the window while we are gone. I would stare mournfully too, because in addition to the couch cushion, he's lying on top of two kiddy laptops, three paperbacks, a backpack that lights up when you touch it, a stack of papers from school, a sample sized bottle of hair detangler, my embroidery scissors and pin cushion (that's where those went!), a pink chicken purse, Fun With Ballet in library binding, a hairbrush, a hat, and a mechanical pencil.
Their rooms are no better. (You don't look surprised.) Dave Ramsey wants us to teach them about money so they have their childrens' version of the envelope system and all they have to do to earn their commission is take their laundry to the laundry room, keep the books off of the floor (they are the daughters of an author, after all,) pick up the debris, and feed their pets (one feeds the dog, the other the chicken and ducks.) It's really not onerous work.
The girls were tasked with making their floors "clean enough to vacuum" this evening. As I walked passed one door I over heard my eldest moaning, "It's just too hard."
Well, yes. I said to myself. Why do you think I am making YOU do it? I don't have the time to clean that mess up!
I was an awful mess as a kid too. My mom managed to keep the house nice and clean. She did some after school babysitting when I was little so she even had more kids making a mess than I do, but...she didn't have the internet. I'm thinking if she had had the internet she wouldn't have kept such a clean house.
So maybe the mess isn't such a mystery...between authors groups, keeping up with industry news, negotiating things like audio books and editors, planning marketing campaigns, and eventually getting around to writing fiction, I don't have much time for little things like laundry, dishes, or general tidying up...;)
Once I made a joke to another mom about how I was a terrible housekeeper. This woman looked me square in the face and said, "Oh, I believe that!" which goes on the long list of rudest things people have ever said to my face.
She might be right.
But who wouldn't prefer pursuing their dreams with passion and zeal to finding all of Polly Pocket's teeny tiny accessories?
So in a way, Jane Adler, the detective of my Plain Jane Mystery Series is the anti-Traci. I make my dreams come true instead of cleaning my house, and she cleans houses to make her dreams come true. And the mystery she has to deal with isn't "Where did all this junk come from?" but "Where did this dead body come from!"
Good, Clean Murder is available everywhere fine eBooks are sold--and the next Plain Jane will be out soon too, that's why this house is still such a mess!
Traci Tyne Hilton is an award winning author and playwright from Portland, Oregon. Her newest book