In Case You’re Wondering, I Think It’s Poprocks- An Apology Letter To My Housecleaners


Dear Molly Maids,

I know. It’s bad. I really did try this time. I swear I did. It’s just that it’s summer vacation. They’re all here now. All day. Every day.

I told them you were coming. They mocked me. “The cleaners are coming! The cleaners are coming!” they screeched in their impression of me channeling Paul Revere on his midnight ride.

There’s 5 of them, you know. I’m completely outnumbered. And I think they’re partially blind. How else could you explain them not seeing the chocolate chips they dropped on the floor, only to melt, be trampled by everyone else and tracked throughout the house? Or the maple syrup trail leading from the table to the kitchen sink? (Don’t be silly- the trail will never lead to the dishwasher, they think it’s simply a magical mystery box which should be avoided at all costs, so they walk past it and set their dirty dishes on the counter.)

When I walked in after you had cleaned two weeks ago, I sat in awed silence in the middle of my living room, taking it all in. I knew that in a few short hours there would once again be cheese nips crumbs on the couch and something sticky spilled on the counter.

Last night I made everyone eat their dinner off paper plates so there wouldn’t be dishes in the sink. How was I to know my daughter and her friends would come over and make themselves late-night chicken quesadillas?

I’m sorry to tell you that Parker has learned to make himself microwave popcorn. You would have found out soon enough.

That stack of papers on the counter? Well, that’s a combination of school papers, mail I haven’t sorted, report cards, father’s day cards, mother’s day cards, birthday cards for me and my husband, and invitations for my kids to three parties this weekend. (No, I haven’t bought the gifts yet. That would require me dragging them to the toy store with me, inevitably leading to a tantrum- by them or me or both- and you’ve seen the play room upstairs. The last thing they need is more toys.)


The pile of backpacks near the front door? Well, yes, school is out for the summer, but I haven’t quite figured out what to do with the boxes of broken crayons, half used glue sticks and reams of completed (well, mostly completed) assignments their teachers chose to wait until the last day to unload on me. Yes, I agree it would probably have been helpful to see that Parker never quite grasped the concept of sorting by tens and ones before getting 30 papers marked with “work on this at home” on the last day of first grade.

As for the shoes, yeah, it is a bit out of control. But six people with two feet each- that’s 12 shoes a day. Two more for soccer, two for baseball, and now you’re up to 16 shoes. It adds up quickly, and the shoe bin can only fit so many before it starts cascading. P.S.- Try to avoid getting too close to the grey slip ons. Parker isn’t a fan of wearing socks.

Just ignore the pantry this week. Again. Someday I’ll get around to laying that tile I bought for my Spring break project. Then I’ll be better at putting the groceries away on the shelves where they belong, instead of throwing the grocery bags in there and slamming the door shut as I race out to whichever sports practice is going on that night.

The good news is that you can see the laundry room floor. The bad news is that all of the baskets are filled with clean clothes stacked in my bedroom, waiting to be put away in their proper rooms. If you could just vacuum around them, that would be great. Oh, yeah, that suitcase on my bedroom floor; I can neither confirm nor deny whether that is from my Vegas trip 3 weeks ago.

I know the playroom doesn’t look like I cleaned it, but take a look at the before and after shots:


You’ll be happy to hear I finally picked up the athletic cup and the rubber alligator off the stairs. Unfortunately, I discovered last night that the alligator isn’t in such great shape.


I called to Parker and asked him why he mutilated his alligator.

He said, “Because I wanted to make him look like a snake.”

I replied, “But he doesn’t look like a snake. He looks like and alligator who had his legs ripped off.”

It’s like I’ve got my own midget Charles Darwin.

You also wouldn’t believe how many lego pieces I had to pick up to ensure that you wouldn’t vacuum them into oblivion. You see, Parker doesn’t have the patience to build any lego structures. He prefers me to spend $50 on a set so he can get the guy who comes with it. All the 7000 pieces that are supposed to compose the building then get disseminated throughout the playroom. And the characters break into several pieces as well. We had so many body parts all over that floor last night it looked like a horror film.

And then I found this totem pole of lego heads:


I called again down to Parker to ask him to explain what I was looking at. He said, “Oh, I took the snake heads from the Ninjago guys and the mummies from the “Mummy” set and a ghost head to make “the Great Devourer.”

As a parent I have learned that sometimes it’s just better to let an explanation stand and ask no further questions. Trust me on this.

I also found a stash of Easter candy. My guess is that the sticky red spot on the floor is what is left of some small child’s attempt at eating Cherry Poprocks. $20 bonus if you can figure out how to get that up.

I know it’s not good to stack so many video game discs on top of each other, but I have already put them back in their cases a hundred times in the past few months. I’ve decided to go with the “leaning tower” effect. The same goes in the boys’ room with Parker’s Scooby Doo DVD’s.

You can also leave the Skylanders Giants display where it is.


I prefer it in here to where he set it up last time- surrounding my bathtub. Do you have any idea how hard it is to relax with these guys staring at you?

I know they have too many toys. It’s on my list for  this summer to scale back all of our excess stuff. Yes, I know it was on my list for last summer, but this time I really mean it.

My husband says I’m a lunatic the day before you come. He’s probably right. Every time he makes fun of me for “cleaning for the cleaners”  and every time I attempt to explain that in order to clean the counters, you have to be able to SEE the counters. In order to vacuum the floors, you have to be able to SEE the carpet. As my friend Kristin said the other day, “I refuse to pay someone $75/hr to pick up my kids’ toys.”

I’m on your side, Molly Maids. They’re the ones working against us. I not only know where the trash can is, I put my trash inside of it! I don’t drop my jacket and shoes wherever I am standing, I hang them up and put them in the bin!

I’m not claiming that none of this is my fault. I live here too. That flour on the kitchen floor is from the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I was craving Monday night. I knew you were coming today, so I didn’t sweep it up. And I’m sorry.

I could have put those clothes in the baskets away last night, but I chose to sneak out and get myself a treat (frozen yogurt) instead. Yeah, that I don’t regret.

I’m sure you see houses way worse than mine, right? Ones that smell like ferret and still have last night’s McDonald’s remains sitting on the table?

I know my house isn’t the easiest to clean. Heck, if it were, I’d do it myself. (Oh who do I think I’m fooling?) I just want you to know that I DO appreciate it very much. I don’t even care that you’re probably talking about what a lazy housewife I am  when you’re speaking to each other in Spanish. I can live with that, just please come back again in two weeks. I promise to have all the laundry put away by then. Well, most of it. At least my suitcase.


Moderately Ashamed and Grateful in Seattle


“No honey, the cleaners cleaned while I blogged and facebooked!”





3 thoughts on “In Case You’re Wondering, I Think It’s Poprocks- An Apology Letter To My Housecleaners”


    I had to choose between a maid and a trainer (the budget of a divorced mom in education has no room for both). I decided to be a grown up and acknowledge my nearly mid-40 status by choosing the trainer. Your blog has me re-thinking my choice. I’m sure that at 6:45 tonight – 15 minutes into my session -I’ll be absolutely CERTAIN I made the wrong choice.


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