ARE WE THERE YET

Time for fuzzies, curdles and taxes

LORI CLINCH

Following a serious bout with the tax season, I recently emerged from our home office and celebrated with a yawn.

There’s nothing quite like giving your neck a stretch to the left and then one to the right while enjoying a nice little twist of the old spine.

I was in the middle of this pleasant session when the filth that surrounded me grabbed hold and all but gave me a hard slap on the back.

It was suddenly quite apparent that while I had been stuck in an office chair with a pencil in my ear and a calculator attached to my hand, no one had given any thought to keeping up with housework.

The family room was in disarray, the kitchen was out of control, and did my eyes deceive me or was that a basketball in the art niche?

Luckily enough for me, I had emerged from the world ofW2s on a Saturday and as such could enlist the help of the children to put things back in order.

I donned my grubbies, grabbed a bucket of cleaners and presented myself in front of the TV. Back in the day such an appearance would cause some of the kids to fake the flu, while others would pack a bag and announce that they must take leave as they’ve been accepted into an Ivy League school.

Might have worked, too, if he hadn’t been 12atthetimeandboastingaBaverage.

These days it takes a bit more to inspire them, and even a spritzing of Fabreze to their surrounding area only made Lawrence ask me to please take a step to the right so that he could enjoy ESPN.

“I don’t think so,” I began as I wondered if that truly was a dirty sock stuck to the ceiling fan. “Alittle cleaning is always good for the soul. Besides, we just might find the remote control in the process.”

After assigning chores including but not limited to vacuuming up the last of the Christmas tinsel, I decided to personally take on the most daunting task of all household tasks— the dreaded cleaning of the fridge.

I’m such a brave soul.

I feel it’s important before tackling such a chore that one take the time to reassure oneself that there is a God and that he won’t leave her in an hour of need. Mood-enhancing music always helps, and there’s nothing like a good stiff cup of coffee for additional inspiration.

If you can grasp the jug of creamer from the clutches of the refrigerator without spilling the leftover gravy from KFC, it’s a sign from the powers that be that today is your day!

I tossed out the fuzzies and the curdles in a quick and deliberate manner. Then I summoned the boys for a fun-filled family game that I like to call “Name that dish!”

Lawrence was quick to point out that none of the cottage cheese containers actually contained cottage cheese, that it could have been anything in the sour cream tub except for sour cream, and although there was a decent chance that the jalapeno dip container still contained the jalapeno dip, it wasn’t worth the risk of lifting the lid to find out.

I condensed three bottles of ketchup down to one, made the seasonal decision to toss out the cranberries and am happy to report

that all four containers of pickles now share the same jar.

Go, me!

Thanks to the reheating of one too many uncovered dishes, the microwave had taken on the appearance of a little cavern. I swear I’ve seen fewer stalactites in a cave. The stove was a mess, the floors sticky, and there was nothing short of a chisel that would clean the counters.

Still, we, as a family, tackled it with frenzy!

I’d like to say the house sparkles with loveliness. That you could eat off our floors and bask in the glow of our commodes. Yet it’s simply not true.

But we’ve tucked enough stuff into the art niche that the basketball looks right at home.

Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her at loriclinch2010@gmail.com.