This is our kitchen in its natural state: groceries waiting to be taken downstairs, garbage waiting to be taken outside, every available surface covered in school papers, empty pretzel bags, half-empty cups (or half-full cups depending on whether or not I'm feeling optimistic that day), broken art projects, spare Lego parts, etc. And this is what it looks like when company's coming:
When I was little, I famously incurred my mother's wrath by noticing the family effort to clean the house and then asking, "Who's coming?" And now my kids ask the same thing, only with more just cause than I had for asking.
It's true. I confess. I clean more vociferously when company is coming than when it's "just us chickens."
Contrary to popular belief, though, I do clean in between times, too. I do!
It's just more fun when I know that someone will actually see and appreciate my efforts, rather than running in the front door, tracking mud on the carpet, dropping backpacks around the living room, shoving into the kitchen, strewing snack projects all over the kitchen floor and table, seeming only to appreciate my efforts in so far as it makes more room for them to make a new mess! (Sometimes a run-on sentence is more satisfying.)
After all, making the mess is where all the fun is.
Don't worry. I do put my built-in cleaning crew to use quite a lot. I had children so that someday I wouldn't be needed when it's time to clean up.
I'll go and put my feet up and watch me some Lawrence Welk.
In the meantime, I live in the already/not yet world of training my crew to put me out of a job.
And I do that by "keepin' it real."