the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

Wayback Machine Pt. 3!

Bee ButlerComment

This one is just snarky.

Motherly wisdom for those of you who DESPERATELY need it.

I grew up in a home with my mother, father, and younger brother. We had a dog starting when I was in 7th grade. We lived in a comfortable three bedroom house, then a two story house with tons of space, and then after mom and dad got divorced each moved into smaller, more manageable houses until mom moved to houston.

My mom and I had somewhat of a tumultuous relationship for most of my adolescenthood. I was a broody, know-it-all teenager who actually did know quite a bit more than was really healthy or necessary, and she was a frustrated, working mother who had a tendency to nag because no one really did what was asked of them the first time.

She and I fought a lot, and I may have disagreed with a great deal of what she taught me, but one thing she enforced has stuck with me, and I know now that it will be something I pass on to my children.

My momma taught me to CLEAN UP THE DANG HOUSE.

We had chores like other kids. I was on dishwasher duty, had to vacuum on occasion, was required to dust (when we moved to the bigger house), keep my room clean, pick up the living room, and no matter what the situation, if I made a mess, I was required to clean it up. Later on I got laundry-related chores and got to start cleaning bathroom mirrors. My brother was responsible for taking out the trash, his room, vacuuming, and clearing the table when we all ate together. Overall, most of the housework was done by her or my father, but if you’d heard my brother and I talking, we did EVERYTHING OH MY GOD SO MANY CHORES UGH LETS HIRE A MAID.

I distinctly remember getting my butt beat for leaving a noodle on the kitchen floor after it fell off the plate when I went to the living room to eat. I ignored it and went to bed. Mom dragged me out of bed and made me pick it up, wipe up the floor, and then I got yelled at (mostly because I threw a huge fit at having been woken up). I hated her for it, but guess who has a clean floor in her apartment right now because of it?

Stories aside, here’s the deal. For those of you who grew up in single parent homes, didn’t have a momma, had a momma who was so busy being supermother that she didn’t have a whole lot of time to impart wisdom, and for those sad few of you whose mothers are slobs, here are some words of wisdom.

- Dishwashers are awesome, but they are NOT magical. Rinse your dishes and get all the big crap off of them before you put them in the machine so that you don’t have to wash them AGAIN after the cycle is over.

- Dishes that end up in the sink don’t magically disappear. You have to WASH THEM. There is nothing nastier than a pile of dishes in the sink that spills over onto the counter. The only thing that annoys me more is when some idiot takes the whole pile of dishes and tosses them in the dishwasher thinking it solves the problem.

- Are there dishes in the dishwasher when you go to put a dirty (PRE-RINSED) dish in there? CHECK THE FREAKING DISHES. Are they dirty? No? Then UNLOAD THE MACHINE BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR DIRTY DISH IN. I promise it won’t kill you.

- Confused as to why there are no dishes in the cabinet when you go to make food? MAYBE ITS BECAUSE YOU LEFT THEM ALL OVER THE PLACE. Pick up your dish when you’re done with it and rinse it off. If you wanna be awesome, go ahead and hand wash it (I know, it’s shocking, but it’s actually faster 90% of the time than pre-rinsing and then running the dishwasher).

- Did you know that trash cans don’t empty themselves? See how there’s trash poking out of the top of the can? That means that you need to tie up the bag (without spilling things out of it), tie it up, take it out, and then REPLACE THE BAG IN THE CAN before you put more trash in it. I swear, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

- Isn’t it super gross when there’s pieces of stuff all over the floor? You know a really great way to fix that? VACUUM. It doesn’t take too long, and it’s actually faster to go over a spot and make sure it’s clean than to go fast, put the vacuum up, and then have to drag it back out when you see that there’s still something there that needs to be cleaned up.

- Countertops are not as resilient as one would assume. When you set something wet, sticky, etc on them, they cannot repel it and it ends up staying there until you get a rag/papertowel and clean it up. Most of the time you can do this with water. If not, grab the 409 and clean it up, nasty.

- Toilets actually do need to be cleaned. It seems dumb to those of you who weren’t raised like I was, but they get pretty gross if you don’t occasionally scrub them out.

- Dust and other gross things accumulate on places like tabletops, corners, cracks, and windowsills. They don’t magically go away. Clean them up and save yourself a lot of sneezing and disgust when you discover dust bunnies the size of your eyeballs all over the place.

- Are you like me? Do you constantly have a cup of Diet Coke from a fast food place? Did you recently get Taco Bell? Those wrappers and cups cannot walk. They must be carried to the trash. And before you put that cup in there, DUMP OUT THE DRINK. It will make a huge mess if you don’t.

Part of the reason I wrote this is because I live in an apartment with one other person who is awesome and understands cleaning. I know a lot of you aren’t as lucky, so I’m passing on these tips in the hopes that your roommate is even half as great as mine.

I also wrote it because at any given time there are 2-4 additional people who occupy space in my apartment and sometimes with that many people in such a tiny space it gets messy fast. These guidelines help out a lot.

The biggest reason I wrote it is because I’ve spent a lot of time lately in the apartments, dorms, and houses of students at my school, and I feel terrible, because apparently none of them have mothers.

Clean up your crap, kids.

And momma?

Thanks. :]

Stay tuned for more!