Knock, knock, knock.
Son: “Mommy, come see.”
I know what this means. It means there is a mess somewhere in the house. I know it was the baby’s fault (it’s always the baby’s fault). I know it means someone left the fridge unlocked. I know it means someone left the bathroom unlocked. I know it means someone left the door to the upstairs open.
It means there are a dozen eggs smashed into my carpet.
It means there is an entire jar of Parmesan cheese sprinkled throughout the kitchen.
It means my bathroom cabinet has been ransacked, and there are several layers of shaving cream and body lotion covering each square inch of floor and counter and rugs and shower curtain.
It means I will approach the disaster and feel deflated when it is discovered. It means as much as I’d like to not be shocked, I am still shocked. It means it will take me several seconds before I can come up with something to say. It means the silence in between the initial shock and the subsequent yelling will be filled with smiling eyes and a look-at-this-face grin.
It means I will yell and enforce a time-out and get on my hands and knees with a towel or sponge or washcloth depending on the size of the disaster, and I will scrub and curse and scrub and curse. And then I will stand up and be exasperated and wonder how long the stain will remain.
And now it is bedtime and the lights are finally out and the noise has stopped and I look again at the stain but I cannot find it because it doesn’t really matter when they are both in bed and I have the house to myself and I am already forgetting about the struggles of the day and feeling excited for the moment when I open my eyes to either the morning sun or my very own sons, their bright eyes shining, ready for a new day of messes.