Saturday, May 8, 2021

At what age do you start noticing you've left crumbs on the counter?

I'm trying to think back to when I first became aware of my own household messes and the need to clean them up.

I'm not talking about cleaning your room when you're a kid, but more like the debris you leave behind when you make yourself something to eat in the kitchen.

I assume, at some point when I was growing up, it finally entered my consciousness that:

(A) Hey, I just made a sandwich and I notice there are bread crumbs and a tiny dab of mustard on the counter.

(B) Mom would clean that up if I just walked away, but she shouldn't have to do that.

(C) I'm going to use a wet dishrag and wipe down the counter before I go back to my room.

I don't remember it, but I also assume that, prior to this moment, I pretty much just walked away, oblivious to the fact that I had left my mother yet one more household task to handle.

I bring this up this because there are crumbs left on our kitchen counter all the time. Like almost every day. I'm not quite sure which resident of our house is doing it, but I know it's not me, and I can say with certainty it's not Terry.

Which leaves the three of our kids who still live with us. Rarely does anyone ever own up to having done it, but I don't even care about that so much as imparting the valuable life lesson that you must be aware of your own messes and clean them up.

Is this something you learn from your parents? Or does it just suddenly dawn on you as one of the major milestones in the maturation process?

And none of this "I was going to come back later and clean it up." You make a mess, you clean it up right away.

The only exception is if the house is on fire. And even then, you clean up that counter if the flames are two or more rooms away.

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