I love Mildew.
It’s not what you think.
The last few weeks, my kids have taken trashing the house to a new level. Being home five days a week, they tend to scatter toys, laundry, recycling, whatever they can get their hands on all over the house. It’s a parent’s nightmare trying to keep the house cleaned up.
Mildew became my new friend Tuesday night, after 20 frustrating minutes of trying to get my kids to help pick up anything. I finally sighed and looked up at my husband. “I think we’re just going to have to call the Clean-Up Fairy,” I said.
My daughter’s ears perked up. “A fairy?”
“Oh yes, the Clean-Up Fairy comes to kids’ houses when they don’t pick up their toys,” I rambled. “She gives the toys to kids who don’t have any.”
She was intrigued. “What’s her name?”
Name? “Um, Mildew,” I said.
“What does she drive?”
“She doesn’t drive, she flies.”
“Can I see her?”
“Oh no, she comes when we’re asleep, kind of like Santa.”
She thought for a minute, and then agreed to help pick up her toys. It was a relatively smooth process; even her 19-month-old brother toddled around, picking up his Legos and proudly dropping them in a box.
That night, Mildew did stop by and left her a postcard, thanking them for the great work they did cleaning up the toy room.
I figured Mildew would become my little trick to pull out occasionally. Little did I know that her reputation would spread.
Last night, we stopped by a neighbor’s house. My daughter’s friend was in trouble for not picking up toys and not listening - typical 4-year-old stuff. My daughter, of course, wanted to play. I rolled the dice and offered a compromise.
“Tell K. about the Clean-Up Fairy!”
She proudly did. My neighbor was excited. I asked if she wanted to stay and help her friend clean her room (which as we all know, involves a certain amount of play).
Twenty minutes later, when I came to get her for dinner, the room was clean.
Mildew is here to stay!