Taking Out the Trash Is More Important Than You Think

It was Wednesday morning, and the four of us were in the midst of our lazy, summer wake-up routine. I was casually helping the youngest get dressed for the day when I heard the groan of a large truck trying to find the energy to accelerate down the street. It took me a moment to realize that that sound belonged to the garbage truck, and I ran to my son’s window to see if Matt had taken down the trash cans.


I rushed down the stairs, slipped on some flip-flops and headed out the back door toward the pails parked by the fence. I pushed open the gate and drug the full recycling container down to the front just in time to see the truck turning out of my neighborhood. I wasn’t sure if that was the garbage truck or recycling truck, though, so I sprinted back up the driveway and repeated the same routine with the full trash can.

And then I ran inside. I knew better.

I was gone for at least five minutes, and five minutes was plenty of time for the gates of hell to swing wide open.

I sprinted up the stairs, for I heard quiet, a sound I’ve grown to fear. Panicked, I made my way down the angular hallway to the very last room upstairs–our bathroom. Sitting on the floor in a pillow of eyeshadow and powder dust was my daughter, daintily painting her face with the mascara wand she was rhythmically dipping in my bottle of foundation.

Scooping her and the make-up up in giant swoop, I took to cleaning her face and hands. I plugged in the vacuum and sucked up the evidence of how she spent her last five minutes and then headed downstairs to search for the other two. After all, it had now been ten minutes since we had had meaningful interaction.

Downstairs Chloe and I went to find Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum scaling the shelves of the pantry. Every box of cereal was opened, paper cups lined up and half full with the contents of the boxes. Chocolate smiles gave away that they had dessert first. After a quick reprimand, I ordered the kids to their chairs for breakfast, not sure if the oldest two have any room left for this meal, and I strapped Chloe in her booster seat, thankful that at least she can’t get down and wreak any more havoc at the moment.

Or so I thought.

Distracted by the first three episodes of the morning, I didn’t think through what I needed to do before strapping Chloe into her seat. As I poured the milk into the cereal bowl, the jarring sounds of I go pee-pee! echoed throughout the house.

Unstrapped the two-year-old tornado, reminded her the warning works better if she tells me before she pees all over the floor, took off the soaked underpants, and handed her paper towels to help clean up the mess.

It was closer to brunch than breakfast, and I was chomping on Zoloft like they’re Skittles in between each bite of organic cereal. You know, the healthy choice to start off my day right.

And through each bite of cereal, I began to think What could I have done better?

But of course, the answer is nothing. But I could think of something that my husband should’ve done before he left for work.

No, taking out the trash isn’t a life or death issue, but it is a mental health issue. Husbands, remember that fact.

Disclaimer: For the record, none of the events following the make-up ordeal actually happened on that day, but they totally could’ve–we just had a good day. I am writing from experience, so, husbands, heed my words!

11 thoughts on “Taking Out the Trash Is More Important Than You Think

  1. I know about running the garbage out at the last second…while pregnant…in a snow storm! Haha ! It’s not a competition but you have me beat anyway. When I run outside at the last minute, my child plays trains. Give it a year…we’ll see what happens when they’re both walking 🙂


    1. No, you win. This Georgia girl would leave the trash for next week if there were a snow storm! (All the roads would be closed, anyway) 🙂


  2. haha! That is why taking out the trash is Craig job. Always. I don't care what the weather is like or what season it is, he takes out the trash. Because if he doesn't, I will just let it sit there for another week. 🙂 i'm a good wife like that.


  3. Oooohhhh, the loudest sound in our house is silence as well. No blood curling screams? No crying? No evil maniacal laughter? THAT is a problem.


  4. I refer you back to my earlier comment on the WWJD bracelet….. make pairs of handcuffs out of them.



  5. I've got more faults than could be covered here, but this one, I've got covered. I can't think of more than a couple times I've forgot to put the garbage out the night before. I used to do it early in the morning until the sneaky garbage man showed up before 5 am one day.
    On your husbands behalf, I'm quite sure there were things on his mind of the day ahead that he was contemplating that clouded his thoughts. I'm also quite sure those thoughts were in the name of caring and protecting his family.
    What I was mostly dying to know is, did you ask him, "Honey, didn't you see everyone else's trash cans sitting out in front of their houses"? We really hate that question… Even once….
    Great post as always.


  6. HAHA! Loved this. I am so glad all of it didn't happen on one day! Reading it exhausted this mommy! Thanks for stopping by my blog today 🙂


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