We pick up a lot of sayings from TV shows. On “Mom”, they talk about one of the supporting characters making a disappointed sheep face. Lion did that to me yesterday. Well, let’s just say I was trying to avoid his disappointed sheep face.

I cleaned up quite a bit. I still have a lot to do, but I did make a dent. When Lion was getting ready to make dinner, he noticed that the bottom part if the blender was where it shouldn’t be. He started to say something and then thought better of it. He’s already on thin ice when it comes to saying the house is messy. He went to take a shower and, to avoid his disappointed sheep face, I put the blender parts back together (I was waiting for the container to dry after making doggie ice cream) and put it away. I also cleaned off the entire window seat. I don’t think we’ve seen it since we moved in a year ago.

In the past, when Lion has complained about the kitchen table being full of junk, I’ve cleaned up my part of the mess and left his for him to do. It’s been mostly his stuff. I think that’s still true, but he’s less able to clean it up himself now. I never really thought it was fair for him to complain if it was mostly his stuff or if it was our stuff that he put there. We’re both bad about putting things on flat surfaces.

Anyway, the window seat is clean. The table is cleaner. And the stack of recipes I set aside for Lion to go through is back on the table. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. Maybe we need a five second rule for flat surfaces. Maybe if it doesn’t belong there, it needs to be put away within a day. I’ll probably be the one moving it even if it isn’t mine, but I need to know where it goes if it’s Lion’s.

This isn’t Lion’s problem alone. He’s just more vocal about things being messy. I’m a slob. I don’t care if that bag of vitamins we bought at Costco is still in the bag on the floor of the kitchen two weeks later. I don’t expect Lion to clean up my mess though. I only left his kitchen table mess because he always made it seem like the whole mess was mine. We both need to do better.

So it looks like we have a new rule. Anything on the bed, kitchen counter, table, window seat, etc. that doesn’t belong there has to be moved within one day. If it doesn’t have a home, why did we buy it? “I don’t know where we want to put it” shouldn’t be a thing. Find a home for it, even if it winds up in the pantry. (It’s the catch all and is looking like it needs to be cleaned again. Guess whose job that is.)

Obviously, I’m not going to get punished for leaving crap around. But I do think it’s fair for Lion to be able to nag me about it. If it’s my widget, then I need to take care of it. If I brought home X, I need to put X away. And Lion shouldn’t be punished for nagging me about it. He will, however, be punished if he orders “this really cool thing I thought we could try” and it languishes where it doesn’t belong.

This time it’s a rule for both of us. Maybe a day isn’t realistic so we can tweak it as we go, but for now it’s a day. What do you think, Lion? Fair?

[Lion replies — Let me see if I understand this. I’m allowed to nag to get things put away if they are Mrs. Lion’s or general household stuff. If I don’t put away things I buy or order as well as my possessions within 24 hours, I get spanked. Ok, that sounds about as fair as things get around here.]

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