I see what you don't see...
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I see what you don't see...

  • 11 November 2019
  • Door: Judith Witte

'Clean' is a direct result after cleaning and disinfection. Right? That sounds simple and straightforward. Let's get started! But it's not that easy. When I read that 'cycling is now very clean', this means that the cycling team does not use prohibited substances. And when a Belgian talks about 'a clean rug', it's not about a rug without stains. 

"Can you clean the sink?" I ask my adolescent son (I still see some crumbs and rings from the wet dishes on it, and it was his job for tonight). "I already have!" it sounds from his room.

"Clean up your room!" "I already have!", the irritation of the 15-year-old girl is clearly audible in her voice. On the floor there are a few more items of clothing, next to the trash I see a few candy wrappers. And what did she put under her bed now?? But I have to agree with her: yesterday it was more of a mess indeed.

"Can't you see?" I asked, almost hopelessly, when I came home in the evening, the crumbs of their lunch under the table, and I heard the sand they had brought with them that day (the school is next to the forest) cracking under my shoes. "Huh? No, I can't see!" 

It's a kind of game, it seems: 'I see what you don't see, and it's... dirty.' An extra element of the game is that not all the dirt is visible to the naked eye. 

It's time again to refresh the instructions, I realise. My 'clean' is clearly different from the cleanliness of my children. Unless they are in the shower; then it takes forever before their 'clean' standard is really reached. It's time for another conversation, to open their eyes to what I do, and they apparently don't see. In short: I want more consistency between my definition of clean and theirs. And more cooperation to achieve concrete results.

All in all, it turns out to be a difficult concept: ''clean''. And certainly not only in a random single-family house where two adults and three adolescents live. However, with you there is more at stake than just a little irritation and an occasional banging quarrel. 

Judith White

Source: © Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2019