Archive for October, 2011

There’s a turtle in my shoe

I used to think of myself as an organized person. Even when my home appeared unorganized, I knew where to find things. I made plans and followed them, made lists and checked my way through them.

But sometime over the past five years – and three kids later – something changed. I leave something near the door so I can remember to bring it with me the next morning then find it under the couch two days later. I leave a note for myself on the counter and find it the following week upstairs under my bed covered in blue crayon circles. I straighten the books on the bookshelf in the kids’ room and after being out of the room for five minutes, return to find my 17-month old had already emptied two shelves, with a mound of books piled next to him.

I try to remind myself that, this too, is a stage. There’s a drawer in my sink area that both Zachary and Jadon were very interested in when they were Adam’s age. Open, close, open, close, open, empty, toss contents on floor, run away. Then at some point, they lost interest and rarely open it. But now Adam is at that stage. His favorite find is a tube of toothpaste. I don’t keep it in the drawer anymore but if it’s within his reach on the counter, he’ll take it and run, try to open the lid.

Every few weeks, I decide it’s time to reorganize the toys – reunite puzzle pieces with their puzzlemates, separate the cars, trucks and other vehicles and the little animals and people, etc. It’s a big extravaganza, with all three kids rediscovering toys they’d forgotten they had. I start in one room, usually the bedroom, gathering all the “should be downstairs” toys together, then we head downstairs and go through the shelves in the play area. It’s a feeble attempt, but it always feels like it’s been a productive day after completing the process. It does make me look at toys differently. Where Ron sees the toy “Bugs Building” as a fun game for the kids (you stack up the bugs then pull one out at a time until the pile falls), I see “30 pieces.”

Much of my housework time is maintenance: dishes, laundry, sweeping. Every one in awhile, when all the naps are aligned, I actually get through a pile of papers and see the top of my desk again but most of the time, when it comes to housework, I just try to get through the day. If I’m searching for a missing shoe, I try to remember to look under the bed. If I set anything down, I try to keep Adam’s ever-growing reach in mind (he climbs on chairs, stools and tables now) and I don’t blink an eye when I find a plastic turtle teether in my shoe.

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October 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm Leave a comment


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