Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We’ve Secretly Replaced This Mommy With An Insane Woman, Let’s See If Anyone Notices

I’m not what you would call “tidy.” I am not gross. Or refuse to bathe…I just think it’s not a big deal for a Cheerio or two or six to roll under the couch and I get to it, well never. My vision of a perfect evening is when my husband and I watch a movie and eat pizza…in bed. I have piles for piles in the office. I am just not a spic-and-span kind of gal. I am fortunate enough to have a little cleaning help so that forces some tidying up and helps remove a layer of filth every now and again.

This laid back approach to clean has been quite helpful since the arrival of the child. She is MESSY. When she was a wee nubbin there was the random puking, the cleansing of the neck crevice, the laundry and the diapers. When she began eating real people food the mess spread to the kitchen, the den, the carpet, her room, her face, her clothes, her diapers. Now she enjoys creative time-so that involves paint, glitter, markers, crayons, glue, feathers….everywhere. Now I can easily say my house is coated in a lovely layer of child.

If this was something on the things I’m going to freak out about list, I would be FREAKED.

But nope. I’m cool. Me and the mess are as one.

Well until late last week.

Then I snapped.

It’s not the diapers or the feathers or the crevices or the Cheerios. It’s the toys. The mountains of toys. All of the sudden they are everywhere. Overflowing the toy box. Eeking out of the den. Sneaking their way up the stairs into my bed. That’s where the pizza goes you Cork Sucking Toys!

I think it started with her birthday. A lot of toys there. Then she started doing all the fun new developmental tricks, so we had to get her “educational” toys to support the learning. Then it was Chanukah. Then our nephews outgrew some great fun toys so we went ahead and adopted those. And of course there is the possibility that they were all crammed so tightly in together that they began reproducing amongst themselves.

I started cleaning the toys up at all hours of the day. She’d put one down, I’d pick it up. But it was a losing battle. The tea set pieces were where the peg board should go and the pegs were hidden in the hidden picture game and I can’t remember where I hid the memory pieces.

I needed to unload and reorganize. So I began by going through the toys and gave away garbage bags FULL. I used the extra stretchy magic bags so I crammed them full. But that was just a pee in the ocean. I tried making sure all the boxes were stacked neatly in the various toy boxes. Then I tried to put all the toys in Ziploc bags of various sizes and shapes to keep them contained.

But it’s not good enough. I honestly don’t know what to do. I am at my end. I need to build on an addition to support the toy growth. She plays with her toys. She loves her toys. She’s only going to get more toys because that is what we do as parents- we give our kids fun stuff to play with. But man, I need a fashionable storage solution. Until then I’ve taken the liberty of liberally applying spermicide to the inside of all the bags…just in case.


Anonymous said...

OK, mahotma. I've been reading your post for a long time now-- it's my link to sanity. If Kate Walsh gets a spin-off, I think you definitely deserve one too. I vote for a "" website dedicated to mothers who need a dose of reality and a laugh.
Who's with me?

Anonymous said...

I second that!

Michelle Nevada ( said...

Here's two tricks my mother taught me. Put all the toys away away (like in a back closet where she can't get to them.) Only leave out ten toys (not including one special toy if she has it like a stuffed animal or something). Every week, just before Shabbat Starts, she can go into the toy closet and exchange her toys. She must exchange at least five for new ones every week. She can't take more than ten (if she is too small, do this for her). Then, every week it seems like she has new toys. She will have a much greater appreciation for the toys she has.

Another trick--when you want to get rid of toys and the child is older and can't let go: put the toys you want to get rid of in a box. Seal the box. Put the date on it. Put it away. If they child doesn't NEED one of those toys in a full year from the date, donate the box (without opening it!!). Then they aren't losing them all at once--they will realize they don't need them when they don't NEED the toys in the box.

Hope this helps!!