Saturday, December 11, 2010

How I Spent My Saturday

To stop the insanity.   That's what I've wanted more than anything lately, save for cuddling and reading to my babes.

The more I have to chase the ever-curious Miss Beth, the less organized and efficient life becomes.  Survival mode applies to more than just the newborn period!  The into-everything faze, spanning twelve months old to perhaps 30 months old, is ripe with challenges.  And once they can climb out of playpens and over safety gates, things really get interesting.  My babe is on the cusp of turning door handles by herself.  Lord help us!

Just today, she found an old juice box under a bed--you'll know why later in the post--and promptly climbed up onto the kitchen counter to open the cupboard the children's scissors are stored in.  She wanted to cut open the juice box and drink it.

Two weeks ago, the scissors were on the counter itself in a cute little holder.  Convenient and all, you know, for the rest of us.  That is, until she climbed up there without even so much as a box to stand on, and scored herself a pair of scissors to practice with.

No child of mine has ever cut their own hair.  Let's hope I can still say that next month.

Last night I lay awake, contemplating the universe my messy life, wondering how to stop the insanity.  The laundry insanity, the messy paperwork insanity, the messy bedroom insanity--the this-house-is-so-messy-I'm-going-insane insanity.

Do you know the kind?

I waited for possible solutions to come to me, as the heater hummed, the night-light glowed, and my baby sighed content.

Finally, something happened in the recesses of my disorganized mind. Something hopeful.

Yes, I told myself.  There is no other way--a catch-all room for messy paperwork, unfolded baskets of laundry, bulky dressers, and miscellaneous, no-where-else-to-store items.  Most of all, a room that can be closed off from curious little hands.

See, we don't have a garage or basement.  We have three small bedrooms with smallish closets.  There is a greenhouse shed and a garden tool shed, but they've reached their capacity with lawn things.

Not only do I want to feel sane, but I also really, really want to be hospitable.  The Bible calls me to extend hospitality, despite a toddler with her hands into everything.  The problem is that I'm too busy chasing her out of the next thing to thoroughly put to right what she's already ransacked.  The result?  Ever-increasing messy chaos!

So today, my enthusiastic husband (okay, not so much) took time out of his busy schedule to help me move the older three children into the master bedroom (3 twin beds), and the master king bed into the baby's room, and the crib out to the curb--the crib she hasn't slept in since she was about seven months old.  It was used as a "guard rail" for one side of the queen bed she shared with me.  She took her first steps at eight and a half months, so she managed her way out of the queen bed after naps pretty well.

We didn't put the bed frame on the king bed as we set it up, so that if she tumbles out, the fall will be insignificant.  Daddy is going to try sleeping with us again, since Miss Beth is now waking less.  Good plan, though he's very particular about his sleep, so we'll see how it goes.  Having said that though, he would never go for having a young child "cry it out", and neither would I.  I'm sure there's nothing wrong with it, but we can't stomach it.

I waited a long time to have babies!  I'm in no hurry to shoo them out of my life--or even out of my nights.

But I digress.

The third room is the coldest, yuckiest room, featuring paneling we painted white instead of removed when we moved in because at the time we had two active boys, 21 months and 3.5 years old, who had just moved cross-country and were displaying a bit of stress.  That was another survival-mode period of my life.

This yucky room, which previously housed our three older children, now houses two dressers to make it easier for me to put clothes away at night, the laundry baskets needing folding attention, some homeschooling supplies that were cluttering up the rest of the house, and some messy, not-yet-filed mail paperwork, and lastly, the queen bed.

Of course, the queen bed doesn't yet fit, because all of the junk that was put under beds for five and a half years, is now in that room, waiting to be sorted through and thrown away or restored somewhere else.

Included in the disastrous mountain of clutter, are hundreds of long lost game pieces, long lost socks, mittens, balls, play tools, magnetic alphabet letters, stray foam bathtime alphabet letters, and other such miscellany guaranteed to drive a conscientious, but not-naturally-organized mother crazy.

Welcome to my insanity.  Just keeping it real.

Hopefully, in about four days, I will have made it to the bottom of the junk pile--or rather, the junk mountain.

Meanwhile, the other two bedrooms love me.  They are clutter free, sort of becoming (low budget, you know), and clean!

And the three older children, whom we previously cruelly housed in the yucky room, think their new master bedroom is way cool!  They had only minimal difficulty at bedtime tonight, adjusting to new digs.

And that, my friends, was my Saturday in a nutshell.

Needless to say, no laundry got done, but there's always tomorrow.

I think.

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