Has your house gone to the toys?
Or in reality should I say, gone to the kids? Because let’s be honest, the toys don’t move themselves. And neither do the kitchen utensils. Though I have seen Toy Story so many times that on a particularly sleep deprived evening I could probably be convinced it is true if there were wine involved. Or any alcohol really.
I am currently taking a break from doing my domestic duties on this lazy Sunday and sitting in my reading chair (with a cup of coffee of course!) while looking at the scene playing out in front of me.
Two children fighting over cars, a bottle still on the floor from this morning (oh wait! That one was last nights), a box of opened crackers, the clothes horse with all the clothes hanging on by a thread, one of the rails bent where Finley has taken to sitting on it. The bathroom has a mop leaning against the sink, no toilet mat because three year olds have a habit of getting distracted and missing the bowl, the floor has muddy prints on it after a visit to the park resulted in muddy shoes.
And toys. Everywhere.
I was looking around the house and thinking, thank god none of my friends are here to see this. What would they think of me? Then I got to wondering … Am I really alone here? Am I the only one who seems to feel like they are living in a continual state of chaos? Surely not?
Let’s talk washing – how many of you have so much washing you just simply cannot keep on top of it? Overflowing hampers, washing to fold, discarded towels that have been used by the kids once and are still clean but somehow lay abandoned on their bedroom floor.
And did I mention the toys?
If I am having pre-arranged visitors then I will go all out to rush around the house like a madman trying to get the place looking presentable. But to be honest, I can’t always be bothered. I want my weekends too. And no matter how tidy we make it, within an hour it is back to the state of a pre-school playroom.
So, be honest. Am I alone?
What does your house REALLY look like behind closed doors?
To do one thing that is trueto yourself,not listening to the voicesthat would mock youinto staying ordinaryTo do all the many thingsthat are insideand need to get out,not remaining beholden tothe suffocating tediumof other people’s expectationsTo be brimful with anticipationfor whatever new passion might bewaiting to unfurl;To have stories to tell,instead of nothing to sayHow sad to live a lifethat is not like that.
* A poem written by my mum that featured in her funeral booklet.
So, lately the boys have been wanting to play hide and seek a lot but our house is tiny. Like, 80 square metre tiny! And there are really only so many places this mum can hide. Still the game manages to play out like this every single time.
‘Mum! Muuuuum! Play hide and seek with us!’
Children run off to hide. I count to 10 and wander around the house saying all the places I am looking that I know they aren’t and avoiding the one place they always are. I mean always. It’s like Groundhog Day over and over and over again. Finley (the little one) is always in the linen closet and jumps out within 10 seconds of my saying ‘Ready or not here I come!’. Boom, out pops the 2 year old gleefully announcing ‘Here I am!’ followed by giggling from under the duvet on my bed (doona for you foreign folk).
Next up is my turn to hide. The three year old counts to 10 like he is in a speed counting race and I have about 3 seconds to hide behind a door. About 15 seconds post ready or not the 3 year old is crying.
Mummy is GONE! She’s gone invisible!
Followed closely by wailing and tears. Yes, real tears. Wet tears. Seriously, 15 seconds. I then have to giggle or bang the wall or something to show him I am not invisible and I am just hiding.
Then we repeat.
Linen closet, duvet, tears, repeat. Linen closet, duvet, tears, repeat.
Please tell me I am not the only one!
What games do you play in your house and how do they play out?
I think we need a new game.
So Mr Google told me that of all the animal kingdom, a fruit fly has the shortest attention span of all, followed closely by the goldfish. I would be inclined to add myself to that list.
I am terrible for getting a sudden obsession with something, starting it and not finishing it before moving on to the next thing. The best example of this is gardening. My husband didn’t want a bar of it so with two little boys underfoot I set about digging my own garden over summer. It is hard work! I became obsessed with Pinteresting garden design and visiting garden centres. The pros to being under 50 and in a hardware/garden centre is that you inevitably get lots of help from the men who frequent these stores. Whether it be the staff, the tradies or the random do-it-yourselfer, I somehow managed to get all the things I needed transported to my car with very little effort at all – trees, pavers, bricks, compost, you name it. It got to the point that I was driving out of town to garden centres because I was too embarrassed by how many times I had been to the local stores and I couldn’t face going back. Again. So I got my garden all dug out and planted over about 5 weeks of summer and then I had a brilliant idea.
A dry creek bed.
Yep. I saw one on Pinterest. How hard could it be? So abandoning my garden (which was now starting to sprout a few weeds) I set to work to create one of these:
Or something like this:
You can see where this is going. Digging a dry creek bed is harder than digging a garden because you have to dig deeper, you have to collect rocks, you have to lay out weed mat and place the rocks in the perfect position to mimic a meandering stream bed. I fear my dry creek bed may turn into a ‘Nailed it’ version of the above examples.
Here is mine:
Please keep in mind it is a work in progress. Was. Because now it is cold and I have rediscovered blogging. I suddenly have a million posts in my head. My writing block has lifted. And this is the problem. Half finished dry creek bed next to my weed garden that is now being taken over by a pumpkin I never knew I planted.
Yep, I am clearly a fruit fly.
On the weekends I always have to catch up on all the housework including the endless piles of washing that need to be washed, dried and then the worst part – folded. I hate folding washing with a passion, for me it is one of the most tedious aspects of housekeeping and I always end up with massive piles that get dumped on the bed and grow into an insurmountable pile that some refer to as Mount Washmore. But what is worse than humongous piles of washing that you need to fold? Trying to fold it with little helpers.
You all know what I am talking about. The mini ‘helpers’ that continually unfold the washing that has been folded, that think it is there to be tossed up in the air like confetti, that grab it and put it on their head and run around squealing and that ‘help’ to put it away while dropping it all down the hallway floor like a trail of crumbs.
Don’t you just love your mini helpers that make what used to once be easy efficient household chores into the battle of the century?
Here are the other 4 household chores on my list that are impossible to do efficiently with young children …
1. Unload/load the dishwasher
Trying to stop them standing on the lid and tipping the whole thing over is the first challenge, then it’s a race to get all the sharp knives out before they stab: A. Themselves; or B. Their brother/sister/dog/you. Then come the small hands passing you the breakables quicker than you can put them away while simultaneously trying to ‘load’ the dishwasher with dirty dishes before it is properly unloaded and slamming the door shut while the drawers are still out sending the whole lot crashing into the back. I deem this chore perfect for husbands who get home before you or once said child/children are in bed.
Ah, vacuuming. The preparation of clearing all the floors in order to vacuum that the mini me’s deem the perfect opportunity to dump their whole box of Lego/blocks on the floor and spread them around for good measure. Or open the vacuum cleaner and tip the contents of the vacuum bag all the way down the hallway. Or yell ‘my turn!’ over and over while trying to take the handle off you. Or if you are reeeeeally lucky they are scared of the sound of the vacuum and cry great huge sobs the whole time screaming ‘TURN IT OFF! NOOOOO!’. I only know this because I have the child who does that at Nana’s but at home he loves the vacuum cleaner. Strange child. Unfortunately this is one chore usually unsuitable for post bedtime and so you just have to suck it up and endure it. And then they usually tip a whole bag of chips out on the floor straight afterwards anyway, so really, why bother?
4. Make the bed
Usually they see this as the perfect opportunity to either jump on the bed or hide under all the blankets and play peek-a-boo.
How many times have you had to try and clean up spilt sugar or flour, fished broken egg shells out of the mix or better yet, had to clean up broken eggs off the floor that they took great pride in smashing while you had your back turned? Or they stand at the oven screaming they want a cookie and don’t understand that they need to actually cook and then they need to cool down before they are able to be eaten? Then you spend the next 40 minutes with an inconsolable child trying to explain this to them while they think you are the meanest mummy in the whole wide world trying to hold out on them and not let them have a cookie (that probably has broken egg shells and an extra helping of sugar/flour/baking powder in it anyway).
Yep, thought so.
What would you add to this list? And what is your least favourite chore?
Joining the #IBOT party over at EssentiallyJess today. A big welcome to anyone visiting for the first time!