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Posts Tagged ‘mess’

Hurricane Irene came and went leaving in her path a swath of destruction, chaos,  power outages, couped-up crazy-ass kids and desperately miserable parents. My home was no exception.

The power went out, but thankfully has been restored. Now we’re just dealing with the aftermath. The mess left behind. We are lucky in that there was no structural damage done to our home, that we’ve found yet anyway. But the clean up is still a huge task looming ahead of me.

This picture does not do justice to the scope of my disaster.

Attempting to keep children entertained and not infected by my strep throat (oh, yeah, I have strep throat) without the assistance of my favorite babysitter electrical entertainment devices, was no easy feat. It involved multiple iterations of cushion/blanket/pillow fortresses. Into these fortresses crawled my intrepid adventurers, bringing with them all necessary objects for survival. Which turns out to be just about everything in the house that’s not nailed down – very typical of a hurricane.

So, in Irene’s aftermath, I have tunnels and pillows and blankets to restore to their natural resting places and each time I move one I find dolls, animals, discarded clothing, silverware, kitchen utensils (both real and toy), and food scraps.

How did you fare?

PS: I do realize that this storm caused very serious damage, injury and even deaths. I’m just a blogger looking for a laugh. Please don’t take this too seriously and lecture me about, well, anything.
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Poor S has a disadvantage. Well, let me rephrase that. Poor me, S has a disadvantage. She has L to learn from. Now L has many, many wonderful characteristics that make him a great big brother to have, but he also has many, many annoying traits and habits, and those seem to be the ones S is attracted to.

S gets hurt a lot while following in her big brother’s wild footprints. He’s big and coordinated and she’s small and clumsy. This makes what might be a simple climb, leap and roll maneuver for L, a catastrophe and blood-letting for S.

But what’s gotten my attention lately is not the constant injury, but the mess. See, S naturally is a neat person. She’s the one who puts other people’s toys and dishes away whether they’re done with them or not. She likes things in their place. She knows where her shoes are at all times, because she puts them away. It’s in her nature. But L is wearing off on her at such an alarming rate that it’s actually changing her very nature!

For a child who never liked to have food on her hands, she has come a long way down the slippery slope of slobdom. Let’s use yesterday’s painting activity as an example. Out of desperation to get outside, but unable to because of constant thunder and lightening (despite the sunshine), I set the kids up on the porch with some paints. I provided brushes, dressed them in smocks, and went inside for about 2 minutes. I came out to find this:

I think there's a piece of paper in there somewhere.

Is that paint on my house? Why yes, it is. I found this mess somewhat alarming. Hang on, I’ll be right back with some wet rags. Just don’t touch anything…

Oh, that smock was in my way so I just took it off and painted myself.

Think all that paint will come off the porch floor easily? Neither do I.

The truth is that I should have known better. This is not the first time that something like this has happened around here. Did I ever tell you guys about this time?

At least they're working together.

What’s that definition of crazy again? Something about doing the same thing and expecting different results? I guess I qualify.

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Upon returning home from dropping L off at school this morning, I was shocked and terrified to open my door and find this:

An after picture of tornado damage?

Was my house ransacked and robbed while I was away? I looked around and spied my TV, computer and iPad all where I left them. Unless these were criminals after something other than expensive loot, it was not a robbery. I continued my investigation and found this:

A trail of shoes, what could this mean?

Looks like three people were here, but left without their shoes? This is confusing. I turned another corner and another and found more of the same.

Washcloths? Puzzle pieces? What's going on here?

To my horror, this destruction was not limited to floor space.

Can you spy the broken sunglasses? Two pair of swim goggles? Hours of fun!

Clearly, someone who hates me has been here.

With dread and bitter disappointment, I realized that my house has not been ransacked nor has it been ravaged by Mother Nature. It has simply endured a typical morning with my children. This mess was made between the hours of 6:30-8:00 AM. In that time the kids also brushed teeth, got dressed and ate breakfast. Which means that they made this mess remarkably quickly.

I know what you’re thinking: they didn’t mess up that kitchen, you did it, Allison. That is true. But in my defense, the center of that counter top is just about the only place that no kids can get to. All day long objects are torn from grimy little hands and placed into that one kid-free zone. As the center pile grows, earlier confiscations migrate back to the edge. Like the scissors perched just within L’s reach. Don’t you think it all enhances how lovely my peonies look?

What about the shoes? Well, that would be S. All day she puts on different shoes, walks three steps and discards them. In this way she effectively covers my home with shoes of all types and sizes and guarantees that when you are in a hurry, you will only have one shoe.

Now I will go about the process of picking it all up. My efforts in this area make the game of “find our crap and throw it” so much more fun for my kids.

Now you know why I need at least 36 hours notice for any visitors.

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‘Peace and quiet’ is elusive in this house. When I have it, I have a choice: relish it with willful ignorance, or investigate. My responsibility to keep my children alive always makes me investigate, grudgingly.

Today this is what I found:

My first thought was to take a picture and Tweet. (I’m that devoted to you guys.) Then I remembered the sharp scissors that I keep in my knitting bag. I found them lying by her feet and took them away, deciding that the yarn was a mess anyway so I might as well enjoy the silence while it will lasts.

But she followed me to the computer. Then back to the kitchen to retrieve the camera. Then back to the computer again.

Worth the 15 minutes of quiet? You bet!

 

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I’ve decided to redecorate the walls behind my kitchen table. I’m tired of the unobtrusive beige. How about a little pizazz? You know what color is nice? Peach Yogurt. This isn’t a Benjamin Moore color you can pick up at the hardware store. It’s a Yoplait color you pick up in the dairy aisle.

Unbeknownst to me, S suddenly (as in this morning) can climb up to the kitchen table. While I innocently ignored my children in the other room, S climbed up and found L’s half uneaten yogurt and went wild. She loves yogurt and has a firm attachment to the idea that it is a finger food. It’s also a finger paint and apparently a hair styling product.

Have I cleaned up yet? No. I laughed, took a picture, and came in here to blog about it. (I have a firm attachment to the idea of not disturbing happy children.)

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