As Dave and I got ready for bed the other night, I went on a total bender about STUFF, everywhere. Sometimes I feel like it multiplies while we’re not looking. Just as I was starting to crack under the number of Legos and socks to be found everywhere in the house, Tess decided she was a cleaner. I don’t think anything has been more exciting to me lately then hearing her yell, “put that down! I just cleaned in here!” at her siblings.
We are not even close to “perfect house” people, but do draw the line at complete and total toy explosion everywhere. When the kids pitch in and help us keep it organized, it delights me. And they do. It’s sporadic, and not always what I want them to, but they know how to clean up.
That said, I feel like sometimes they pick an area to keep tidy and let every other area go to seed. For example, Tess recently decided the family room should be spotless. Great! However, she does not feel the same way about the boots and shoes in the front hall. It looks like we’re opening a store – a very muddy, haphazard shoe store for children.
When we started on this parenting journey, we were all about minimalist parenting and keeping it simple. That’s much harder to pull off when the four kids start having birthday parties, and getting older and into more complex toys. We lean towards toys they can play with together like the train set, but dolls, puzzles, art projects, and books can be found everywhere.
I have goals! Put all the puzzles together and throw the ones out missing pieces, collect the doll clothes and reject the ones that don’t fit on any dolls in the house, make the little kitchen look like an actual kitchen instead of a dumping ground. The list goes on; my time and energy do not. I’m sure the purge will come soon, but in the meantime I shuffle the art projects around, but the puzzles back in their boxes, and watch as Dave frantically collects crayons and markers before the dogs can eat them.
So for the moment, there is “child” to be found everywhere. From what I hear, we will miss that pile of tiny boots in the front hall, and the doll tucked into a chair with a book. Soon all of their games will be electronic and it won’t be as simple to see what they’re up to and how they choose to play together. So for now, I accept the socks and the Legos and everything goes with them. That’s not to say I don’t want to take three days off to clean the house out! But I know a temporary state when I see one.