I am not naturally a neat freak. That branch of the family tree went to my sister. Strangely enough, my husband is the most talented when it comes to creativity, song writing, singing and such, but he’s quite meticulous and organized. I am not so talented in the creative areas, but a little more organizationally challenged. With four children at home I’m pretty tolerant of messes, especially educational ones. In the past year, I had a banana rotting in a ziploc with yeast for General Science, there are generally art supplies scattered on the counter in the school/play room, a red plastic Dixie cup full of drying paint brushes by the kitchen sink and I’ve had a refrigerator box-turned-into-submarine in the playroom since Christmas. I’m fine with it to a point, then I can’t stand it, we really clean up and start all over again.
It amazes my husband that I can be so organized at work (I’m a nursery nurse in disguise ). I finally figured that out: I have support staff at work. The MR files all my paperwork and answers the phone, housekeeping mops the floors and does general cleaning, the linen department washes all the wash cloths, towels and baby blankets and even folds them and delivers them to us ready to put in the cabinet. If I run out of supplies, I don’t jump in my van to get more, I call Central Supply and they bring them to me. None of these people come home with me, so I’m my own Central supply, linen department, MR and housekeeping, not to mention everything else.
Lately, however, I’ve been craving more order and neatness. I put that down to being able to tolerate only so much mess in my life. Since other areas of my life have become rather untidy this past year (lack of job, figuring out the next step in life, little things that I can’t control) I’ve felt the need to have more control over something in my life, and since I am the Housekeeping Department, I thought I’d start with that. Yesterday I started in the boys’ room. Purge, declutter, throw away, consign, vacuum, rearrange, I did it all . As of lunchtime, it’s done and the boys are playing happily in their newfound space.
I was just getting ready to head to the girls’ room, when I remembered my husband’s comment this morning about the bean bags. We started with three bean bags, because we only have one couch and six people. Not usually a problem, but once a week we all sit down and watch a movie together. It’s nice to not have to sit on the hardwood floor. Our dog felt these bean bags were his personal playthings and when not sleeping on them, delighted in chewing holes in them. I’d mended them as much as possible, but we threw out one about four months ago. Apparently Buckeye the Wonderdog decided to restart his playing and there have been little dribbles of tiny bean bag particles decorating our floor. Wanting to please my husband I decided to throw out the most dilapidated bean bag. Only problem is it wouldn’t fit in a trash bag. I cut a nice big hole in the side to pour the innards into a separate trash bag.
Alas, as usual I had not considered some
slight interruptionschildren might want to help me in this project. Next thing I know half the bean bag beans are on the floor and my two youngest are running their toes through it and shaking it like snow. Always generous, they were talking about donating this wondrous stuff to the next installment of the Narnia movies so they could have more snow. I’m sure they’d love to get three trash bags full of bean bag pellets from Nashville.
Choice: be cross about the huge mess that was being made worse every second by two children who were having a great time or laugh and join in. For once I made a good choice. Instead of yelling about the mess, I put my feet in the beans. They did feel good. We started with dust pans, that immediately became snow scrapers. We moved to the vacuum when I was sure there wasn’t so much left to clog my old faithful vacuum. I felt a little like that old commercial “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsi Roll Pop?” only it was “how many times must I vacuum this room before all these statically charged particles are in the vacuum?” I even vacuumed Doodlebug’s head; he had them all in his hair courtesy of Blue Eyes. I think they’re all gone now. I’m sure they’re not, but I’d like to believe they are. I’m sure they will continue to crop up, just like the bird seed my brothers-in-law hid in my suitcase right before Jonathan and I left our honeymoon 17 years ago. To this day I still find a stray birdseed in that suitcase when I open it up.
I’m thinking the girls’ room may need to wait until next week. My three youngest will be spending every morning at VBS at the local Baptist church, God love ’em. I might even tackle the school room too, unless another bean bag decides to meet an untimely death on the den floor…