Friday, November 22, 2013

I used to be a clean person...

I like things tidy: my house, my car, my life plan, everything.

I am, after all, the girl who spent most of her recesses in fifth and sixth grade organizing books in the school library. The girl who ordered and numbered all the movies in her house (and typed up a list to keep track). The girl who reorganized the kitchen as a Mother's Day gift in high school. The girl who fought so much with her sister over the cleanliness of their bedroom (among other things) that they had to be moved into separate rooms.

My brother had a sign on his bedroom door for several years that said, "A creative mess is better than tidy idleness." True, but I maintain that you don't have to LEAVE the creative mess for days on end.  

However, much as I'd like to, I no longer live in a fastidiously clean house. Not that I don't try to be tidy. I still try to pick things up and attempt to follow my cleaning schedule so I get through all the basic chores once a week, but I've had to let some things go.

Why? A toddler tornado happened. This tornado is full of giggles and excitement, but he leaves a pile (or piles) of debris in his wake.

As I walked out of Will's room after putting him down for a nap a few minutes ago, here's what I saw:

Pillows all over the floor from the obstacle course we made this morning.

Half of a travel toothbrush holder on a shelf that I think Will found in my bathroom several days ago.

Several remotes piled on top of the entertainment center out of Will's reach so we don't have to replace another one.

The ledge in our family room peppered with the following items, again to keep them out of Will's reach: a pie server and a wooden spoon I found under the ottoman, nail clippers from my last brave a attempt at cutting Will's nails, one lone alphabet magnet, scissors, Graham's wedding ring, our iPad, and a red pen I found Will chewing on yesterday.

Socks and a yogurt-covered tray left over from lunch on the kitchen table.

Assorted dishes in the sink that I would have loaded into the dishwasher, but Will unloads it every time I open it and he's around.

There's more, but I'm not sure I want to admit the extent of the clutter creeping into my house.

My visiting teachers are coming over in a couple of hours and the missionaries are coming over for dinner tonight, and I'm imagining what they would think if I just left it all where it is. Honestly, I suppose 19-year-old missionaries wouldn't care, and my visiting teachers might just feel more justified in their own cluttered piles at home. So maybe I should leave it there as an homage to "real life." But I probably won't. I know myself.

I may have let go of the need to have a clean house ALL the time; I can sacrifice that for the sake of my son's freedom to play. But I still want it clean when I invite company over. So break out the Windex...I know what I'm doing during nap time today. :)


Kristy said...

Yet another reason you were wonderful as a roommate (and oh so patient) all those years we were together :)

Robyn said...

I like to think I helped you on this journey to accepting that it won't be clean all the time.

Holly June said...

I didn't accept the fact that I can't have a clean home all the time or even most of the time until I was forced into this reality when #2 arrived. I can only imagine how often my house will remain messy once #3 arrives! Kids, they're really great at helping us overcome our OCD tendencies, no?! :)