Saturday, February 18, 2006

Where oh where oh where is Mummy?

Yesterday a friend laughed and said to me "My, how you've changed." I wanted to argue, but I think she might be right! Arhhh! I didn't want to change, how could this have happened to me?!
She pointed out that my son was wearing socks that did not match.
Before having children (BC) I was the total picture of organization. My house was cleaned top to bottom every Saturday. The bed was made, the spices were lined up nicely in the cupboard, the windows sparkled.
My desk at work was clutter free. My folder of notes and plans for a substitute teacher included 5 optional plans, class lists, supervision schedule, and a short note regarding each student. The homework each day was written on a colour coded chart on the wall.
When I got pregnant the first time, I was ready. I figured out what baby furniture and supplies we needed, and bought things on a monthly schedule in order to spread out the cost. I even (I hang my head in shame at this one) had a calendar of what to wear each day. In my defense, I didn't have much for maternity clothes, and so I had to do quite a bit of mix and matching.
I had a birth plan. I wanted Girl Terror to be born on the last day of school, preferably in the afternoon. The first glitch in my organized life happened when she choose to be born at 9 am, not 3 pm. But the date was indeed the last day of school.
I relaxed a tiny bit after Girl Terror was born. But she was one of those rare babies that pop out with a feeding/sleeping/pooping schedule, and she never wavered. We could count on her eating exactly when she always did, and falling asleep on cue. We kept her toys in a lovely wicker basket in the corner of the living room. After play time, everything was tidied up. When she got a bit older, and had more and more toys, we kept two toy boxes. One was in it's spot in the living room, and one was tucked away out of sight. Every Sunday afternoon, I switched the boxes, so she would have a new set of playthings. This way she wasn't bored of her toys! She did not at all prepare me for the Boy Terror.
Boy Terror showed his true colours very early on. He threw off my planning by attempting to be born 6 weeks early. From then until his due date (when genetics got the best of him, and he popped out on schedule) we never knew what was going on. Would he come today? Tonight perhaps?!
Boy Terror didn't get the memo about sleeping/eating/pooping schedules. Or maybe he got it, ripped it into shreds, and tossed it around the room. After almost two years, he's finally getting the hang of sleeping at night. He eats on the days he feels like it, the other days he chews the food and spits it out. His toys are everywhere. He has corrupted his sister, and now she thinks the blocks belong in the living room.
After fighting as a minority for so long, I've given up. The family wins. I keep all the kid socks in a basket (not even paired up) and whatever socks I grab, they wear. Matching is a way of the past. There are dust bunnies under every piece of furniture. I now have a schedule that goes something like this: Today, I might clean the toilet. Or I might not. I haven't cleaned the fridge since I moved into the house. I no longer iron. My grocery list is scrawled on a sticky pad on the fridge, and I don't even bother to list things according to store aisles. The plastic containers are tossed willy-nilly into the cupboard. I can't find my hammer. I have 3 jars of peanut butter, all opened, but I can't seem to remember to buy mushroom soup.
I think I might find my organizational skills eventually, when the kids grow up and move away, but of course then I'll be faced with the challenge of cleaning out their rooms, and separating their socks to pack into their co-ordinated suitcases!


carmilevy said...

This one strikes a chord. Of course, you ALWAYS strike a chord, but this one especially so.

The arrival of children tends to take every parent's carefully planned agenda and send it floating in the winds toward oblivion.

Live before children was neat and orderly. It is now beyond chaotic and a lot less pretty.

Strangely, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I wear the messiness with pride, because when our little guy spontaneously wraps himself around me and says he loves me, not even the dust bunnies skittering across the floor in the distance will get me down.

Lovely entry.

carmilevy said...

Gotta love typing at 2 a.m. zulu. Nice typo I have there.

It should be "LIFE before children..."

Sorry about that. I'm heading to bed now.

Viamarie said...

Can't help but post my comment after I ran into your blog while reading Michele's post. It's really amazing how mothers can totally change when the babies come. Don't worry that is normal and temporary. Ask any mother why she does what she does and you are likely to receive the same answer...Love is both a mother's work and a mother's reward.

There's this saying that goes ...Being a mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in any field since the payment is pure love.

Btw, Aidan & Tannen are adorable looking kids.

Jeannie said...

I can't help but laugh. I am not an organized person. #1 was just like me and Dad. Whatever happens happens whenever. Then I had twins. You would think this would lead to total meltdown but instead, they were like clockwork with feeding etc and put ME on a schedule. My house was never so clean and organized. Everything got done in a timely fashion. Then they grew up and life is chaos again. Sigh.

Mary P. said...

And when GT was so perfectly scheduled, did you take the credit and wonder why other parents couldn't get it together? If so, BT is your punishment for being smug. Bwa-ha.

But of course you didn't. I'm so impressed by your BC organizational abilities. FIVE optional plans? A short bio on EACH KID in your class? Holy moley. I figured you've earned some years of chaos - it does get easier.

When they move out. :-P

debby said...

I was you, actually I AM you. The kids are now 20 and 22, the socks still don't match and now I have FOUR jars of opened peanut butter..yep, life is good.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

But, actually, it's easier this way, isn't it?