Monday, March 16, 2009
Too much STUFF!
I know everyone is pretty tired (everyone ... have to chuckle because I am pretty sure I have about 1 1/2 regular readers !) of hearing about my moving angst. It's always sort of exciting to think about a new house and starting over and that sort of thing and I am always so disappointed in myself that I am not one of those people you can visit 3 days after they move and everything is perfectly arranged with stuff even hanging on the wall! I lived in my last house 3 1/2 yrs and never got anything on the wall! Pathetic really if you think about it too hard!
I have finally decided it's not my fault... you see my family refuses to do my bidding on my schedule. I think I made a huge parenting mistake in establishing free will and individual thought in my children. Now when I say "hey you know I would really like to get that room painted today " they nod and say "yeah mom good luck with that!" Now I didn't raise a bunch of uncaring, irresponsible children it's just they have lives. They are busy people with friends, activities and all sorts of other things that THEY want or need to get done today too. Maybe if I had raised children that need to be told what to do every minute of the day my house would be cleaner (I could assign chores and punish them if they didn't do them! Wouldn't THAT be fun? Don't think so! HA!)
I will say I am not proud of myself when I do lose it now and then and grumble about the state of things. Last night after a long emotional day at our meeting I came home to a sink full of dishes which included a jar that hadn't been rinsed out that used to contain spaghetti sauce. I picked it up to rinse it out and SPLAT all over the front of my sweater! I admit I said a few choice words to no one in particular (which yes I know was passive aggressive behavior!) about how it would be nice for people to clean up behind themselves by at least rinsing out a jar instead of throwing it in the sink for someone else. There I was fitting and fuming and making a real ass of myself when I spotted a bottle I left on the counter earlier in the weekend. Now my hands work too yet I left something on the counter in the way with no regard for others too. My whole childhood my mother had a poem on the fridge about how children do what they see not what they are told to do. It was the one real thing I knew about parenting going into it but it's sooo easy to forget!
I always think that each new house will bring some miracle of organization to my life. That some new configuration of space will make it all work better. Right now I am delusional because I still have two storage units mostly full of stuff and it seems that the house while still in boxes I can envision everything fitting nicely without stacks of clutter. My Dad is fond of saying "you just have too much STUFF!" I do have too much stuff... I know there are actual illness where people hoard things afraid to let go of anything out of irrational fears and so forth.
My illness is that I love books... honestly people there are some small town libraries that don't have as many books as I have! The small town where I grew up had a nice library but rather small... I think I read every book in it by the time I was a teenager! I LOVE to read, I will read ANYTHING! Honestly I am the person that is reading the cereal box at the breakfast table, the package the toothpaste came in while on the toilet, I have to read to go to sleep at night, I read while I wait for anything anywhere. Both of my parents are big readers, my brother doesn't enjoy reading that much but still in the scheme of the world reads more than the average Joe.
My kids all love books. We homeschool so we have tons of books on every subject. I have curriculum not because we are structured homeschoolers but because I LOVE to collect it! I love the ideas that people come up with, I love the research that leads people to certain methods, I love the crisp new pages of words to read! All of my kids usually have a book in hand whether they are actively reading it at the moment or not it's a sort of security object. In fact my daughter Anna's lovie was a Scuba fish ID guide ...it had pages that could get wet so it went everywhere! She lovingly called it her "ish ook" since she couldn't say f's yet. She carried it around, slept with it, rode it around on her scooters, tucked into her bed when she thought it was tired and cried if it went missing. She's always preferred reference books over fiction so her books tend to be quite large. She owns every encyclopedia of cats, horses, dogs, reptiles, birds ect every written it seems! I used to say she wasn't a kid that enjoyed reading because she seldom reads fiction and because I have always gotten so much pleasure from that type of book I felt she was missing out. These days she will read a fictional work now and then if it includes some type of animal story.
She is my child that seems to know something about everything though so I guess all those encyclopedias did some good! She's also the child that challenges what I think I know about how people learn every day. She's a sponge... she draws in information from all sorts of places and remembers every detail. She can't spell her way out of a paper bag but her Granddaddy is a smart man too and can't spell! She wants to be a veternarian so all her animal interests will serve her well in that arena. She's also funny... I mean REALLY funny. She has a wit that dazzles us constantly. She really SEES through most people with a keen sense of clarity for their foibles. She isn't afraid to make fun of herself but rarely does so of others. She's usually the first one in our family to pick up a bad vibe from a new person and we have learned to trust her judgment in such things. She also is always the first person to realize one of our animals is sick. Every single time we have had a sick animal she immediately picked up on it... our vet remarks almost every time how "healthy" our sick animals are because she rarely sees an animal until they are in really poor shape. Anna always picks up right away that something is amiss.
Anna is my child that doesn't mind hard work... now that she's older she seems to be around less to do work but she is a meticulous bathroom cleaner often pitching my unnecessary stuff off the counter onto the floor where she demands I sort through it and put it where it belongs. Now if I could just harness that sort of attention to detail to the rest of my house I would be in good shape! She keeps her space neat and tidy at all times... her books stacked neatly, her clothing folded and stacked , her shoes lined up, her supplies organized and so forth. Unfortunately I can't seem to interest her in doing that to the rest of the house! Both of my older kids are pretty good about doing things around the house but they are just so busy these days!
I also can't get any cooperation from my family in following my fantasy of where the furniture should go. I insist that the bookshelves will all fit in the large front room we are calling the "schoolroom" in this house. For those unfamiliar with our method ...we always make one room a "schoolroom" in that all of our school related stuff is organized in that one room. It's often the intended formal dining room or living room because we just don't have a need for formal areas in our lives right now. In this house it's a quite large room and I am telling you people my shelves WILL fit if they will just cooperate and put them in there! I have boxes and boxes of what we consider "school" books. When we were packing them and putting them into storage my kids made lots of sarcastic remarks about "curse these dang school books" because those boxes are HEAVY! We have stacks and stacks of boxes of books sitting in the front room (because ya'll remember my family won't put my bookcases up!) and stacks and stacks remaining in storage! We also have bins and bins of all sorts of stuff... math manipulatives, science experiments, craft supplies, themed kits, games, bits of this and that and they too have to go on shelves (which can I mention again are in the garage until my family succeeds in convincing me of my delusional state!) When my schoolroom is all assembled it's a fun place to hang out and find things to do in. Occasionally it looks like traditional schoolwork but more frequently it looks like alot of fun but even more exciting to me is that it looks alot like learning!! Shhhh don't tell the children they are learning!
Now off to find someone to convince of my brilliance in furniture arrangment!