Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Order v. Chaos

When my beloved is out of town, I live on serious high alert about keeping our home neat. I simplify meal prep as much as possible and focus on maintaining order for the kids and in the home. I know that my patience is essential, especially when it's just me and the kids, and I can't think straight or be patient in a mess. Dr.O' left on Monday after lunch, and the house was crazy from packing and from us trying to make the most of our time together as a family. I spent much of the day on Monday putting away ground floor clutter and doing laundry. Tuesday morning I tasked the kids with cleaning their bedrooms upstairs. They were pretty bonkers and not listening. When I went to get the vacuum, the Jedis climbed up on the bunk bed and jumped down into a wheeled trundle full of LEGOs. Stupid and dangerous. They continued to make static as I talked to them about better choices, and I lost my temper with them. I cooled off and made peace, and things got better.

After lunch, I did some more cleaning and knocked items off my to-do list after I put M down for a nap. Then I took a rest and sent the Jedis outside for a while. I then vacuumed the downstairs and checked on my Jedis. They were turning the garden plot into a massive pigsty with the hose. Both were saturated with thick WV clay-mud. It was too funny to get really mad about. Terribly naughty, but funny nonetheless. Once again it took a while for them for them to get how naughty this choice was, especially since it means that M can't play out back until we get the garden fully boxed in and get the mud to drain into the grass. A very messy and inconsiderate choice. I took photos and videos because I know we'll find it much funnier later and because Dr. O' will want to see it! They lost privileges and had to do extra chores, and they understand now how their choice affected others. Still funny, shhh!

In my world, it comes as no surprise that the day when my home is cleanest is when my children turn into piggies. Also no surprise when I spied A-man spraying the garden area again the next day! Grrr....I second-guess my need for order as a contingency for patience, but I am glad for my kids' sake that they have a home where (usually) they can find their stuff, and it's not getting broken under strata of other stuff. It allows me to be flexible and let the big play mess happen (play-doh, trains, arts & crafts, etc.), because I know it's happening on a clean surface where it won't get mixed up with other stuff and will be easier to put away when they finish.

It always surprises Dr. O' how clean our home is when he comes home from a trip, but I need the increased cleanliness in order to survive his absence. When he's not here, I don't have anything to do when the kids go to bed, and I tend to see more clutter that needs to be put away then. It doesn't mean I don't need his help, just that I want to be able to relax with him when he does get home, and I don't want him to feel guilty the next time he goes. I especially don't want to be on full-time dish detail!

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