This afternoon, I dragged myself up (still being sick) to one of the upstairs bedrooms to start burying my way through the crap. We have two bedrooms for three boys, and right now the two older ones are in the larger bedroom, but it's all temporary. Eventually...when the 2-year-old starts sleeping through the night (when hell freezes over?)...the two younger ones will share the larger room. Chris (the 12-year-old) is not too keen on that idea, because it involves giving up the bedroom he's had since he was three. But for now, he's putting up with having a 5-year-old camp in his room.
At any rate, both rooms are trash heaps, for two reasons: (1) the temporary nature of the sleeping arrangements, such as the crib set up in one room that is no longer used because the 2-year-old was jumping out of it, and (2) as my mom once said, our kids seem to love messes. I really do believe that's true.
What's worsening the situation is that Nicholas (2) is going through another phase where he loves to pull everything out of drawers, cupboards, purses, you name it. He has gone through these phases before and then passed out of it, so we can only hope.
I went upstairs today to start tackling one of the bedrooms. I've only made a small dent in it, alas, but at least it's a dent. At one point last year I had made quite a bit of headway in the room and even cleaned out the walk-in closet, but one evening we had friends over and all the kids trashed the place. The closet hasn't been cleaned up since then.
I'm coming to the conclusion that our children use only about 20 to 25 % of what they own...if that. So I'm trying to be somewhat brutal in discarding things. We have a huge quantity of stuffed animals, but they hardly ever play with them. (They seem to prefer the little plastic characters!) We are overloaded with books, books, and more books! Plus we are constant users of not one, but two, libraries!, so do we really need to own so many books?
Much of what I was doing today involved going through books and designating piles for paperbackswap.com, the consignment store, and Goodwill. While at the consignment store this afternoon, I heard one woman say that Goodwill will no longer take a lot of toys because of the new lead rules. So now I'm going to feel even more guilty getting rid of the toys, but it can't be helped.
The owner of the shop told me that she heard recently that keys have lead in them. I just looked it up--sure enough. How many parents have let their babies play with their keys? Good God! What will we discover next?
I forgot to take a before-and-after photo of the bedroom. It's still a mess, but not as bad as it was. I'll have to remember to take a photo of the other one, once I get brave enough to go in there.
My goal is to clean and organize the rooms reasonably well so that when it's time to do the bedroom shift, it will be much easier.
I haven't finished our bedroom yet, but I figured that while I had time during the day (and the kids were out of the house, with Mike at the children's museum), I should take advantage of it.
What I learned from being laid off
2 weeks ago