Chaos vs. Order, the House I Love

Who doesn’t like life in an orderly manner?  I would love my house to be orderly, but that never lasts very long.  I guess it is just meant to be a bit disorderly in this stage of my life.  I have my husband, my children and my zoo.  I sure wouldn’t change any of those things now that I have them.  My life wouldn’t be the same and I enjoy having all those people and pets in my life.  Just the same, when my family asks me what I would like for my birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, and my Anniversary, the answer is always the same.  It’s to have the house clean.  I love order.

At my old office, I had a desk.  In my desk, I had order.  Yes, lovely order.  Then, we moved offices and suddenly, we found ourselves having to share a desk with someone else.  This was a huge change because everything I once had in one desk now had to fit in 1 and 1/2 drawers and 1/2 of the top.  I never did get that half the way I liked it, but we also never spent that much time there.  You also need to understand that we were not there very often.  We had that space, but spent most of our time in the car traveling from one patient to the next.  We worked out of our cars and out of bags kept in the boot of the car.  My order there would start off great, but over time would digress into disorder.  Every few months, the task of reorganization would ensue and once complete, I always had this sense of peace and tranquility opening up my equipment bags.  I loved cleaning those out as well as my paperwork bag.  So cathartic!

My house is another story.  I think it stems from the fact that I am not the only one living there and therefore I am not the only keeper of the cheese, so to speak.  As such, when I clean my bedroom, which I just did Friday, I find so much stuff that belongs to the rest of the household.  I hate that everyone else seems to think it’s okay to leave everything from shoes and clothes to makeup and book bags in mom and dad’s room.  It just drives me bananas!  Seriously, the kids do this all over the house no matter what we try to implement.  It’s like tiny bombs of kid stuff exploded everywhere.  I can’t tell you that my husband and I are the tidiest people in the world, but at least we don’t leave things everywhere.  We do pick up after ourselves.  My kitchen is the other place that is a catch-all for everyone’s junk. Purses, artwork, coats, papers, mail, dishes.

My husband is a lover of flat surfaces.  We have to have flat surface interventions occasionally.  It entails me going through all the receipts, coins, papers and other stuff he’s taken out of his pockets and placed on some flat surface for going through later.  He makes piles on flat surfaces when he doesn’t know what to do with something.  He always has the intention of going through them later, but his procrastination kicks in and takes over.  His later could be sometime in the next 20 years.  Not a good plan for the man to have a flat surface.

I love to have clear flat surfaces.  I love to have order.  If I had my way, I would have the house as neat and tidy as my mother kept her home.  She always went through things everyday.  She never put things off until later.  The house was clean and orderly, the way I like it.  She had a routine and knew how long it had been since the hardwood floor had been polished.  I, unfortunately couldn’t tell you the last time my hardwood floors were polished, but I know they are due.  I procrastinate more than I should.

I can tell you that my house may not be the way I’d like it, but someday it will be.  When my kids are grown and I no longer have a zoo, I will have a clean home.  It will be orderly and I will miss the chaos.  I will suffer from the empty nest syndrome.  I will be down to 2 kids at home and let me tell you, they are not going to make it cleaner this fall.  They are not neat and tidy humans!  They leave things around, so order will have to take a place on the back burner for the time being.  That is okay with me.  It will come someday.  Someday I will also have grandchildren and life in my house but I will have to give those kiddos back to my own children.  That will be okay too.  I couldn’t do the whole baby thing over again at this stage, I don’t think.  I rather enjoy sleep and independence.

Yes, I love order in my life, but I’ve learned to make things work with the chaos that is my life.  I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing.  I do enjoy those quiet moments stolen for short periods of time, but I’m always have the chaos back.  A houseful of chaos is a houseful of love.  I have a houseful of love plus some.

What not to trust your kids with

image

I truly love being on holiday. When I’m not up to speed, it’s nice to know that I can trust the older kids with the care of the young one. There are a few things, however that one should certainly not trust them with.

Cooking is fine for my daughter, Clare. She’s a wiz in the kitchen. Her boyfriend, Michael, however, should not be trusted with peanut butter and mini chocolate  chips! The chocolate chips will scatter on the floor inevitably no matter how many times you tell him to be careful. I think this is part of his male teenage nature. My 8 year old is just as bad but isn’t as obsessed with the chocolate chips.

The Jacuzzi tub and bubble bath isn’t to be trusted with any of them! What the hell are they thinking? Well, the truth is, they think it’s great fun to make a complete and utter mess in there and think nothing of leaving the bubbly remnants behind as well as the wet rugs and wet tile floor. Did I mention this is in my bathroom? Oh yes, a seemingly regular occurrence after swimming or tennis. Tonight, they managed to outdo themselves and left the Jacuzzi on while they each got into the shower in their swimsuits to rinse off. Then, I walked in. Let’s just say, bubbles were so high you would expect to see them on a sitcom, not in your bathtub!

I’ve nipped that one in the bud though. They got to work and cleaned like fiends. I now have a spotlessly clean bathroom with a freshly mopped floor to boot! I know, kids will be kids! Seriously though, don’t leave any bubbles near your Jacuzzi tub or you may live to regret it. I only regret not taking a photo to share with you! It was a truly magnificent sight to behold, but don’t tell them I said that.

Towels. Towels. Towels. Did you know that children think that while on holiday the towel fairy, otherwise known as mom, will magically wash towels each day? Clothes are left in their bathroom as are dreadfully wet towels. God forbid they hang up towels or throw a load of wash in. The washer is right next to their bathroom, too! Great to always be a maid! Never trust these heathens with your towels. God only knows how many they will use once they figure out the location of clean ones.

I know this is a post of complaining, but really, for any mother who has any teenagers at home, or any mother of former teenagers, you completely understand and can laugh at the humour here. They will always make messes and eat you out of house and home. The boys begin early, like my nearly 9 year old son. He’s busy eating his weight everyday and obsessing over an 18 year old girl! Yes, he tells me how “hot” she is and today told me that she has a cute belly button. Lord save me!

I wouldn’t change these kids for anything. Just don’t give them bubble bath or mini chocolate chips and your world might be a slightly saner place. Keep only 6 towels in your linen closet so your laundry isn’t ridiculously immense and voila! Life is beautiful again! If you don’t love them, who will!

image