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2009/02/02 / AoM

Messed Up.


Most of my day-to-day existence revolves around The Mess.  Prevent The Mess.  Contain the Mess.  And, if those fail, Clean Up the Mess.  Such is the life I’ve chosen. 

There are days when The Old Me  (B.C. – Before Children) emerges from her hole and says “Who in their right minds would sign up for this?!”  Like when I get barfed on.  Or when one of the kids uses me as a kleenex.  Times like that.

It’s hard to be a Neat Freak surrounded by chaos.  At times it looks like Toys’R’Us exploded in my living room and it makes. me. crazy.  Hard to resist trailing behind the little tornadoes, scooping up Mess the minute it’s created.  

Every time I get the itch to CLEAN UP I remember this girl I knew once (I’ll call her Nicole).  Her mother was such a Freak that Nicole had a whole shelf of dolls she could never touch.  Nicole couldn’t even sit on her bed for fear that she might wrinkle the covers.  What. The?

I don’t know Nicole any more, so I have no idea how she turned out, but I shudder to think what all that “Don’t Mess That Up!” has done to the poor lady.  I picture her now, all grown up with children of her own, and wonder what she’d make of my living room right now.  Probably would pass out from hyperventilating. 

I’m trying to avoid messing up my children, so I let them make messes.   Sometimes I even encourage it.  On dull days we get out a roll of toilet paper and wrap each other in it.  When we accumulate a stack of catalogs, we tear them up to make “paper snow” all over the house.  My inner Freak is, well, freaking out.  Piles of paper scraps and toys and books and crap everywhere!  But I suck it up.  After all, isn’t a little chaos and mess healthy for kids?

Some days, though… some days I see hints of the Freak in my children as well.  My daughter furiously writing to-do lists for herself with items like “Change Boing-Boing’s diaper” (BB is her stuffed rabbit) and “Brush My Teeeeth” (yes, that many E’s).  My son lining up each and every toy car in a neat row.  It’s wierd but comforting to see these little traces of Mama coming out.  Does it mean I’m messing them up?  (Or does it mean I can stop worrying that the kids will in fact end up in filthy little hovels once they are out from under my anal-retentive thumb?)

Guess I’ll have to wait another 20 years or so to assess the damage.  In the meantime, I guess my Freak and I should go start picking up some of this mess.



Leave a Comment
  1. Aric / Feb 3 2009 03:59

    LOL, and you make fun of Daddy and hating the paint messes!

  2. smalvarado / Feb 3 2009 06:19

    I know what you mean about Mama’s inner-freak showing up in the kids. Unfortunately for me, that’s not a good thing :-)

    However, I do see bits of me coming out more than once in a while: Max’s droll sense of humor, Gwyn’s growing skill in art, and Dany’s general sweetness. Yep, that’s all me.

    And I sympathize with your feelings toward the Mess. Except I am not torn in any way, shape or form. I hate It. I hate the comforter and pillows left in the living room. I hate the crayons, tape, and paper all over the place. And I HATE HATE the building of the fort with the stinky “dog cushions” for multiple reasons.

    Love the blog by the way. It’s all you!

  3. Zap / Feb 4 2009 18:41

    I think the lists your daughter are making just show that she has a sharp and organized mind.

  4. B-Sting / Mar 6 2009 18:40

    Unless you’re sporting a thick layer of cold cream on your face and beating the kids with wire hangers while screaming the virtues of padded hangers… I think you’re in the clear and the kids will be brilliant beyond words.


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