There’s Always Tomorrow

Just the other day Husband announced that he’s going to make a more concerted effort to keep our house orderly. Okay. Sure. Sounds good.

It’s not that I don’t want an orderly house. I love order! I could spend an entire day reorganizing something just for the fun of it. Let’s see how this cabinet looks if I replace this container with that basket. What if I move my bathing suits to the bin in the closet and let my comfy shorts have their own drawer?

I would help someone move in a heartbeat if it meant I got to fill boxes and rearrange things how I saw fit. Packing a car for a trip is an art form and an efficiently-loaded trunk is a thing of beauty, a satisfying achievement. (It’s the small things in life, remember?)

The problem with our house isn’t that it’s disorganized, though. Everything has a home. The problem is our current pace of life and the surrounding structure that it demands. There’s an appropriately-sized space on our family room shelf for my purse, but wouldn’t you know, when I get home from work, my bag’s going straight on the kitchen counter. I put it there right after I place my computer on the floor to give my daughter a hug. My shoes have already been removed and are left lying one in front of the other in the mudroom, right in the path of the next person who enters.

My kids get dropped off at daycare at 7:30am. If we’ve changed socks from the ones with the polka dots to the zigzags at the last minute, the neglected pair is most definitely going to hang around the floor for a few days. Similarly, bedtime prep starts at 7:30pm. If we’re cutting it close to getting our daughter in bed before she implodes, the toys can stay on the floor. Let’s just get this little spitfire in the bath without any tears falling.

My child’s artwork is in piles in almost every room (and my car). She draws a line on a piece of paper and daycare deems this worthy for the archives. On the way home from preschool, I ask her what she did that day, to which she always responds, “I don’t know.”

art.12
Artwork I will keep

Do you think she’s going to remember the paper with the purple circles she scribbled the other week? I just have to get around to discreetly throwing them out. If she sees something she made in the trash, Mommy will be getting the silent treatment for at least fifteen minutes.

 

Another thing I’ve noticed about our house compared to others (besides the repurposed Melissa & Doug box – see image), is the ever-present laundry basket.

M&D.2
Melissa & Doug’s new housewares line

I’d like to remove this from my bedroom floor someday, but there’s always something in it. Always. Similarly, the doors to the laundry machines are always open. Why close them when I’ll just have to open them again tomorrow?

 

So, yes, our house could stand to be a little more orderly, and I certainly encourage my children to clean up after themselves. But if order gets in the way of just plain ol’ enjoying life, I can live eyeing those crayons that rolled under the couch for another day. And I can walk around the baby bouncer that takes up seventeen square feet, knowing that it’ll soon be stored away when my son begins to move on his own in a matter of months.

Order can wait. I can always clean up tomorrow.

Bag Lady: A Case Study

I know you’re not supposed to live in the future. Type “live now quotes” into a search engine and you’ll be bombarded with inspirational quotes about being in the moment, focusing on the “now,” blah blah blah. Good advice, mostly (and many supplemented with killer sunset and ocean backgrounds). Sometimes I can’t help, however, prematurely missing something that’s happening in the present (i.e. something that will be absent in the future that I will long to return).

Allow me to explain. For over a year now, my daughter has taken a liking to placing seemingly unrelated objects into bags. I use the term “bag” loosely, for this includes purses, lunch boxes, toiletries travel cases, etc. Use your imagination. Anyway, at times I get annoyed when I trip over a long-forgotten tote that should have been picked up days ago. Usually, though, I become excited to peek inside and see what interested my daughter enough to collect.

There’s always always something in there that makes me chuckle. My immediate thought is, Oh, I’m going to miss finding random shit like this around the house. Who knows how long Madison will find joy in this activity, so the other day I decided to walk around and photograph all the bags I found. Then I tried to analyze the findings, just for fun. This way, after she’s long since lost interest in being a bag lady, I’ll have a record of this cherished memory.

Here are the results.

Bag 1: The Roche Brothers Bag

bag 1

Contents: These treasures, which include a book of mortgage payment stubs, seven paper plates, and the cd insert for Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science, were hanging out in a brown paper grocery bag in the middle of the family room. These bags always contain a variety of goodies, since there’s plenty of room to hoard countless objects.

Interpretation: Maddie is planning a road trip to Jurassic Park. Note the dinosaur and music themes. She also included reading material for down time, disposable dinnerware for meals on the road, and lotion for those dry hotel rooms. She must’ve thought the mortgage stubs were checks for all her expenses. Seriously, Maddie, who takes checks nowadays?

Bag 2: The Lululemon Tote

bag 3Contents: This chick loves her pom poms. It’s probably hard to tell, but the toy car in Bag 1 has yellow and purple pom poms as passengers. These fuzzy devils have found their way into every nook of the house. Also, an honorable mention for my husband’s childhood fanny pack (I can barely type that without giggling). Not much else besides a couple of Lego’s, a yellow flower crayon, and some crumbled paper.

Interpretation: This one is tough. My ultimate guess is she’s been bartering goods for art supplies. She’s already traded some pretty cool things for that crayon and obviously the colored cotton balls. There’s not much else to trade, and sadly, no one seems to want a primary-colored dignity pack or a reusable tote from a company that shames women for having thighs that touch. Keep trying, Hun.

Bag 3: The Old Lunchbox

bag 2Contents: A toy peach, Brookstone mini binoculars, some dolls, Mommy’s old iPhone, some pens, and a pretend beeper from her doctor’s kit.

Interpretation: Clearly, she’s not going to lunch. I think she’s involved with Doctors Without Borders and is taking on some missions. Why else would she need two forms of communication? An insulated cooler (think blood donations, people)? The baby, Glow Worm, and Muppet are for practicing her medical skills. She’s dedicated to taking thorough notes and staying properly nourished while on duty.

bag lady
Bag Lady at age 2

It’s always an adventure when you attempt to travel into the mind of a child. Perhaps there’s more meaning in these bags than I know. Perhaps she just grabbed whatever was lying around. I’m not sure, but that’s beside the point. Sadly, I won’t know the last bag is the last one when I find it. I’ll always hope there’s another one waiting for me. Until that day comes, I will enjoy inspecting every bag I find around the house for what my daughter obviously thinks of as treasures. To me, they’re treasures, too.

I’m Not Missing Much, Just My Mind

Many of you have heard the term “Pregnancy Brain,” meaning bouts of forgetfulness, or the feeling of being one of the duller knives in the kitchen, experienced frequently when one is expecting. Sadly, this phenomenon of having a mushy brain extends well into motherhood.

Here’s what happened.

About to park in the CVS lot to pick up my prescription, I considered the drive-thru pharmacy. I have never been one for the drive-thru, mainly because I enjoy any opportunity to move around and get some exercise. Yet, being a mother has opened my eyes to the glory that is a human behind a window, who will hand me desired items without having to park, pop the trunk, fling open a stroller, unclip a car seat, and wheel a semi-asleep child into a store for a two-minute errand.

And so, I rolled up to the CVS pharmacy for the first time and waited for assistance. When an employee came to the window, I excitedly asked, “I’ve never used this before. Can I pick up my prescription here?”

“Of course. Last name?”

“Crow. C-R-O-W. Like the bird.”

“Mm, I don’t see anything. What are you picking up?”

At my 6 week post-partum doctor’s appointment, my nurse practitioner objectively asked what form of birth control I was considering taking from this point forward. Since we’re happy with two children, my husband and I have discussed scheduling him a vasectomy, but who has time to coordinate that? I opted for the pill, knowing full well I was making a commitment to take an eraser-sized tablet daily during the same hour for a, at best, twice-a-month activity. She filled my prescription.

“Um, it’s birth control. I have no idea what it’s called. Nore-something-a-thine? It should be my only prescription.”

“The computer says the next time you can fill that is on May tenth.”

“That’s impossible. My last pack ran out on Sunday. I was supposed to take my first pill yesterday.” Would you like to know more about my cycle, CVS Lady? Because apparently I’m all about sharing this information.

“Well, last pick up was April twenty-third.”

“That was Saturday. I didn’t pick it up this weekend–”

*LIGHT BULB*

I’m an idiot. I was totally at this very CVS three days ago.

“Oh, uh, never mind. I’m sorry. I’m all set.”

This episode came days before I told my husband we needed that “round, flat bread” to make our daughter a quesadilla, because I couldn’t for the life of me remember the word tortilla. Forgetting common words, more than anything, seems to be the most problematic and frequent hurdle of parental absent-mindedness. It’s also the most annoying, because it comes out of nowhere, when you’re midsentence, and about to make a point.

When it happens in public, I want to reaffirm that I’m not an imbecile, my mind is just deteriorating from the constant negotiations with my toddler and the mental juggling act that is keeping track of a baby’s always-changing eating and sleeping schedule (and by schedule, I mean habits).

Sometimes I forget when I last fed my son, or how long his morning nap was. Did he nurse both breasts before he fell asleep? I don’t know, because I was checking Facebook. Sometimes I need a break. If I don’t take breaks, I may begin to forget more things, like what errands I ran a few days ago.

I’m already crossing my fingers that employee at CVS isn’t working on May 10th!

BCP

Blog-izzle

Weeee, I started a blog!

Welcome.

I’m still not absolutely sure what you’re apt to find here. That is, I haven’t quite dedicated a theme to this blog other than a “This Is My Life” type of thing. I’m sorry in advance, because there’s not too much happening here on my end other than the aforementioned desire to get my manuscripts published.

I don’t tend to have strong opinions on issues, and when I do, I keep them to myself. Hey, at least I won’t be offending anybody!

This reminds me that I was once told (by a physical therapist, who was treating a stress-related neck injury caused by me and my husband living below five D bags for an entire year, but I digress) that I was amazingly normal. I wasn’t sure what he was getting at when he told me this, but I often go back and forth between considering this a compliment and an insult.

So yeah, I’m a normal human being. Congratulations to me.

You’ll probably read a lot about my parenting woes, but that’s because the moment you pop a baby out, your life changes from A to B (see Diagram 1).

pies

I have a toddler and a baby and I love them madly. I have a cute house and an awesome yard and last year the most amazing strawberries grew in our garden. I am very fortunate. (Because who doesn’t love amazing strawberries. I mean, really?)

KCrow out for now. Please come back again soon.