Magic. That’s what it must be. I really have no other explanation for it. Clearly, I have two tiny magicians who can spend less than three waking hours in our house each day during the week and yet still find a way to destroy it.
I just don’t understand it. Before one mess could even possibly be cleaned up, there are already three more messes made. It’s like they are bending time — 1.2 seconds to make a mess and 12 minutes to clean up said mess.
Just during the course of making dinner, at least four activities are attempted. Let’s play with our dolls, we should color, I found some slime, want to build an obstacle course? And, boom. My living room floor quickly becomes a hazardous tripping area complete with half-drawn pictures, doll clothes galore, and — what is that in my carpet?!
It is amazing to me how dinner time can still be such a mess. Even if they are pretty good about picking up their plate when they are finished (most of the time — ok, ok, with reminders), that doesn’t include the noodles that missed their mouth that are now lining their eating space as well as my dining room floor.
What’s worse is Reagan’s love for making concoctions. If this girl isn’t some sort of scientist when she grows up, I will be surprised. Every part of the meal needs to be mixed together; broccoli dipped in hummus mixed with grapes dipped in ketchup — with a little bit of water to “activate it.”
And regardless if the day is almost over, these little divas think that they need to change outfits constantly. With them, it is not just picking out the top item that is folded in their drawers. Oh no, they must pull out seven shirts, four pairs of pants and three skirts.
Options, they need options.
Order, Mama needs order.
Or at least not doing the same thing over and over. I mean, how many times can I refold a shirt before I just say screw it and throw it in the laundry? Out of sight, out of mind, right?
I cannot begin to tell you how many board games, puzzles and multi-piece toys that I have thrown away over these last few years due to missing pieces. Not that you can tell at all as I haven’t seen the actual floor in the toy room in weeks.
And I’m not sure that I even want to discuss the bathroom. Never is the hand towel hanging up. Like it is an unwritten rule that you must dry your hands and then place in on the counter, or the floor, or heck, I have even found it in the bathroom trash (yes, that went to the laundry immediately).
Toothpaste indefinitely tattoos the sink, bath toys have taken over the tub — which must have a hole in the side considering the amount of water all over my floor after they take a bath. Three towels to dry the floor, and two to dry them. Great, on our way to another load of laundry to add to the mound.
I bet I know what you are thinking. Hello, Sarah, this is your fault! You can make them clean up one activity before proceeding to the next, you can have them wash up their place after dinner, you can put a stop to their changing of clothes, toy room fiasco and bathroom antics.
And, you are right. I can. But, man … sometimes, I am just tired.
Less than three hours — that is all I get with them every evening. After working all day, the last thing I want to do is follow them around demanding orders.
I want to see the thought put into the outfit they pick out. Does it match? Why did they choose it? I want to watch Reagan’s imagination go wild as she explains why her next ingredient needs to be added to her creation. I want to start a coloring party and finish with a game of UNO with my feet tucked on the couch because the floor is lava.
Don’t get me wrong, we work on keeping order. But most of the time, the days go by so quickly that the chaos outweighs the mess. And it is funny how nonchalantly I have learned to put on blinders to it all.
At the end of the day, my babies are tucked into their nice warm beds — usually cluttered with this week’s favorite toys and maybe a couple stray outfits — and reminded that they are the most important part of my life.
Because faster and faster, time seems to magically slip by. And one day, soon enough, the mess will be gone. But so will my two messy magicians.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.