Lord knows I try, really I do. I threaten, I scream, I plead, I beg, I demand, I reason, I order, I compromise, I donate.
Our house is being overrun buy children's playthings.
I would like to have just one room, just one free and clear of toys. I clean my room and find Cinderella books & stuffed Zebras. The bathroom has play jewelry, baby dolls & blue nail polish on the tub. Don't even get me started on the kitchen ~ whatever they have in their little hands while coming in to ask me an important question gets deposited on the floor or kitchen table or counter.
So, I sat them down, and discussed the correlation between Mommy's ultimate breakdown and small pink objects underfoot. They promised to keep their things in their rooms or playroom. Amazingly enough, it's working, yet I'm looking at the living room and having a hard time seeing the rug for the sake of lots of "things".
"Girls, take your toys to your playroom."
"But we don't have any toys in here, Mama"
I look closer. A cereal box, a saucepan, a pencil, 2 bed pillows, knee socks, my purse - gutted open and deader than a doornail - contents splattered over a 5 foot radius, a hanger, a box of tissues, an Easter shoe, a burp cloth, a blankie, the coasters, an grocery bag, some goldfish crackers, a wooden spoon. These indeed are not toys.
I put my head in my hands, sigh, and dream of the day I won't have to step over a baby gate into a room or tiptoe, or trip over everything we own.
Then I tell myself what a sad & quiet day it would be to not have children in this house. Because I love turning back my covers to find Barbie dressed in her best clothes left for me by Liv. The nail polish on the tub (the TV, the floor, the table) reminds me how girlie and sweet they are and grown up they want to be. I can't say I love finding a rotten half eaten banana under the couch, but little Daisy loves banana's and I love little Daisy. Maddies bits of paper she's cut up to create a bingo game or a scavenger hunt - soon she will be a teenager and barricade herself in her bedroom, and will never want to play with me.
I'm not going to stop cleaning up after the little messmakers, but it's not the end of the world, and this house will never look more perfect, because it's full of the things I love the most.