Quick post in the 23 minutes I have before I need to start dinner. It was supposed to be a relaxing afternoon at home, but someone called to suggest we go see Toy Story 3 in a little-bit-bigger-town near our small-town. They have a dinky theatre where the matinee is 2.25!!! Seriously, I paid 9 bucks for me and the three kids to see the hottest movie out. Love it!
Oh, and by the way, if you’ve heard that you need to take Kleenex to TS3, don’t ignore that advice. I bawled, and I’m guessing most mamas would. And ummm, I’m curious to see how my kids react to getting rid of toys after seeing that movie. I hope it doesn’t backfire.
So now, for my Who Woulda Thought? moment. Last night, amazingly, I actually remembered to have the kids pick up the house before they went to bed. It’s such a “duh” thing for normal people, but such a huge thing for me. I can’t tell you how many times in my motherhood career that I’ve reminded them to pick up the living room, etc. before bed for a few days, and then looked around to realize that it had been 3 weeks since the last time I remembered. We definitely never did it for long enough to make it a habit.
As you know, I’ve decided to not live up to my own low expectations. Just making that decision made me more conscious of the state of the living room. So last night, a night with no ballgames, we spent 10 minutes before bed picking up things like undies, pom-pom strings, Barbies-locked-in-embraces-with-Batman, Polly Pockets-locked-in-embraces-with-Anakins, videos, game pieces, flat-out-trash, etc.
And wow, do I feel better. Bits and pieces covering my floor, especially bits and pieces that seem like total junk to me, make me feel overwhelmed and hopeless. They all look the same to me. Involving the kids in the pick-up process helped because they see value in those things. Each person returning his/her own stuff to the proper places makes it go so much faster, but also helps take that stuff from junk-status to remembered-treasure-status.
I know that normal people also complain that their kids neglect their toys, but it has to be even worse for slobs, since it’s almost impossible for a child to treasure a toy when it doesn’t stand a chance of avoiding a pile-up.
I completely see the value in full-family-pick-up-time. However, I can’t quite handle the thought of adding it as a non-negotiable right now. With my summer loosi–goosiness, I feel doomed to failure on that one. But I’m going to try to do it, and maybe in the fall, when routine returns, I’ll add it.