Tuesday, July 31, 2007


This is what I walked in to see in the livingroom. Isn't that cute, you might say.
Marshmallows on the couch.
If that were all, Dear Reader, I might agree with you.
But, in this house, particularly these days, in this life, it is but The Beginning.
The Mama sighs, closes her eyes, and does a quick spin back out of the room.

She comes to the kitchen table - happy to be here today, as bc work is done, and she may read and moan (as in thump her head against the table) at her leisure.
Evie mentioned a few ondits that I felt compelled to check out. Led to a few groups, and a few thoughts, and a few shrugs - let them live, I don't care. I simply can't summon up the energy today. Check into Always Unschooled. Messes, it turns out, is a current topic. Well, not messes, exactly, but the repercussions of messes, if you will. Being organized and a Martha-Wannabe in a Free Kid World.

You think that I am complaining because I like to complain.
Not so.
I read all the time about messes in this unschooling life.
There seems to be a decided difference between mine and theirs.
Theirs puts me in mind of Martha Stewart in the midst of a glorious art project.
Ours have more of a chocolate-syrup fingerprints with dog hair on it, step on the carpet and squish a raspberry under the arch of your foot, into the bathroom and what the hell is that puddle with the chunks in it? feel-to-them sort of mess.

Eric calls them tar and feathers.
"Why don't we just toss out a bucket of tar, and throw feathers on it? He says in frustration and exasperation.
Quite so.
Would seem that it would be the easier thing to clean up on many a day.

Back to today. Livingroom is coming along oh-so-slowly, but kitchen is shaping up. Maddie comes in searching for juice. After a quick look - we usually have a variety available, I see that there is none. "Shall I make some lemonade for you?"
Get out the pitcher... to find this.

It's a few slices of salami. Naturally.

No matter, I have two of them. I'll just get out the other one.

I've found it quite therapeutic to spend the day in the kitchen. My kitchen is old. I'm pretty sure it's all original cabinetry. Inside the uppermost cupboards is a pale pink paint, with a crack going through it that seems to have happened in the house's 'settling'. I'll not be painting it ever, I"m actually strangely fond of the old fashioned Pink Paint. (notice the way my mind drifts off into some sort of pleasant sanctuary.)

Back to my labors. It was actually quite soothing. Aside from my freak-outs that I couldn't do it all on my own.
Amazingly, when I changed my attitude from anger to joyously cleaning, so did Little Son. "Mom, I'm gonna have that stuff picked up in no time! Can we make chocolate chip cookies when I'm done? But wait!, for now, it's Back To Cleaning!"

There is a difference in messes, as I mentioned. There is the Joyous Living sort of mess. It looks something like this. (This includes dirty feet, organic grapes, a lone cuisenaire rod, an ad from a Play-doh toy enclosure, a little boombox, a wadded-up paper towel, a glass of beer :), and Lil Notebook with camera ubs cord.)

And then there's the get-the-hose and start at the ceiling sort of messes. I'm afraid that most of ours belong in the second category.

And now?

Now, even as I sit here type-type-typing, I stand up - for something-it has been lost in the momentary chaos - to see Maddie sitting not three feet away from me with the giant can of Stephen's Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa and a gallon of Heinz White Vinegar.


Trev comes in and pours himself a glass of lemonade ("It needs more sugar!") and spills it on the table and -by default, the floor.

Within a few more seconds, he calls out "Mom, Maddie went pee on the livingroom carpet!"

Yup. That sounds about right.

All in about 24 seconds.


Aubrey said...

Too funny Stephanie!! This is not laughing at you, just laughing in recognition.
You just described a typical day in my life. It seems to start before I even have woken up all the way. Cleaning up messes on the way to the bathroom first thing. How do these messes occur all at once?
Usually, if in the right frame of mind, I just have to giggle while being caught up in the vortex of giant messiness.
Your kitchen looks sparkly, by the way.

whimsigal said...

I'm with Aubrey...you're kitchen is sparkly. Steph, are you the same person who was razzing me about my mess? It's on like donkey kong, my friend...oh yes, i said it. Like Donkey Kong.

Seriously, I was laughing through that post, too. Not at you, but with you. These messes seem to populate our homes as quickly as the dryer eats socks don't they?


Stephanie said...

It's my life, too.
I sound like a baby, I know. And if it were the entirety of my day,then I indeed would be a whiner. But the sad truth is, all of these things usually happen within a few minutes - and EVERY few minutes.
All day EVERY day.
Glad to hear that there is at least one other who commiserates.
I only pray that you belong to the "hose" variety, and not the "artful" variety!

Stephanie said...

Ha! How soon you forget! I razzed you not for the atrocity of your mess, dear friend, but for calling your Artful Endeavor a MESS! I know well to which category You belong!

whimsigal said...

HA!(back at ya) I know you were poking fun at me for my "Mess". I think I just feel like I don't have any street cred with you. LOL

I have always been known as the dirty kid and have never been accused of being Martha Stewart-ish. I would be so sad if you thought of me that way!

Stephanie said...

lol. Ah, Evie, you make me laugh.
I'll try to think of you as unMartha-ish.
Cat box stinky sort of dirty, would you like? :)
I just get frustrated because it seems that so many have these clean wooden floors, with a pile of large legos in the corner, then on the table is a beautiful painting next to a box of watercolors glowing in the sunlight - and that's what the messes look like.
Ours tend to be more... despicious.
I think the difference is what's Under the mess.
If it's perfectly clean Under the tidy mess, then it's all good. I just can't sem to get to the Perfectly Clean part lately, thus my complaints.
Though I'm on it - I'll be scrubbing more today.
Pristine, you know? I'm craving pristine. It's been a while.

whimsigal said...

You know, after reading my comment I hope it doesn't seem like I was trying to negate your feelings about your mess. I totally understand where you're coming from when you say beautiful messes vs salami in the pitcher messes. Boy, did that make me laugh out loud!

Anyway, friend, I realized that I was turning your post into something about me when what I wanted to say was I hear you, sister! Sorry, about that!!


Stephanie said...

Not at all!
As far as turning a post into something about us, isn't that what blogging is for?
Really, to share our lives, and have others reflect back, either in a "something familiar" way, or else in a "I don't want that to be who I am" sort of way?
I certainly am not offended by it. I think that's what they're here for!
I wasn't terribly offended by the salami (probably because I had a clean kitchen counter to set it on)- now had it had flies in there, (shudder), then I would have really wigged!

Laura said...

I feel your pain, my friend. I too struggle with the whole clean house thing, even though mine are older now and don't make such big messes. It's a burned neural pathway thing that I'm trying to overcome. Just blogged about it m'self at http://piscesgrrrl.blogspot.com/2007/07/todays-forecast-partly-cloudy-with.html.