Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Monday, July 19, 2004

If I Tell a Boy to Put on Pants...

If you have or had small children or have read to any within the past few years, you know there is a series of books starting with, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”.  Our favorite is “If You Give a Moose a Muffin”.  It starts out with this little boy giving a moose a muffin, then the moose realizes he wants some blackberry jam, and in getting the jam, the moose wants something else and on and on it goes as you find this daggum moose now doing a puppet show, creating scenes and on and on until he goes back to wanting a muffin.  They are really cute books.  And having small children, I realize this pretty much is what it is like to live with kids.  Not much focus.  And it’s what I’m like cleaning house.  It’s a problem.
I start out in one room, I start folding laundry and then going into a bedroom to get a hanger, I notice a book on the floor, and while picking it up I realize we have library books that need to go back and while putting them on the counter, I notice paper that needs to be sorted through… and on and on and on.  By the end of the day, my house looks picked up, barely, in spots.  Nothing is really complete.  It’s akin to a “Jack of all trades, but Master of None” house.  I try. I really do.  I just get completely overwhelmed by all the things that constantly need to be done with three kids.  All the laundry, the paperwork, the school work, the cleaning, did I mention the laundry? 
I wasn’t like this when I worked for pay, in an analytical position. It’s only housework.  I’m a list maker, very task oriented, so at work, I just had a list or flowchart on how I wanted to accomplish the job and it got done.  I’m finding this is what I have to do at home. I have to actually make a list that says, “Laundry, closet, sink, etc.”  I know, it sounds juvenile, but it is so easy to get sidetracked with ALL the stuff that constantly needs tending to.  Did I mention it is all totally and completely thankless?  It makes it all the more unmotivating. 
And I must laugh.  Son#3, he is only 5, so this is the age where they really are all over the road.  He wakes up in the morning and after hanging out in his underwear for an hour I’ll say, “Go get some pants on!” and off he’ll scamper to get pants.  Fifteen minutes later I’ll see him, Goldfish (food) in one hand and a Star Wars light saber in the other, still running around in his underwear. Seems on his way to get pants, he saw some Goldfish, remembered he was hungry, grabbed the box, ran through the hall, saw his light saber, grabbed it up in the other, then totally forgot what he was off to do (get pants) and started sword fighting with his brothers while munching.  I can hear myself yell at him, “Focus Young Jedi!  Get your pants!”  Sometimes it can take up to two hours to get pants on this kid. At least its summer. I don’t have anything else better to do… other than housework.


Blogger littlejoe said...

Hell, I'm very ADHD, so you're approach to housecleaning sounds like mine. When I bother that is.

I am seriously considering taking a before and after pic of my apartment. Should be interesting to show the world my state of yuck.

As far as pants go, I think they're overrated.

I like cheese.

Oh yeah, pants...umm yeah.

Ten minutes later...

I just tried to organize my cd's and video games. What a waste, it's like making the bed when there's no company coming over.

The preceding brought to you by:
My raging ADHD
And a desire for a pantless America.

2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there, done that. We have (as I am sure Sally will comment to) a very democratic household when it comes to cleaning up - whoever is more sick of it does it. You have boys and so have never had to experience... THE HOUSE OF BARBIE! Small fragements of hideously pink things everywhere, pink feather things, dressing up clothes, naked mutilated Barbies littering every surface like some dry run for a serial killer. Books that have sounds and make THE most hideous noises and DVD's of Barbie that are so poor that I weep for the state of the animation business - it makes me ashamed I was ever a CGI animator.

As for the dressing things, well. The number of times the Gollum has gone out "Commando", or after telling us she has dressed herself and things are on backwards, and her unholy passion for "party dresses" leaves Sally and I literally biting our hands in frustration. I miss regular work in the respect of housework, but then when I worked regular *cough* hours we weren't married and I had just me to look after...


5:25 AM  
Blogger Sally said...

Strange you should mention housework. I was cleaning the bathroom yesterday and thought to myself "I'm luckier than Bou. At least I don't have to deal with a bathroom used by four males!" I assume you've got them pretty well-trained, or you wouldn't have time to do anything else!

"Focus, young Jedi..." I lOVE that!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Tammi said...

Ok-living alone I probably shouldn't admit to this - but I have the same problem with trying to clean the house. Only when it gets out of control, though. I'm still trying to unpack and organize everything. I told myself I would finish 1 room a day. So, I unpack a box in the living room, oooh candles. This would look nice in the master bath, Oh, wait, I need to sort through this make-up, there's stuff I don't use anymore. What's this? Books go in the office, I really need to reorganize these files. This lotion should be in the guest bath. Why did I put the candles in this vanity? Guest room closet silly. Oh, this mirror would look great in the dining room. You get the picture.

I tried lists. They are seriously over rated.

7:38 AM  
Blogger That 1 Guy said...

At least I know that I'm not the only one that does that! I try to do like Tammi, one room at a time, and it never fails, I get seriously sidetracked. Living room; I pick up book by the couch, take it into computer room where I see that,"while I'm in here, maybe I should reorganize the shelf." Get started and notice that I've left a cd on top of the shelf, so I go to put that back, and it starts all over again. Usually what should take an hour to do, ends up taking me a day and a half! :)

9:37 AM  
Blogger Harvey said...

Just wanted to say... yeah, me too.

Oh, and a handy "cleaning" tip from my bachelor day's that'll save you some time. Instead of putting things away, stack them up, and orient the pile so the edge of it is parallel to the edge of the horizontal surface it's cluttering up.

That way it looks like you MEANT for all that crap to be laying out, and no one will criticize you.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am exactly the same way. My husband calls it "creative rearranging" because I rarely ever clean something till complete.


6:05 PM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

Wow, who would have thought that there were so many people who 'cleaned house' the way I do. I am suddenly feeling very normal... :) A rarity indeed.

I don't know what this thing is with boys/men and pants. It is a struggle to keep my boys clothed. Also, going 'commando' is very common here.

We don't have Barbie pieces... but we do have traintrack! Everywhere you step sometimes.

Sally... you have inspired me with a blog post...

7:57 PM  
Blogger littlejoe said...

I "went commando" from 17 thru 24, and yes that includes my time in the navy. I never even owned underwear for that period. It was fun to go shopping and not realize what size to buy.

3:12 AM  

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