Ten steps to cleaning Maura’s room

24 Jan

Today I vowed to put back together Maura’s room, into some semblance of organization.  Once a month, we go in there and organize all the things back to their spots.  And every time, by the end of it, I need therapy.

There’s ten basic steps to cleaning Maura’s room.  They go like this –

Step One – Stare into the room and feel all hope leave your body.  Contemplate walking away and dealing with it on another day.

Step Two – Find your resolve, and start chucking things into piles – clothes, dolls, books, shoes, random items that don’t belong in there, piles of paper…

Step Three – Realizing yet again that your child is a combination of a squirrel, a pack rat, and a magpie.  Wonder over the amount of torn paper in the room.

Step Four – Maura enters, ooo’s over the newly discovered floor space and immediately starts removing items from piles. You then shoo her out.

Step Five – Contemplate gasoline and a match, or at least maybe getting rid of a few things without her noticing.

Step Six – Maura enters again, just after you’ve finally put all the books back in order, and proceeds to take all the books off the shelf.  Shoo her from the room again, more loudly.

Step Seven – Realize that True Organization can never happen while the girl is underfoot.  Contemplate drinking.  Start shoving things into bins to be sorted out later.

Step Eight – Maura enters the room yet again, now plucking treasure out of the trash pile.  Cry a little.

Step Nine – Realize that you can’t truly clean the joint until the girl is back in school, where you can get rid of all the things while she’s not looking.

Step Ten – Abandon all hope, take dirty clothes to laundry room, hide in there with a glass of wine while listening to the joyful sounds of Maura tearing apart her now clean-ish room.

Her room never looks like this.  That's why I took a picture, to remember it by.

Her room never looks like this. That’s why I took a picture, to remember it by.

That time I had to call Poison Control – a Flashback Friday post

23 Jan

Sometimes, I feel bad for all you readers, because when my teens were just rugrats, well, they kept me on my toes!

Like the time I had to call Poison Control.

No, not that time..

…not that time either…

That particular time I called Poison Control was when Sean was a toddler.  Sean was an amazing toddler who walked at 8 months, who could maneuver his little 50th percentile self up and over the crib rail at 14 months, who inverted the crib tent once, who wiggled an arm out of the papoose at the ER to slap the doctor stitching up his forehead after he fell “surfing” on the gliding ottoman…

Needless to say, I kept everything really high or locked up.  The top of my fridge was a ridiculous mishmash of knives and scissors and Sharpies.  If I wanted to clean something, first, I’d have to get a stepstool, because all cleaners were put up higher than even I could reach (okay, low bar, I’m short.) He was the sweetest kid though, which made up for the fact that I could never rest while he was awake.

Meanwhile, I have always had a water bottle for my hair, just a little sprayer to tame my hair down or revive my curls now.  Sean thought the little spray bottle of water was the coolest thing, and would walk around the house spraying water into his mouth.  Which was a step up from when he would lick everything.  Yeah, he was a sensory seeker, that toddler.

So that day, as I was sitting on the couch, I heard the sound of a spritzer – which was normal – but then I heard 2 yr old Sean go “Ew!”

I turned, and saw he was holding a bottle of Fabreeze.

I didn’t even question how he got it.  I never left anything low, but the boy was a magical monkey child who could get things he shouldn’t, despite my best efforts.  I sighed, took the bottle of Fabreeze from him, and dialed 1-800-222-1222.

Yes, I have that number memorized.

“Poison Control, how may I help you?”

“Yeah, I think my two year old just drank Fabreeze and I need to know what to do.”

“Are you sure he drank it?”

“Well, I didn’t see him do it, but his breath is really fresh.”

There was a snort, some choking, and then an apology from the nice Poison Control Center man for laughing.

“No, it’s okay to laugh.” I said.

At the time Fabreeze was still new, so he looked it up, and said to give Sean milk or something, and then just watch him for vomiting, etc.  Sean was fine, he figured out after a spritz that Fabreeze didn’t taste good.

When I told my friend that I was going to start buying all natural cleaners so that when my kids drank the stuff, at least it would be natural, she laughed – because she thought I was kidding.

I wasn’t.

And Sean did survive his childhood and grew to be a really laid-back teen who is more selective in what he ingests.

monkey boy

monkey boy


Following the leader

22 Jan

Maura has this weird habit in the mornings.  We get her up, we get her ready, etc…and then she follows me about the house.

I don’t know if she learned it from the dogs, or the dogs learned it from her, but on any given morning, I could be rushing about and have one child and two dogs hot on my heels.  We live in a split level house, and so it’s five stairs up to bedrooms, five stairs down to family room, main level in the middle.  Which means it gives Maura multiple levels to, say, hide her shoes.  I’ll go try to hunt them down, only to turn around and find a traffic jam of girl and dogs on the stairs.

It’s one of those little things that drives me batty.  Absolutely batty.  Every time, I’ll say “Wait here.” and every time she’ll follow me.  The dogs I can kennel or put outside at least.  But Maura will always follow.

Part of the problem I have with it all is that I’m trying to rush and hurry and get the thing we need quickly.  Maura doesn’t do quickly.  I will be down the stairs, grabbing the thing, and halfway back when I run into her as she tries to keep up.  So then I must herd her back to the main level.  If we’re cutting it close to the bus’s arrival, it’s especially frustrating, because I was trying to do that one quick last minute thing and now, time has to stop so Maura can follow me back.

Granted, when she decides to go get something, she can disappear instantly.  It’s one of her tricks.

This morning, I realized I reached a new parenting low.  Because after having to climb around both Maura and the little dog, and losing Maura because she was trying to find her new book to bring to school, and figuring out that it was the book she wanted to find, I told her “Wait here, I’ll go find it.”

I started down stairs, and she started to follow.

“No…stay here….stay here….stay….good girl.”

And I realized what came out of my mouth.


Bad mom…bad!



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