The Letter "M" On The Floor

There was a time when I had a clean AND neat house. The windows sparkled, the floors squeaked, the wood glowed. Everything had a place, and everything was in it's place. The laundry was folded and put away. There was a small stack of mail to be sorted, and all the bills were paid on time.

My car...my car was shiny. It smelled nice. It had vacuumed carpets and a shining dash. It was free of any clutter, except for the bag of m&m's I kept in there in case of a chocolate emergency. It had a sunroof.

And then there was me. My nails? They were done. I exercised several times a week. I took my leisurely time shopping for my favorite and most nutritious food, and it was a joy to fix a healthy and delicious meal. I might have even had a glass of wine with my dinner. I loved to shop for clothes. I'd take my time and try things on. Maybe I'd get the nerve to buy something I wouldn't normally buy.

And, of course, there was us. I lit candles in the evening so the house smelled and felt cozy on cool evenings. We took long walks, or maybe just sat on the couch to watch TV and talk. Every now and then I'd go on a business trip with hubby just to get away. We went to movies. We ate out. We held hands and took our sweet time.

Fast forward 7 years and 4 babies later...

My house. Oh, my house. The outside is covered in chalk art done by my two year old...not on the sidewalk...on the house and the windows. It comes off fine, but it's just so much dang work!

And if you come over? Please remove your shoes. I'm trying to limit the dirt on the floor to mashed cheerios, bits of popcorn, dried play dough, and the occasional puddle of drool...or something.

And do you know what I just did? I was putting some things away in my closet, and I walked right past a green letter "M" magnet on the floor.

I'm past trying to figure out how strange things end up in strange places. I've moved on to just trying to prioritize. Do I stop to pick up the letter "M", or do I walk right past and finish what I was doing? These days, I gotta stay on track. If I stop for the letter "M", then what? The "Q" by the fireplace? The shoe on the couch? The blanket in the kitchen that's left over from making forts? If I tried to do all of that, I'd have to put the bag of "Honey Nut Scooters" away that's been sitting on my desk for 3 weeks. And the wrapping paper that's made a home on the bookshelf. And the dead begonia that I forgot to water. There's just no end. So I have to stay on track, or before you know it we'll be out of clean underwear.

The wood and glass doesn't shine so much anymore...it's more like they display fingerprint art. It's amazing how perfect a hand or face or nose print you can make with just the right amount of drool or otter-pop juice in the mix!

The faux-wood blinds used to look nice. Until someone...not naming names...thought it would be fun to use his/her new scissor skills to cut the strings in between the slats. They just don't hang quite right anymore.

There is a stack of mail and school papers that is no less than 2 feet deep. I'm not exaggerating. At all. I know there are bills in there, but where...exactly? I know, I know, I should have some sort of system. But what's sorting the mail compared to holding a teething baby, helping with homework, or responding to, "I'm DOOOONNEE!"?

The car? Oh, I just don't want to go there. Let me just say that it most definitely does not have a sunroof anymore. Do they even make vehicles that can hold a family of 6 with sunroofs?

And little ol' me. Do I have fingernails? Oh yes, they are those things I keep chewing off in nervous fits. And my clothes...my summer wardrobe was several v-neck t-shirts that I bought at a superstore for $7 each. I tried one on, it fit, I picked one up in every color. Then I washed them and they all shrunk to the point where they do a great job of showing off the flab that gets squished out under the back of my bra. Am I the only woman out there who has more flab squishing out of the bottom of the back of my bra than in the front...where it's supposed to be? I'm hoping the snot that's perpetually smeared across my shoulder is adequate distraction from the fat. I'll shop for different shirts next spring since I'll be losing 15 pounds this winter. I'm sure of it.

Us...sweet US. Real candles are a hazard with so many little hands around, you know. We take walks, but we have to shout, "NO, not that way!", or "Wait for us!", or "No, we can not bring all those rocks home with us" every now and then. We hold hands...but usually not with each other since we're carrying, pushing, or otherwise herding our little flock. We watch a weekly movie for our "family movie night". Does it matter that it's usually animated and/or by Disney? Does it matter that we can't speak to each other over the din that is our children trying to get our attention? Does it matter that we can rarely even sit next to each other?

I think it matters. He's still my boyfriend, and I'm still his "dream girl". And we can still sometimes take our sweet time...when it matters most.

Do I sound like I'm complaining? I'm not. In the least! I wouldn't change a thing. Not a single smudge, or pile of laundry, or cup of curdled milk found in the car after 2 weeks. When my boyfriend (aka hubby) and I look at each other over all those little heads and voices at the dinner table...sometimes the sparkle in his wonderful green eyes is all I need. Words aren't necessary. He loves me. He's happy. Me too.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it smells like I have a diaper to change. The girls are screeching at one another, and Sammy's still in her jammies even though it's lunch time.

And that "M"... it needs a home besides my closet floor. I'll get to that though...probably tomorrow.

Summer  – (10/03/2008 02:25:00 PM)  

This was so cute. "We still hold hands, but not with each other-" LOL! That is so funny you did this today. I hazarded a look at the bottom of the toybox this morning and decided to clean it out. I left the "X" for last. Didn't want to walk all the way across the kitchen past the hammer on the counter, pennywhistle in one of the highchairs, and baby lotion bottles on top of the tupperware towel container we keep on the kitchen table, to stick it on the fridge. I don't even want to say where the tambourine is...

Ruth  – (10/03/2008 05:01:00 PM)  

This is great! Sounds like my life. My closet is the only room in my house that is slightly organized, and that took a year, plus it's mostly empty on my side. Funny how my husband has more clothes now. I spend more time shopping for him until I get those pounds off, any day now!

Kate  – (10/03/2008 07:43:00 PM)  

Wow! Ever feel like someone else has been living your life? You are me, right down to the looks across little heads at the dinner table, just add three more kids and a 12 passenger van (because they just don't make cool vehicles for families our size). I remember the days when I belonged to a gym and had my nails done now and then. I think I even remember getting a pedicure once or twice. Those were the days....eh?

Nah! look at those smiles, those chubby little toes....Guess these are the days after all.

You're an inspiration, Daiquiri! You make me look at my life with more humor and more appreciation. Thanks!

Joyfull  – (10/04/2008 08:19:00 AM)  

Oh how I loved reading this! As mothers it is so wonderful to hear the transformations that take place. It is Saturday morning here at our home and it is just myself and the yougest (7). I am doing a deep cleaning and walking by the foam darts, jacks, papers (everywhere!) and trying to come up with a system to organize this "stuff!. It was great to catch your post in the midst of this!

Ruth  – (10/04/2008 10:31:00 AM)  

Ahh... wonderful! You sound just like me :-)

Ruth xx

Lisa  – (10/06/2008 06:11:00 AM)  

Oh boy. We're living the same life!!! (except I have 2 kids)

we all need a break!

Kelly Wissink  – (10/08/2008 10:19:00 PM)  

Aahhh, it is midnight and I am trying to finish up work in my cluttered office and the same Playmobile police officer is acting as a paper weight for my stack of papers.

I needed to laugh with you as "I'm done" often comes when I am on the phone; the toilet bowl cleaner from the grocery store is still sitting on the kitchen floor and the plastic snakes from the b-day party this weekend are decorating our kitchen counter.

Thank you for letting me know that I am ok. We all need to feel "normal" sometimes.

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