So for years I’ve read blogs by people I just want to be. Soulemama, Posie gets Cozy, Jane Brocket and Yvestown to mention just a few blogs that I read and aspire to emulate. I read and sigh, look at the disasterzone around me and pine for what may be, one day. Sewing and knitting and making jam to relax after work in my beautiful home.
About a month ago I lost the rag. Funnily enough it coincided with stay in the bath and only eat chocolate week, so I’m sure you can imagine how any anger there was multiplied by a factor of oooh, fifty or so? I had gone into the girls’ bedroom to retrieve something and – again – could not see their floor for the mountains of books, toys and clothes which they had pulled out. That was the final straw. I ranted and raved at the top of my voice, the girls looked – well, they looked completely disinterested really and I realised that it didn’t matter to them that I was upset. They couldn’t understand why I was angry. We sat down and had a chat, I asked them to pack one toybox each (one of these) with the things they really wanted to keep. I agreed that they could have their trainset, their books and a couple of soft toys each outwith that box. Everything else was put into binbags and either binned, recycled or donated (dependent on condition.) We removed eight binbags from their bedroom.
“Hoorah!” thought I. “On our way to a minimalist lifestyle!” Not quite, not quite. But it was a good start.
Anyway. I’m a qualified early years educator and know how an ideal free play space should be set up. I pulled out a water/sand table I’d rescued when a local playgroup closed down, put it in the girls’ room and gave them 1kg of rice that Bob had dyed up for me to use at work. They flocked to it! They played beautifully with it!
For about five minutes. Ten tops, then E tried to take over and boss G around, so G got possessive with it and scooped the whole lot into a plastic tub, took it to the living room and sat on it while she was watching a film. She subsequently forgot about it, draped her duvet over it and when Bob came to lift the duvet at bedtime, 1kg of rainbow rice was scattered across my living room floor. Of course this was the BEST FUN EVER for the cats, so I’m betting we’ll be finding rice in every corner of the house until we move out.
I read Soulemama in particular, and marvel that this woman is one of the few more fecund than I yet her blog is always filled with calm and kind words, she comes across as being gentle and good. I like to think she blogs the nice stuff and is actually a screaming harpy like me too.
I wonder at times whether it would be less stressful to just resign myself to a life of chaos.