Like a Rolling Stone

How is it that — thanks to children — I no longer have a gag reflex at the sight of someone else’s vomit, feces, or urine, but I about lose my mind when I see crayons on the carpet?

Entropy is the natural order of things, so why am I so irritated when they trash my house? I don’t feel disrespected. They’re just doing what comes naturally. But the clutter, the disorganization, the spills, the stains, the cups of curdled milk under the furniture, the toys strategically placed for maximum tripping effect, the dirty underwear on the couch, the stairs, and the dining table … it’s chipping away at my soul.

Sisyphus and his stone-rolling had nothing on a housewife picking up after young children.

I’m asking this as a serious question: why is order so important for my (and most other adult people’s) sanity? When I know that I will look back on this time in my life as a golden era, why am I struggling to appreciate in the now all of the aspects that I will remember fondly in the future? I know that someday there will come a morning when I wake up and the house I cleaned the night before will still be clean. So why can’t I feel chill about it all?

I’m going to have to think about it and get back to you.

Categories: The Kids

6 replies

  1. There will come a day when the house cleaned the night before is still clean the next day..and let me tell you – It’s wonderful! I loved being a mom and raising my kids, but I now love the quiet cleanness (is that a word?) of my home. I read whenever I feel like it without interruption! Eat what I want when I want. You’ll get there, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and cherish these sweet days with your kids underfoot, it’s over before you know it!

    • Ooh … eating chocolate without having to hide it or risk sharing it — what a delight! :) But I am enjoying these times, most of the time!

  2. After basically not touching my girls’ playroom for several months, it had gotten to the point where there was almost no room left to sit. Yet my girls didn’t seem to care.
    It finally got to me last week, and I spent at least five hours organizing, organizing, organizing. Every Barbie shoe, chess piece, playing card accounted for. (Well, almost. I still can’t find one tiny doll, one bracelet, and one necklace.)(I have since scoured the house for those to no avail.)
    Still, I feel so much better. And I cannot answer your question. I honestly don’t know why adults get so uptight about mess when we didn’t care one speck as kids…

    • If the universe is fundamentally chaotic, why do we crave order? Why is the entropy of a playroom not a beautiful thing?

      I like to ask the unanswerable.

  3. You have to let go of the little things. They leave stuff all over my house too, but I use it as a teaching moment and teach them how to clean it up. If they know the pain it is to clean, they are much less likely to make the mess. (BTW, your kids are fairly trained now in carpet cleaning.) Just enjoy them and forget about the little annoyances.

  4. That should say, “what a pain it is to clean…”

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