Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pet Peeves & Perfection

Living surrounded by testosterone leaves a lot to be desired. Even both of our dogs are male. Shawn once joked that I should put the lid back up on the toilet when I'm done. (Democracy.)

I consider myself a highly organized person. I don't have a choice. Every minute of every day is valuable time to me. I wouldn't say I'm obsessive, but we do have one calendar hanging on the wall by the door and a whiteboard calendar on the fridge. Both have the same appointments, bill due dates and special occasions written on them. I really don't know why. Sticky notes are my best friend. I'm constantly making 'to do' lists. I think this is because I need visible, physical proof of everything I've accomplished. If I finish a task that isn't on the list, I write it on there and immediately cross it off.

I really don't understand how a male brain functions, or in some cases, doesn't.

The boys in my life cannot multi-task. If the TV's turned on to Sponge Bob, their ears don't work and their body becomes hopelessly paralyzed. Their eyes glaze over and their jaw becomes slack. It's a major source of frustration for me, especially in the mornings when I'm trying to get everyone ready and out the door. One such morning, I stood with Kaiden's coat in my hands, waiting for some movement, blink of an eye, or any indication that he had heard his name called for the fifth time. It wasn't like it was even a new episode. I don't watch the show, but I'm pretty sure this was about the third time I had heard pieces of the dialog. Finally, exasperated, I held the coat out behind me to Shawn and said, "Urgh! Fine! You do it." When the coat remained in my hands, I looked Shawn's slack jaw and glazed eyes.

I should be pencil thin when I consider the number of deep knee bends, toe touches (well almost), I do a day just picking up after everyone. Wrappers of all sorts float lifelessly to the floor or get stuffed between couch cushions (I don't understand this). A trail, not of bread crumbs, but of dirty socks and underwear let me know the boys have made it into the bath. I've walked by the kitchen table after lunch to scoop up leftover breakfast bowls, only to be yanked backwards in mid stride because some weird combination of milk and cereal sugar as glued it to the tabletop. I have collected abandoned cups from the boys' dressers of unfinished bedtime drinks of milk, dumped them in the sink only to have a gelatinous blob release itself with a loud sucking noise. It would take years for a CSI unit to process our house since I have to wipe fingerprints off of doors, windows, mirrors, walls and the screen of the TV. I have found eating utensils where they have no right to be under beds. One shoe is never in the same room as the other and mitten mates evaporate into thin air.

Don't even get me started on the bathroom! I can't allow myself to watch in the morning as one or the other of the boys stumble in half awake, heaves his blankie over his shoulder and attempts to aim a spray that has a complete mind of its own. Under no circumstances, even in the most dire situations, do I attempt to communicate with them as they do their business, because in midstream, they will say, "What?" and turn towards me. I can completely burn up a perfectly good Saturday morning scrubbing dried up toothpaste and minuscule beard hairs from in and around the sink. Damp towels would grow mold if I didn't grab and toss them in the laundry.

I've asked for help and I would classify the attempts as lame. Dishes will end up in the sink, a mere three inches from the dishwasher. A clean room means everything is shoved in a closet with the door squeezed shut. Game pieces, toy soldiers and books end up kicked under the sofa. I've vacuumed up enough dog hair to create a whole new canine species. Kaiden can have a napkin sitting on his lap and will still manage to wipe his face from shoulder to wrist on the sleeve of his shirt. I started buying foods according to stain potential. There's nothing that will remove Chef-Boy-Ardee from a white shirt completely.

My favorite aisle in the grocery store is the cleaning products. I'm constantly hoping I will discover that miracle that lives up to its promises of removing any possible stain with a simple squirt and minimal wiping. I derive a twisted sense of pleasure when I shop that aisle. I search the Internet for home remedies to remove crayon from walls, paint from clothing, blood from carpet and soap scum from the bathtub.

But really, if my house and boys were perfectly clean, what would I do with myself? I guess I'd still be the drill sergeant in the morning. I do get a taste of what that would be like once a year when my parents graciously (and bravely) have the boys stay with them a whole week. I anticipate everything I'm going to get done that week months in advance. Then the week comes and they're gone, the house is quiet and by the 3rd day, I've gotten around to washing windows. I actually pause, rag in hand, and find that I can't bring myself to wipe away that teeny, perfectly formed, chocolate hand print.

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