This weekend we had a little get together for the boys’ birthday. It’s the first time that we’ve had anyone over in months…aside from very informal play dates, family, or people coming over to help us. The dirt and clutter in our home reached fevered pitch around October. It was so bad. Not DFS bad, but still. Bad. I felt like I was drowning.
That also happened to coincide with Granger and Finn learning to crawl. I for one do not think this is merely a coincidence. I did some posts back then about baby-proofing, and about hiring someone to help us clean. Both of those things have helped my stress level immensely.
It even got to the point where things were feeling in hand, and I was thinking…”I should try and patch some of those spots in the wall, and maybe repaint the bottom portion of the dining room wall that has been scuffed and chipped from chairs, and kids, etc.”
This. This is my insanity. I go from thinking “oh my gosh we live in a hell hole” to “Ah, all better, let’s start some projects.” Once I’m no longer gasping for air I don’t think, okay, well now this is a manageable level that we can maintain…I think…Oh, since I’m not having to run like a mad woman EVERY single second of the day, I should add in something more now.
Why? Why does my brain work this way? Why did I decide to try and refinish one of the boys’ highchairs days before the party. I was unable to get that project complete before the party, and so we were down a high chair for the infamous first birthday cake photo.
Well, my friends, I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I think I have some of the answers. First, I am crazy. Second, I have a high tolerance for clutter. I don’t mean that I like clutter, I mean that I can function at a high level in clutter. And, it takes me a relatively large amount of clutter before I start to notice it.
All of this means that when it comes time to clean for an event, I start to see my house through the eyes of a guest. And then my eyes just about bulge out of my head. How could all of this stuff materialize out of nowhere in the last half hour?! Why are me and my family such pigs?! GAH!! Commence the crazy clean cycle.
I have been living this way for twelve years (ever since I left for college)….and freak out mode is now my default setting for anything cleanliness related. So, now that we have this set time each week where everything needs to be picked up, I have no clue what to do with my freak out energy. At first I was using it to yell at my family before the lady came to help clean. But now we pay the girls an allowance to keep their room picked up…and guess what?! They have learned to pick up after themselves (oh my goodness!!). Then I put that energy into baby proofing the living room and dining room…yep, that’s done.
And so you see, the logical next step was to freak out about the high chair…I know, it’s exactly what you would have done too. Right? So we have a high chair that I bought at a garage sale, and the boys have been using it for months, and the finish was worn off at the bottom, so one week before the party I removed the straps from it with a screw driver and meticulously washed it down so that I could slap a coat of polyurethane on it before the party. Well, I didn’t really get around to doing that. And then I was thinking that wouldn’t it be fun if I made that high chair into a cool craft project and painted it really cute? Maybe make some bugs out of thumb prints or something on it. So, even though I hadn’t started on the painting, I still wanted to do that the night before the party at 9 pm.
I am heavily sighing at myself. I do this stuff only to myself.
I went ahead and filled in all the imperfections in the wood while I was at it. And then set about priming the high chair….and you know what, I’ve never painted a piece of furniture before. There are a lot of angles to those little bastards. I kept finding places that I had not covered with primer. And then all of a sudden it was 10:30, and I wanted to fall asleep really bad, but the girls were still running and shrieking through the house, so Tommy and I put them to bed. And then the boys were fussy and so I nursed them. And then there was no way I was going to work on ANYTHING.
And then we woke up and frantically picked up all the stuff that the kids had pulled out, iced the cupcakes, and had a party. Oh yeah, and Finn sat on Tommy’s lap instead of in a highchair.
Lesson learned: Get out of freak out mode. It’s a crappy place to be.
PS. I need to relax.