Saturday, September 3, 2011

Watch Your Step

What is Clean?
I remember a time before we had a kid when our house was presentable all the time. I rarely had to scurry about cleaning. If someone would say "Hey we're going to swing by in a few" I would run around our house, throw the dirty clothes in the hamper, put the cookies away, wipe the crumbs from my face and wipe down the counter. Tada! Clean and lovely. If someone were to call me right now and say "Hey we're going to swing by in a few" I would laugh at them and warn them that they were going to walk into a hazardous area. Really, there should be red tape surrounding our house some days. Gone are the days of putting a way a couple of things. I could still rush around trying to clean things up but instead of three things it would be more like this:

Fold up the blankets on the couch (you never know when an underwear-clad toddler is going to decide that today is the day it would be fun to pee all over the couch... blankets are easier to wash than a whole couch)
Find all the matchbox cars that are strategically placed as life threatening devices and put them away.
Throw all the puzzle pieces back in the bag
Put all the trains away
Try to peel up all the stickers on the living room floor and put them away
Calm the screaming child because I just ruined his sticker/floor masterpiece
Find the god forsaken caps to the damn color wonder markers
Clean up the leftover lunch mess that I was hoping Link would finish sometime before dinner that has been left on the kitchen table
Put away all the underwear that he was convinced he needed to put on. After all, four pairs of underwear is pretty stylish.
Shove the basket of clean laundry back into the laundry room because I still haven't found the time to put it away (it was done last week and we are now living out of the basket)
Clean up the cup of milk Link thought would be fun to spill since his art is obviously not appreciated.
Check to make sure I remembered to get dressed that morning.
Clean up the matchbox cars Link has taken out since I began the cleaning process.
Take the damn stickers away from the child that has now become a lightning speed mess making machine.
Pry him off my leg.
Change my pants into ones that he can't pull off of my waist by hanging from me.
Put the puzzle pieces in the closet.
Swear that the next person who buys him another g-damn toy is going on my list of mortal enemies and I'm never talking to them again.
Open the door to company and apologize to them for the mess, and tell them to give me more notice next time and I will just go ahead and cage the kid.

I miss non-mobility
I remember the days when Link was tiny. I could put him in one spot and he would be there two minutes later as long as no one moved him. In those days our house was still a mess. It was different then though. Those days involved loads of diapers, lots of burp clothes, some bottles and multiple tiny outfits. And this stuff was everywhere! No one adequately explains to you how much shit comes with tiny little people!
Then he reached the point of being able to sit up and scoot a bit. This was all right with me. At this point he would merely make a mess in the immediate area around him. I could handle that.
And then he learned to crawl... and walk. It was over. No one told me that once this milestone was reached that he would immediately be placing objects in my path designed to end my life. Tiny little people have a knack for finding the most dangerous toy they have (usually with wheels and a pointy edge) directly under your feet. This is usually done while you are making dinner and not necessarily watching your step on the floor. He used to enjoy putting those big ride-on toys in the kitchen while I wasn't looking and I would ALWAYS trip over the damn thing!

When it's not toys it's something else. Link has an unnatural obsession with trying on people's shoes. We will reserve judgments for a later time but he loves wearing my high heels. He also enjoys carrying around bottles of nail polish (he thinks it's paint and likes how nicely it fits in his tiny paws). This would be all well and good but again, I tend to trip over the shoes. He loves to take them out of the closet and place them right outside the bathroom door. So now not only is he trying to kill me when I am making him meals but he's also trying to do away with me when I get out of the shower. I'm sure if he ever does succeed he will go straight for the nail polish and stickers and complete his once brilliant masterpiece that was ruined by me at one point. Who's laughing now, Mommy!?
Crayons are the devil
One of the worst things that you can find spread all over your house are crayons. They are not as dangerous as some things if stepped on BUT they can be ground into your carpet. I made the mistake of originally getting some twistable crayons and colored pencils for Link. I'm sure they are a great idea if you hate peeling off paper but to a mom who thinks "these are perfect, they will prevent my little one from eating the crayon" you are in for a big surprise. Luckily for us Link was never the kind of kid who felt it necessary to see what the color blue tasted like but he's a curious little person who likes to figure out how things work. Twistable colors were no exception. We soon had casings of twistable coloring vessels scattered about the house and bare lead and crayons being munched on by the dog, squirreled away under the area rug (where they buried their way into our carpet), hidden away at the bottom of the toy box, stuffed into the couch cushions, etc. Nothing like a crayon to the butt when all you want to do is sit down and watch some TV.

Don't even get me started on how awful searching for marker caps can be. I'm pretty sure I found one stuffed in a sock he had taken off one time while coloring.

Link in the Kitchen with the Candlestick

As I am sure you have noticed, Link's primary danger zone appears to be the kitchen. Of the two places we have lived with him thus far the kitchen floor has a hard surface and the rest of the rooms are carpeted. Obviously his cars and wheeled objects just go better in the kitchen. Fair enough. But there is a reason they make child locks! Below are a few examples of those reasons:
I've definitely twisted my ankle trying to do ballet moves to avoid the pot drum set he has repeatedly created on the kitchen floor.

Stubbing a toe on a spaghetti sauce jar is fairly unpleasant. Another death trap by someone not even tall enough to ride the kiddie roller coaster. Inevitably all the contents of the pantry will end up in the living room. The dog loves when this happens. Our bank account does not.
And of course, the rearranging of the refrigerator. This used to be one of Link's favorite pastimes. Thankfully he outgrew this hobby. After continually finding bottles of soy sauce, mustard, chili sauce, etc in places like the toy box, the dining room chairs, the stairs, it got pretty old. Not to mention, yes, I kept tripping on condiments.

Double and Triple the Trouble

I'm not going into detail about how dangerous playdates can be. If you want your child to have friends they are pretty much a must but just be warned, there will be things EVERYWHERE. All those toys your kid never plays with will be taken out of the toy box and you will see how much shit they actually own. Never fails. Friend #1 and friend #2 will make sure your kid helps them free all the toys from their toy-jail. It is wisest to plop on the couch with the other mommies, drink your caffeinated beverage and pray you don't have to pee because if you have to navigate the awaiting doom you are sure to be injured in some way.

Heads in the toybox. This is how it begins.

Blocks are especially painful when stepped on.

(notice the doll stroller and chair in the kitchen that the girls brought in and my little rodent investigating the contents of the broken into cabinet. See what I mean!?)

The Good Ol' Days
Quite frankly I miss the days of teeny tiny baby. I know I have most likely blocked the bad stuff out but I miss not taking a ride on a matchbox car. I miss not stepping on a toy train when I try to sit down on the couch. I miss the sound of someone not walking over paper and coloring books. I miss not grinding crayon into my carpet when I try to walk to the bathroom. As fun as puncture wounds and crayon spots on my floor are, I miss when all Link needed was a clean butt, a cool pair of shades and a boob. I'm sure some day this will be all he needs again.

A Time I Had

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