Thursday, July 12, 2007

I need a list

It's the strangest thing. This is the first summer I can ever remember not making a project list, before summer vacation officially started. Not only did I not make a list, I've been so busy doing what is on my mental list, that I haven't had time to actually sit down and make a written list.

Now that might not sound so strange to you - it might even sound like a good thing. If I'm so busy doing the things on the list, why make one? Well, because I don't operate well that way. I'm a mother of 952 kids (or something like that, I lost count after 1994) living in a house big enough to get lost in (or hide from said 952 kids if need be) and I get very easily sidetracked, distracted and scatterbrained.

I guess you'd say I'm a visual learner. Maybe it's more accurate to say I'm a visual doer? I have a pretty good memory, but I don't have a very good ability to stay on track - especially if I'm constantly distracted.

Just as an example, what was on my mental list for today was to finish all the laundry (and just to be philosophical on you, is laundry every really, all done? Not in my house it isn't - it may be all done for the next 30 minutes, but that's just about the time the kids decide to tromp through the muddy cornfield and provide for me yet another load). After the laundry I was going to get out a few sewing projects & work on those, then make a grocery list for when I go out this afternoon.

Sounds simple enough doesn't it? If only. After my second cup of coffee, and on my way to the laundry room, I have to stop and pick up dishes that aren't supposed to be in the game room and take them to the kitchen. I set my glasses on top of the microwave (hoping to remember later when I sit down at the pc to remember where in the world I put them!) on the way & then go to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Then I notice the bathroom needs a tidying up so I do that. Back out to the kitchen & see the table needs to be wiped down so that gets done, along with all the counters & the sink. While doing that I also see the floor needs to be swept and so that gets done too. I still haven't made it to the laundry room.

By the time I finally do get in there I realize there is probably laundry still upstairs so I go up to get it and take the vaccuum with me on the way - knowing the loft (playroom) is going to need it. I gather up the laundry and set it in the basket upstairs and vaccuum the loft. While in there I remember I still have a few spots to apply joint compound to on Samuel's unfinished walls, so I grab the putty knife and the bucket of compound and head in there for a bit of work. When done, notice his dirty laundry in his toy basket (isn't that where they go?) and grab those. On my way back to the laundry basket I pass my room and realize what a mess it is in there - and mentally scratch off the list the sewing projects for the day. I can't work in a messy room, so that has to be straightened up first.

Before heading downstairs I notice the messy upstairs bathroom so I do a quick once-over. Not having hany trash bags upstairs I yell downstairs to anyone that can hear me, "bring me a trash bag - no not a big green garbage bag, a small white grocery-bag-trash-bag". After collecting all the empty shampoo/conditioner bottles, empty toilet paper rolls, and various other bathroom goodies, I stuff that bag in the top of the laundry basket. I finally make my way downstairs to the laundry room and dump the laundry in there - and dump the upstairs bathroom trash into the kitchen trash - which needs to be taken out. I do that & replace the bag & head back to the laundry room realizing that 90 minutes ago what I thought was a couple of loads has now turned into 4-5, and I have to sort it all. I get it sorted & get a load started, taking the dry load out to take the living room and fold. Before I can get to that however, I get to clean up a kitty-surprise in the corner because the blasted thing is too dense to use the 100 acre cornfield-cat box right outside the front door.

So, out come the cleaning supplies to tend to kitty-pile, while the unfolded laundry sits in the basket by the couch. I clean that up then I have to put away the cleaner & wet vac (after I dump it & wash the filter out). I notice the washer is done spinning when I put the wet vac away in the laundry room, so I toss that in the dryer and get another load going. About this time I call to Jessica and tell her she's got a load of laundry to fold in the living room, because I notice it's already past lunch time and we're out of bread - so I have to get creative and make something else besides sandwiches.

Once all that is done I get back to the next load of laundry. Odds are 50/50 I fold this load. By this time all I really want to do is get a cup of coffee and sit down for a few minutes. The coffee wins and Jessica gets another load to fold. Yay Jessica!

After my coffee break I notice it's already 2pm and I haven't finished ANYTHING on my list, and actually added more things to the list of things that need to be done - room cleaned before sewing projects, knicknacks moved off the piano for a thorough dusting, light fixtures in the dining room removed and washed because EWW they're gross, and why didn't I notice that earlier?

And this kids, is why my housework is never done. This is also why I take naps. This is also why the quilt project that my gma sent me to finish will be done most likely by the time I'm about 300 years old, assuming I live that long & can actually get all the laundry done first & that stupid cat stops using my carpet for a cat box. This is also why doing any of this without a military strategy & a list in hand, is just no good for me. This is also why during the school year my house looks like a construction zone, 6.5 days a week - there is just NO time to do much of anything except the absolute essentials like laundry & dishes. Saturday mornings the place gets a HOO-HAA clean up by the entire platoon - but by Sunday afternoon it begins to reclaim it's former messy glory. Oh well... just the way it is.

Yeah... us housewives who sit around and eat bon bons and watch daytime television, we're so spoiled. That's probably why we either get up at 5 am or stay up until 2 am - so that we get in good, quality bon-bon time.

And with that... the dryer timer just went off. In my house that means it's almost nap time! And I still don't have a grocery list made.

Oh boy do I need a list. I think I'll put bon-bons right at the top, too.