Saturday, December 27, 2014

10 Things Organized People can Shove Where the Sun Don't Shine

This article, "10 Things Organized People Do Every Day" pops up in my Facebook feed at least once a week. As we approach the time of the Resolution Making, it gets even more frequent. Okay internet. I'll play your game. Let's see how this worked today.

1.) They plan each day the night before.   I always do this, but what this trite little suggestion completely ignores is the complete and random chaos of life. Especially the three year old (Bug) and the thirteen month old (Pickle) chaos generators.
"What are we going to destroy today, Bug?
Mommy's hopes and dreams, Pickle. Mommy's hopes and dreams."

My plan for the day:

Go to the gym before ten.
Go care for a very good friend's cats
Go to Sam's to get milk,
Go to Target to get tupperware to put the new train set pieces in, and the daughter her own jar of nail polish.

(My christmas present was a gel manicure set, because I am fundamentally incapable of painting my nails and not smudging them within twenty minutes. The LED lamp dries it hard, and so far, I am LOVING IT. But the Bug was curious and wanted me to paint her nails, so I told her I'd let her pick out her own color to play with, as opposed to my SPECIAL AND EXPENSIVE GEL POLISH that makes me oh so happy. )

Get the loose tea for the Sisters in Crime Tea Party in a week.

Oh, and do the dishes, finish the laundry, feed children, clean up the living room with its decorative yogurt footprints, and get the gym bag repacked for tomorrow.


We all woke up around eleven, thanks to the thirteen month old and his desire to grow three molars at the same time. He doesn't want to sleep, and if Pickle don't sleep, nobody sleeps.
I tried to feed the children. Pickle refused to eat the packet of applesauce, but was enthusiastic about squirting it all over his shirt. The shirt was changed. Bug refused to eat anything but a glass of milk. I had a protein shake, I packed snacks, the gym bag, and got the kids dressed.

We got to the gym at 1:30. So far, so good, plan still possible. Pickle completely melted down at the realization that Mommy was about to disappear, so five minutes were wasted spent trying to soothe him a little. Gave up, went to do the speed workout so as to spare the poor childcare workers.

Got to the cats, filled bowls, scooped poops, counted anti-social eyes glaring out from under the bed.

We went to Sam's. We got milk, creamer, yogurt, cheese, Tupperware containers for the new toys, on-sale wrapping paper, and a cupcake-tote thingie I've been lusting for.

We went to Target. I bought string cheese for the now-hangry children, a sandwich for me, bananas, and the nail polish, because the only way to salvage the plan is to not go home for lunch.  Upon check-out, I discovered that the nail polish my child picked out was NINE BUCKS. No. We went back through the store and got something more in budgetary alignment. Hangry children violently objected.

Bug ate the string cheese and two bananas in the car. Pickle ate the string cheese.

Then, we went to the mall. I fully admit that perhaps I should have considered the wisdom of going to the mall two days after Christmas, but I did not. Eventually I clawed my way to the front of the desk at Teavana, aided by my stroller, and willingness to sic my toddler's siren-like wails on people.

You know what makes people in the mall move? A three-year old shrilly yelling, "EXCUSE ME I CAN'T GET TO MOMMY BECAUSE YOU'RE IN THE WAY." She is a very articulate three year old, with a death glare that many a police officer would envy. She melted three people with her pouty lip and accusing eyes right into oblivion.
"Yeah, even a three-year old is gonna judge you."

Eventually I managed to obtain tea for the local Sisters in Crime Holiday Tea party, at which point, my daughter, recognizing we were in the mall, began to beg and plead to be allowed to go the playground.

We went to the playground, because she had been very useful good in the store. Thirty minutes of rampaging children.

We went home. More on what happened next as we review the steps, but here's a spoiler. You know what you DIDN'T see in this list?  Any cleaning, dinner making, writing, or other house-related productivity. It was left-over night, but moving on.

2. They have, and keep, only one To-Do list.

I laughed hysterically. If I had ONE to-do list with everything on it, it would be eighteen pages long. Hell, the home-repair to-do list runs to four pages.

I feel the need to clarify this one. They further recommend keeping a notebook, because it's harder to lose than an index card.

I checked the bag I took today. There was not room for a notebook, among the diapers, change of clothes for each child, gym clothes for me, towel, water bottle, snack caddy, kids' water cups, wallet, and tiny toiletry bag.

I'm already hauling around thirty pounds of child + bag, and now you want me to add a (probably) color-coordinated notebook with my entire to-do list that will fill twenty pages, in which I have to find the latest grocery list? Screw you and your notebook. I'll stick with my baby-slobber coated index card shoved in my back pocket. Thanks.

3. They spend at least 30 minutes going through and addressing emails in their inbox.

My hotmail account has 730 unread emails in it. My primary gmail account had six. My secondary gmail account has twelve. (Hey, it must be royalty payment day!)  This shouldn't be that bad, right? Okay. Let's go.

Mark. Times are in minutes and seconds.

0:45 - Turned computer on, logged into hotmail account. No critical emails to look at.  I start deleting.

1:05 - Pickle is crying because he just fell off the chair I didn't think he could climb yet.

2:17 - back to emails, Pickle is safely ensconced in the pack-and-play.

4:12 - I switch over to my primary gmail account, having given up again on the hotmail. While I'm logging in, an urgent scream of MOMMY echoes from the kitchen.

4:16 - Having teleported from my desk to the kitchen, I find my daughter is upset because her ponytail is falling out.

5:30 - back to emails.

5:39 - Pickle starts crying. He is tired of the pack-n-play and wants out.

5:46 - I have made it a third of the way through one email when my daughter needs to potty.

7:18 - Pickle is now screaming. He REALLY wants out. I am still wiping butts.

8:12 - Pickle is halfway out of the pack-n-play thanks to a careful stacking of solid toys that have provided him enough leverage. I am just in time to tip him back in. He is not amused.

8:42 - I have responded to one email. Bug wants me to paint her fingernails.

10:28 - I started to open another email. Pickle has been released under the lobbying of my eardrums.

10:42 - I get the mop because my daughter has left her milk cup where Pickle can reach it.

15:13 - I sit down again. The next email requires me to open up an excel spreadsheet to log information.

21:42 - The silence is suspicious. I get up to go investigate.

21:52 - I get the mop again.

21:59 - I explain that the toilet is not an appropriate place to play with bath toys.

27:10 - Kids have been washed and clothes are changed. Bath toys are getting washed and bleached.

27:50 - Bug is mad because Pickle chewing on the remote turned off her cartoons. Must go turn back on the cable box, the t.v., and re-find Peppa Pig.

28:14 - Bug is hungry. Pickle didn't appear to be hungry until Bug got her yogurt, and then he went ballistic.

29:43 - Bug has eaten half her yogurt, Pickle has been given apple bits, I am back at my desk and set to .... What, I'm out of time already!?

Screw your thirty minutes. Seriously. I check my email all day on my phone because I can do it in thirty second intervals. Anything that requires an actual response is going to wait until after bedtime.

4. They clear their desk of paper piles

What paper on my desk? Is this really much of a problem in the modern day? Or is this just because I have a paper-eating child who guarantees that any scrap of paper will be rendered down into an nonredeemable goo, and therefore forced me to use alternative note and list-making methods? I don't have paper piles on my desk.  Now if you said BOOK piles...

5. They have a morning ritual and an evening ritual.

Pfft. I do this.

Morning:  Get up, feed children, hide in bathroom until they hunt me down and make me come out. Shower may or may not happen, contacts usually happen. Getting dressed depends on whether or not I intend to leave the house.

Evening: Oh we have a ritual. Do we EVER have a ritual.

9:00 - Bath time
9:30 - Start intimating that not only is bath time over, but it's BEEN over.
9:32 - Start threats regarding bath time being over.
9:34 - Issue order to evacuate the bath tub.
9:35 - Agree to one last game before getting out.
9:46 - Demand bath tub evacuation OR ELSE.
9:48 - Remove Bug from bath tub, despite high-decibel wailing.
9:50 - Refuse Bug's demand for ice lolly treat for being good in the bath tub.
10:00 - Time to watch Octonauts!
10:30 - Daddy play time for Bug, Pickle book time
10:45 - Vitamins for everyone.
11:00 - Begin negotiations to brush teeth. Pickle is tucked into bed.
11:12 - Insist that play time is over and teeth-time is now.
11:15 - Start threat of loss of Bug book time if teeth are not brushed in five minutes.
11:20 - Frogmarch Bug into bathroom to brush teeth.
11:30 - Husband escapes to bed, Bug gets read a book, issued a small snack and her night night cup of water, kissed, and tucked in.
11:33 - Bug is told to go to bed whether she wants to sleep or not.
11:36 - Bug is told again to go to bed whether she wants to sleep or not.
11:38 - Pickle wakes up because Bug is having a tantrum.
12:00 - Both children have worn their last gasp of defiance out and are asleep. Usually.

.. Oh, did you mean a ritual for me?!  ... I take my contacts out and brush my teeth.

6. They spend ten minutes at the end of every day tidying up.

Seriously? Do you time them? Is it only ten minutes? This seems more like a good idea being presented as "Other people who have tidier lives than you do this. Join them! Be a more acceptable and generally better human being today! All it takes is ten minutes ..."

Ok. Fine. In my ten minutes, I emptied the dryer, moved the laundry from washer to dryer, filled the washer again, and scooped the cat box. The yogurt footprints in the living room have not been addressed, and any burglar breaking into my house will need an podiatrist to remove the Lego from his feet if he avoids a full spine-breaking suplex from slipping on a random bit of train set.

7. They put their clothing in the laundry bin.

You know, I'm starting to sense that this article was secretly written with someone in mind. But sure. I put clothing in the laundry bin(s). Right after I pick it all up off the floor and put it in the bin so I can carry it easily down to the laundry room.

8. They never leave dishes in the sink.

What, never? Not even when they're trying to clear the table from breakfast so they can set it for dinner, which you didn't do in hopes of actually getting to the gym before the childcare closed, and the baby loves to crawl into the dishwasher, so that you can't leave the damn thing open, so where the hell are you going to put the dishes in your hands, while the toddler is yelling about being hungry, and the paramedic husband is trying to eat the food directly out of the pot after a twelve hour shift that was too busy to allow for lunch to be eaten? Not even then?

Well, goody for these imaginary people. Also, I am reeeaaallly starting to suspect the personal bias.

9. They carve out time for lunch.

... I don't understand this one. Who doesn't eat lunch, besides paramedics, cops, nurses, and medical interns, all of whom might have their hands too deep in someone's intestines to grab a sandwich? I don't think I'd be okay if my paramedic asked me if I could hold off on the heart attack for thirty minutes, as they're trying to carve out lunch time so they can be an Organized Person, but maybe the rest of the world will be more understanding that Grandma should have waited until after lunch time to fall out. I'm sorry medical / service peeps. You also, cannot join the ranks of the Organized Persons.

I like lunch so much I eat it twice a day. But then again, I'm nursing, so I'm perpetually hungry, thank you very much hormones.

10. They open their mail.

... Really? Opening all the junk mail will make me a more organized person? Reading that I may be eligible for a new credit card that I don't want or need will help me join these magical ranks of people who live in the white-carpet-and-couches homes in the Real Simple magazine?  I never see toddler rage in those magazines, so I want to live there. There's also no poop blowouts, or tired husbands, or overworked mommies. They also all have perfect hair and skin, and their clothes are always stylish.

I open my real mail instantly, shredding the envelope like a Wolverine because I love to get mail. I love Christmas cards and letters and packages. I love mail. It hasn't helped.

I'm sorry Organized People. I will never be one of you. But I am on top of my own schedule, my children are healthy and happy, and my husband loves me, even as he secretly mourns the lack of June Cleaver in his life when he steps on a three-inch yield sign, so I'm good. You go on with your envy-inducing selves, because I know that every now and then? One of you wishes you were me, too. :)

I sleep best on my children. That way I know exactly where they are.

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