There was a battle going on at my house a while back. It was me versus all of the toys we have in this house. And I won...and then I lost. Welcome to motherhood. ;-)
We have *never* done a toy donation or give away...we still have every toy the kids have gotten since they were born, basically. That's a big part of the problem. So I finally hit rock bottom one day, as my crutches were landing on every little part of every toy (figure tons of toys x tons of parts to many of them = a sea of tiny parts!)...and Evan would often start just tossing them all around frantically when he would get in "a mood" (born of tiredness, boredom or just being 3...or some combination of the three). There were too many things for him to throw.]
I have unique and odd needs when it comes to organizing toys, because of my disability. I can't lean over and pick up toys after toy to put them away. Down, up, down up, down up is just too tiring for me because I have a weak back. And lots of tiny parts on the floor are just a minefield for crutches. So after getting some much needed help from folks, I came up with a plan.
So my family and friends came to my rescue at various points over the next couple of days. And then I got smart. All of the toys with lots of pieces went downstairs to our family room with a RUG. And ones with little pieces that would get lost under the couches down there went to their room (rug again). So I wouldn't slip on the little buggers. And I put a rule in place: the toys stay in their respective rooms as much as possible, but if you bring one to another room, you put it back when you're done. We moved their toy shelf with bucket (w/ LOTS of piece) into our room, so Evan would stop toppling the whole thing over, buckets and their contents and all. THe rule for that was you take one bucket and a time, and only can take another bucket after you put the first one back.
I felt really brilliant. And now I feel SO freakin' naive and stupid. Of course neither of us keep on them all the time to keep things where they go. And so now my house is a not-so-Holy mess AGAIN. And the fact that they have a bizillion toys, books, etc. makes piles and mountains of things to wade through when they all get tossed about.
THis is one of very few "negative" posts, because I try to keep to recording the lovely memories...but I know some other moms read this...and I gotta be real. Sometimes I feel like the most unorganized mom (and wife - homemaker I guess is the word ;-), horrible disciplinarian, and just overall incompetent mother/wife. And since that's 99.9% of my identity these days...it means I'm an unorganized, incompetent PERSON.
My niece Shelley Abreu just blogged about these feelings, and I think she is the most creative, thoughtful on-top-of-everything person. And I hear other moms (mostly on Facebook)voice the same feelings. Shelley questioned why all these great moms all seem to have these same insecurities. And if you're in this boat, you should hop on over and read it. It made me feel so much better...just like talking to my other mom friends always does.
This was just going to be a rant on how toys are running my life. But it would be such an incomplete picture. Because I am saved by the support of these other moms on a daily basis. And I think that is a much more valuable message.