Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Neat Freak

I like an orderly house.  Admittedly, this is hard to accomplish in a house with three children under the age of 6, a hubby and a nanny. 

It's just that I think that everything should have a place and that it should get put there when you are finished with it.  I long for the day that my children catch on to this idea.  Then again, hubby and nanny don't seem to catch on - although hubby makes a solid effort, mostly to appease me, I think. 

I know that I'm a little too obsessed about it.  A bit of a freak, actually.  It's just that there is so much stuff in our small house, I go crazy with the clutter.  I also go crazy trying to enforce my order on others.

The way I see it: if things aren't put away properly, how do you know where to find them?  Unfortunately, since the kids and the nanny aren't as obsessed as I am about putting things away, things often go missing.  It drives me nuts.  

Every once in a while, I resort through all the toys and colouring books and crayons and markers and puzzles and books and dolls and doll clothes and shoes and accessories in order to put things away where they are meant to go.  In doing so, I usually find toys or items that the girls have claimed as lost, since they were just not put away in their proper place.  However, I am just as often baffled by the number of really lost things.  I know it shouldn't be surprised; young children and a just-getting-by nanny are a recipe for lost things.  But it bothers me. A lot.  More than it should.  I know. 

(Before you think I am totally nuts, I'd like to state that I've given up on trying to keep markers and lids together, I'm quite alright with incomplete sets of crayons, markers and pencil crayons, and I only somewhat reluctantly admit that the little doll shoes, hair clips and toy jewellery are beyond my control.)

However, because I like order and lists, I keep track of the missing things.  Lost things.  It helps me cope. 

For example, as the list currently stands, there have been 17 playing pieces from a Disney Princess matching game missing since at least December.   Some part of me realises that we'll never find them, and I should just end my suffering by throwing out the rest, but I just can't help wondering where on earth 17 pieces could have gone!  I can understand one or two, maybe even five - but 17?!

On Sunday, a glorious, warm and sunny day for March, we went to the local playground.  While some playgrounds have woodchips, this is a sand-based playground.  I've often considered the relative disadvantages of woodchips versus sand, which normally has me favouring woodchips, except for the fact that they get stuck to clothing, inside mittens and pockets, but in this case, the sand revealed a mystery... while we were there, I uncovered 2 Disney Princess matching game pieces! 

Now I suppose it's possible that these pieces belonged to someone else; my daughters were not forthcoming with an explanation. So, although the once brightly coloured game pieces are worn and weathered after a presumed winter in the sand, I brought those pieces home, and reduced my lost count to 15.  Perhaps we'll find the rest over the summer.

Other lost things that are driving me a little nuts: 2 saucers, 3 tea cups, 3 spoons and a lid to the tea pot from a play tea set.  I've searched everywhere.  In the middle of January, in a eureka-I-figured-out-where-they-went moment, I even peeked out in the sandbox.  They weren't there.  How did they get separated, and where could they be?

Fortunately, my husband's brown cashmere sweater showed up last week after hiding behind coats at the top of the stairs for more than 2 months.

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