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CAPTAIN NEATNIK
I am a pathological picker-upper. I can't abide seeing things that are out of place in my surroundings. Even at other people's homes during the later hours of a party, I'm the one you'll see wandering about collecting lip-sticked wineglasses and empty chip bowls and carrying them to the kitchen, because I just can't stand it any more. If you're really lucky, I'll sometimes even WASH THEM.

In this respect, having children has been a huge test of willpower and endurance for me, given their tendency to liberally cover the floor with lego or plastic animals or paper and leave it LYING THERE FOR DAYS. Every once in a while, I think to myself, after walking by something for the 2nd time that isn't where it belongs: "I wonder if I just ignore that how long it will stay there before the person who owns it puts it away?" However, I have it on fairly good empirical authority that the answer is: TO INFINITY and beyond.

Are you a picker-upper, too? If you're not, is there someone else who fulfulls that function in your home? And if not, HOW DO YOU STAND IT?

Yesterday, while Karin was making her after-dinner ice-cream-soup

Karin: *addressing both of us* Mama, Papa, which one of you is the boss in the family?
Anders & Liz: *look at each other with raised eyebrows*

pause while Karin looks back and forth

Liz: Why in the world are you asking?
Karin: Well, because mama is the one who is all Go pick up your room and go feed the fish and go take a bath and...
Anders: *conspiratorially to Karin* Notice who answered first?
Liz: Shuddup

Anders and the kids are going on a camping trip tomorrow night with 2 of his good friends and their kids. All of the mothers were asked if they wanted to go, but to a (wo)man, the answer was "no, thanks, have fun!" My plans for the weekend involve sleeping in, playing music really loud, reading and not having to wrestle the computer away from my children to work on the website project.

Oh, and by the way, in case you were following along, The Long Winter is FINALLY over.
 content
mood: content
music: Kendall Payne—Closer to Myself


Comments

Oh, Ingrid always says, "Mama, why do you have to be the boss of the family?" ;-)

I am a moderate picker-upper but you would die if you came to our house (and that's even assuming I would clean up before you came to visit). I have basically learned to look past it. After three days, I just don't see that pile of papers on the chair over there. It's not how I'd like things but I find I'm more tired than I am bothered by it.

When my kids were as small as yours I felt the same way. I just couldn't deal with it all, though it still bothered me. Thankfully, my kids have learned to hop to it when I can't take it anymore and start a cleaning rampage.

There is a technique used by family therapists during the first session. The therapist looks at the floor and says, "So, Jones family. What is it that has brought you all to my office?" And the person who speaks first is almost always the family's "boss".

__________

I am a picker upper too and you will be working beside me in the kitchen at the end of a party. This tendency makes me an aggravated boss at work because I'll leave the office kitchen messy as long as I can stand it and then I suddenly explode and start putting everyone's dirty freaking coffee cups into the dishwasher while cursing under my breath at the fact that I seem to work with an office full of children. Every single day I swear I am going to leave the mess for them to sort out and every single day I explode into action.

_________

We're going to the cabin tomorrow afternoon and staying all week, so if you get a little antsy on Sunday and want to come see the storks and cows, give me a call.

I stay out of the kitchen at work for that very reason :D Have a great weekend at the cabin :)

I'm a terrible messer-upper. I leave important papers strewn across the house, clothes in piles here and there, but the thing is I know what is where anyway. It drives Rickard nuts.

The only place I want to keep some kind of order is on the kitchen counter. I do not want to have to mix formula at night for Sofia on a messy counter and I also don't want to have to wash the bottles when she's upstairs yelling her head off.
I also hate having to do dishes in the evening in order to have some room to cook dinner.

But every other surface is ok to mess up by me. I have piles everywhere for everything.

But when I go to other people's place for parties I'll most likely also end up in the kitchen helping out .. because that's where all the action and fun talking is. ;-)

It would drive me nuts, too, so I sympathize with Rickard :P

I get an actual THRILL from picking up and putting away. When I'm stressed out, I like to organize things.

I clean up at other people's parties too, but I have to restrain myself from starting too early. I think it gives people the idea that I want to leave. I don't want to leave! I just like clear surfaces!

I have had to curb my habit of picking up Rob's things, too. He is a piler. He knows where things are based on where he left them, not where they "go". Sigh.

He knows where things are based on where he left them, not where they "go".

That's exactly it! I do that too. ;-)

That is so me! When I need to think things out, if I'm mad, or if something just isn't right, usually cleaning helps clear out the mental cobwebs. The downside is that when something disappears, I get the blame. "Well when you were cleaning . . ."

My husband has places where things go and places where he left them . . . and it's my job to gather it all up and put it in one place, so when he's running around going, "Where is that bill that I put on X?" I will be able to find it within seconds.

(Anonymous)

How could the Leo NOT be the boss? Must have been confusing growing up with two Leo bosses for parents! Love, Lizardmom

(Anonymous)

Not to mention the leo kid as the oldest and two aries kids next??? what a bossy family!!! LOL

Seester

(Anonymous)
I'm inviting you to ALL my parties, then

I WAS following along and damn-- you finished that fast, considering. i am not a picker upper-- I'm one of those people who wants it always clean, but hates to clean-- the worst combo. Have a GREAT weekend-- sounds like maybe a bit of sliding across the wood floor ala Tom Cruise in Risky Business--

Bisous, bp

Re: I'm inviting you to ALL my parties, then

It sure felt like forever. This was the first time I thought spring might never come and the Ingalls family might actually starve.

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