My Desire for Order

Here is the scene:

I wake up, and the first thing I see is my husband’s clothes from the day before laying across the chest at the end of the bed instead of being placed in the laundry basket that’s only a few steps away. If I ask him tonight, he would say he has no intention of wearing it again, but yet there it is so I get up and move the clothes.

As I start to make the bed ( a silly thing to do according to my husband because it will just be undone at the end of the day), I notice his socks on the ground; once again not that far away from the laundry basket, so I deal with those as well.

I glance at the boxes of pictures still sitting in our room. They haven’t been hung yet because we can’t agree on where they should go. I resolve once again to just go ahead and do whatever I want, knowing full well I won’t because this is his house too.

Finally moving out of our room, I walk into the hallway and find Danger Girl’s shoes there where she took them off yesterday, and scoop them up to start a pile of stuff for her to put away when she wakes up. As I make my way to the rest of the house, I trip over a couple of books that Danger Girl took down to read and didn’t replace on the bookshelf, so I pick those up. As I go to place them back on the bookshelf, I find it completely out of order. Many books have just been thrown back up on the shelf, so I re-arrange the shelf, again.

I make my way to the dining room, where I find that my husband has left his breakfast dishes out on the table instead of taking them to the sink. After stopping to begin my Danger Girl put away pile, I go back and move the dishes to the sink, where I find more disorder. Rather than adding things to my stacks to be washed today, I find random dishes in the sink. So I begin arranging the dishes so they can be washed in the order I like to wash them.

After completing this task, I go to the cabinet to get a cup, and find that someone has moved things around when they were looking for something. Rather than putting the dishes back where they found them, they left them in a random place and moved on. I re-affange my cabinets so I can actually find things again. How does it not bother my family to have things out of order? This is the qestion I ask myself, not for the first time.

After getting the kitchen back in some order, I move to the living room to gather the dishes I know I will find. As I make my way into the room, I trip over Danger Girl’s strategically placed pile of toys in the middle of the floor. After fighting to keep from saying a few choice words, I gather these toys and add them to the Out of the way pile of things for her to clean up when she gets out of bed.

I gather more books to go back to the bookshelf before going back and gathering the cups laying around. How do we go through so many cups in this house? And when do they use them because I have already checked all this before I went to bed?

After gathering the new dishes, I head back to the kitchen to start the dishes, and as I fill the sink Danger Girl wakes up and comes to ask me what we are having for breakfast. She becomes upset at finding me doing something other than cooking food for her, but I send her to clean up her pile, and convince her to wait the 30 or so minutes it will take for me to make sure we don’t leave dirty dishes lying around all day.

Danger Girl storms off to gather her things, muttering under her breath about “Mommy Cleans-A-Lot” which is her nickname for me, and I pretend not to hear because at least she’s gathering her stuff.

After I finish the dishes, I get ready to make breakfast. I go to Danger Girl’s room to find out what she wants, and as I enter I find that she took all the stuff from the living room and just deposited it in the middle of her floor. I get the joy of a fit when I tell her that’s unacceptable and make her put her things where they go. Then I head back to the kitchen to start breakfast, just to discover that the refrigerator has been re-arranged so that I can’t find anything where I had originally put it. I stop to put these things back in order, then grab the butter so I can make cinammon toast since that’s all I really have time to make now if we are going to get started with school.

Throughout the day, we repeat this cycle of either me picking things up, or Danger Girl getting upset when I make her pick things up. Then when Daddy gets home, he walks in the door, sets his work shirt on the edge of the couch, pulls his shoes off in the middle of the living room floor, takes his socks off next to the couch and leaves them there, then goes to get a drink that I know will end up being left in the living room for me to clean up.

After watching Daddy do all this, Danger Girl decides it is okay to go bring her toys out in the middle of the living room floor, and brings her glass of tea that she will drink two sips of before she leaves in on the coffee table and forgets about it.

And that is a day in the life of a slightly OCD mom living in a house full of clutterbugs.

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3 thoughts on “My Desire for Order

  1. I love the way this is written! I think anyone can relate to this. I don’t have kids yet, so I can’t quite identify completely, but I certainly understand. My husband with leave a knife smothered in peanut butter, mustard, etc. IN THE SINK when there is a totally empty, dishes-have-been-removed dishwasher to his right. I just don’t understand it. Oh, and I don’t think you’re OCD, I think you are simply sane. 🙂

    1. I don’t really think I am OCD either, my husband just likes to say I am. He says this because I like to have things in a particular order. I organize our movies and CDS in alphabetical order based on genre. I do this because I feel it makes them easier to find when we are looking for something, but he thinks it is weird. I also organize our books in a similar fashion. He also thinks it is weird that I like dishes organized by color. I do this though so we have matching dishes when eating, but once again he thinks I’m just being OCD.

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