Monday, February 9, 2009

Cleaning Up Some Created Chaos

Some days, when I look around our home, I do not recognize it. Who lives here? What a mess... How did it get like this? This is NOT my life!

I have a very old Talking Heads song going through my mind, lately. I sang it to Hubs, but - he just shook his (adorable bald) head at me and walked away. Is that my man's way of saying "Sing it - woman!"? Or does he wonder how I can remember the lyrics? Yeah - that's it. He and I are so different, so that must be what he is thinking... I got through the 80's with music, not drugs and alcohol. But - I did think the Talking Heads were weird.

I am coming out of a funk I was in and I am glad to be heading out of this one... where I felt rather paralyzed. I don't know why, but - everything seemed bigger than it was. Even though I recognized it, I couldn't get it (the paralyzed/overwhelmed feeling) to go away. I could see, hear and notice what was happening, but - I felt like a powerless victim ( sounds harsh, I know) to control anything. Anyway, I am starting to have some hope of organization around here again. I hope. No long-term thinking though. That just leads to tears. I am living for now and this particular season. This is a healing time, not just for Nicolas, but - now for me too.

Nicolas is the little human who is responsible for most of the physical mess - I need to own up to my responsibility too. I know that Nick is the way he is, whatever that is -- and that his mind can not switch ahead quickly or remember what comes next in the progression of his daily routines (or lack thereof). I must repeat myself 20 times a day about putting things away. Each time, he acts as if this is news to him. (Sigh) Sometimes he will let me do it with him; other times, not. It's a long and slow process, but - if I do it for him, I will not be teaching him how to maintain his little life. I do have to accept that he may be like this for a long, long time. I don't like to. I like to think that he will just somehow be the person he used to be... but - that was 3 years ago. He is not that little boy anymore.

I have a couple of things in my favor right now though! I am going to use them for my own advantage and his:

  • He has learned to read. I taught him very slowly, but - we have victory - he is reading. He can read and follow a numerical list (such as a clean-up list), most of the time...if he doesn't destroy or lose it... or have a meltdown. This has been a wonderful tool and has worked. It's not a hard long list, but - something like this, which happens to pertain to his bedroom:

    1. Pick up dirty clothes.
    2. Put dirty clothes down laundry chute in bathroom.
    3. Blankets and pillows on bed.
    4. Transformers picked up and put in Transformer bin.
    5. Shoes together.
    6. Hang up coats.
    7. Take dishes and glasses out to kitchen sink.

    Seems simple enough - right? It could take hours... he changes his clothes often, loses coats and shoes constantly and helps himself to food without my knowing, late at night, which is getting much better. We have a lock on the kitchen pantry door.
  • He likes video games. We held off on the whole video game systems thing for a long time. He is now 7 1/2, and can earn some playing time, provided his chore chart has been done. You pay, you get to play. I don't think he knows about all the game systems out there (yet) and is content with a few (non-violent) games and an old Sega Genesis. Very motivating indeed.
Our oldest son, who will be 21 soon, claims and credits video games for his rather extensive vocabulary and not his mother who home educated him or the private school he attended for 6 years. Whooda thunk it?

My boy with the impressive vocabulary... Andrew - Nick's big brother. Nicolas re-colorized this pic himself. Not bad, considering I barely understand how to. Nick did add a matching big green booger on poor Andrew's nose, but - I couldn't take it... yuck. Nick even did the eyes. Pretty good, I thought!

I am on an organizing spree and I am going to just go with it, while it's here. I don't know how long this will last! Nicolas and his father are both pack-rats; they never want to throw anything away. I've told them I am having a garage sale as soon as it hits 60 degrees! Which could be months yet, or tomorrow! How crazy...

Oh, it is Mad Monday, isn't it? I've always thought of Mondays that way. The "mad" thing about today is that it is going to hit 40 degrees and just a week ago, it was below zero. It's mad that the weather is insane in Wisconsin this year. I am a little worried about flooding in our basement. Which leads me to worry about mold. Which then leads me to worry about our lungs and the worries never end. For now, I am going to clean out a couple of closets and worry about things that need my worries. Not the mad weather.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6


  1. hey there! Now I am just popping over to see YOU! I didnt know you had a blog! I cant wait to start reading it and get caught up! I love the photo of your beautiful kiddos at the bottom!

  2. I need to get on an organizing spree too. :) Perhaps the warmer weather tomorrow will inspire me.