Wednesday, May 6, 2009
High-Water Mark of the Terrible Twos
I know I just posted about an hour ago, but Mark's not home and I need to vent. Back home, there is a place my family likes to hike, called Gibson Dam. Way back in 1964 (?) there was an enormous flood and the water came over the dam. On the side of the mountain adjoining the dam, there is a metal plate with the year. That is the high-water mark. Everything above that mark was untouched by disaster. I've been trying to come to terms with the fact that our house needs an implied high-water (high toddler?) mark. Looking around the other day, I noticed that the top of my bookshelves and mantle and refrigerator and cabinets are no longer clean and cute. They are loaded with untouchables that I am trying to keep away from certain someones, and that my lower shelves, cabinets and drawers are slowly becoming empty. Little ghost towns of storage space. My upstairs bathroom now has two drawers of about 12 that have anything in them. The extra shampoo, etc., went into a basket on the top shelf of the boys' closet last week when I caught them slowly emptying all contents of anything in a bottle into the sink. Boston is starting to get quite a bit better and even will voluntarily clean his room on occasion, but Cooper is just finding his stride. This week we've had an unusually high number of visitations from the Horrible Mess Monster. Let's see. My nicely folded and stacked laundry got bulldozed onto the floor, along with the bedding from the spare bed it was stacked upon. They needed more cushioning to jump onto, I guess. A new high-water mark was reached when I decided to see why they were playing so nicely in the basement for so long. I hadn't checked them for awhile since we no longer have a pool table for them to crawl on and lob the balls off of, so I assumed they were playing in one of the two toy "caves". There really isn't even much else for them to get into down there. I couldn't find them. Then I heard crashing and giggling. They had shut themselves into our game storage closet and had emptied out several games (card games!!! monopoly!!! CLUE!) and PUZZLES onto the floor and were jumping and dancing on the disaster. It literally spilled out when I opened the door. This door had a child-proof knob on it! Ha. I tried having them help me clean up, which made it an even bigger disaster since they started throwing cards, dice and puzzle pieces at me (and all around the room--play money was fluttering all around the room--every kid's dream.) I put Cooper down for his nap early and told Boston he had to stay and help--no cartoons for him. (and who, may I ask you, does this actually punish? but does anyone have any better ideas that don't involve a visit from the government's social services?) Luckily Leslie was almost home and I assigned her the job of sorting puzzles since she's the one who knows which one was Care Bears and which one was Strawberry Shortcake. So now, we have a huge storage closet with nothing but a couple of picnic blankets and folding chairs stored below five feet.
Today I think Boston must have issued Cooper some kind of challenge about, "Let's see how fast you can trash the house." I thought he was playing upstairs nicely with Boston and his friend, but no, he was in the red room emptying all the books off the shelf. I didn't discover this disaster until dinnertime, so while he was safely strapped into his high chair, I went to assess the damage. When I got back he had thrown his entire bowl of chicken rice soup on the floor (and walls). I cleaned him up, fed him a pb & j, and came in to Mark's office to freak out. But the baby cried, I went to pick her up, and when I returned I found him rooting through Mark's cabinet, WITH A DOOR TORN HALF OFF THE HINGE.
It's a good thing I can handle being a slob or I would lose the other half of my mind.
A happy side note. NBC news carried a story last night about at-home moms. Some college calculated the actual salary they would be earning for the hours they spend doing the various tasks (a chef's wage, a housekeeper's wage, nanny wages, etc.) including overtime and whatnot. I make a virtual salary of $123,000 a year. So I guess a mess or two is covered under that.
I am SO going out tonight. And I hear something spilling in the next room...