Thursday, 19 January 2012

Slowly I'm finding the virtue of ruthlessness

I don't know what shifty excuses, underhand activities or downright lies you use for the type of problem I have today, but I call it Oh My God the Travelling Aunty is coming to visit.

For a long time I have been respectful of the kid stuff that collects in all the corners, in the drawers, against the walls, over the beds, under the sofa, and on every surface their fingers can reach, but doesn't there come a point?

Round here, the point is, Remember she is a social worker. If she claps eyes on this lot, she'll be calling Childline.

But we have been here before, have we not, dearest readers? You know how clearing up kid crap is handled Grit style.

In the beginning it was all, Aw, I cannot throw out the little pink bead with the threaded wire! It is Squirrel's fairy handbag and I must treasure it forever!

You see? I was so sensitive and respectful of each precious item! Of course Squirrel didn't care about my soft-hearted sensitivities; she had already poured her devotions into 300 miniature paper scrolls describing unicorn laws.

I had to keep them, too.

When the clutter came up to my eyebrows, the need for survival kicked in. The clear out operation became Dig! Pssst! Get the kids out of here for the day and I can do away with their stuff! Even then I boxed up the precious items. I should have been stronger and told myself the peelings of child play were never a substitute for the real thing.

After that, Michelle came round with bin bags. Thank goodness! She saved me from almost complete submergence under a sea of stuff. Under her direction, nearly everything went. Except for those items I snatched from her indifferent hand; cherished items I had already invested with excess love. Like a slice of painted timber, and a hand-made fabric bird adorned with dollops of glitter glue.

Now, in a rented house with a Travelling Aunty soon landing - and no Michelle-type strong woman to lead me to clarity - I must find within myself the gifts of sightlessness and memory loss.

I have to forget these are the paper rooms for the happy match people, this is the cat toy for the hungry leopard, and this is dolly's diary where she writes her angry thoughts.

I must not pick them up, nor handle them, nor recall the play. I must lay down the law of cleanliness and godliness, tell the offspring to preserve only their best and finest, then send any squeamish onlookers out the house on an errand to buy consolation chocolate.

Once the run is free, I can sweep up the remainders, bag them and bin them and, on the way, remember to take a photograph of the paper beads hand-crafted for the disappointing party night.



Nora said...

I hope you are successful and are able to get rid of their loot before they come home again. And that means not just putting it in trash bags, but actually getting it off the property. Otherwise they're likely to drag it all back inside.Good luck and remember to be ruthless. You can do it!

KP Nuts said...

I do empathise - For a while I thought my children's memories of weekends at Grandma and Grandad's would be mixed with remembering coming home to find similar items missing but I am much more ruthless now and throw away a little everyday!