Marooned on the Island of (Very Small) ToysJane Roper
OK, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, because it’s such a total luxury, but we have a cleaning service come to our house once a month. Between two working parents (and work-at-home parents at that, with tons of our career-related stuff — books, files, musical instruments, sound equipment, etc. — in our house) and two small children, mopping the floors and thoroughly scrubbing the bathrooms is something that we’re quite willing to pay for. And I’m very grateful that we can afford to do so.
But the night before the cleaning crew descends, I am a total stress case. Because — as we straighten up a months’ worth of accumulated clutter in an attempt to clear more surfaces for cleaning — I am aware of JUST HOW MUCH CRAP we have. Specifically, I feel overwhelmed by the number of small toy and game and craft supply odds and ends we have scattered around throughout our house, brimming in drawers, and jumbled in catch-all bins and boxes.
It seriously makes me want to go on a rampage with the Shop Vac, sucking up broken crayons and finger puppets and plastic dress-up necklaces and forgotten “projects” (e.g. rocket ships made out of cardboard toilet paper tubes at preschool, penny sorting sleeves taped to my old business cards — a recent Elsa creation).
I honestly don’t think the girls would notice. Despite the fact that the other day, when I dumped one of our catch-all crap bins out to look for some toy or other (see figure one, above) the girls exclaimed, repeatedly, highly emotional (and, admittedly, cute) things like “My monkey that the dentist gave me! I’ve been looking for this!” and “I been wondering where my fox puppet was!” (And then promptly dropped and ignored them five minutes later.)
And what, you ask, of our wonderful new(ish) basement playroom? Why don’t toys remain relegated there? Well, to our disappointment, the girls don’t really like playing down there much unless they have friends over. They say they feel lonely. So toys from down there just seem to migrate upstairs, continually. I think, in addition to the girls bringing them up, they must climb the stairs while we sleep. Creepy.
Speaking of getting rid of things…(OK, totally terrible and awkward segue) there is a Giveaway of EDEN LAKE going on now through May 12 at Goodreads. Enter to win! I’ll also be doing a giveaway contest here in the near future — stay tuned. (And if you want a signed copy of the book, you can still order one directly from me.) Sorry – hope the self-promo doesn’t make you want to suck me up with a shop vac.