First let start off with describing my home. In life prior to the little bundle of joy I had always kept a clean home and tidy space. Things were put up, dusted and organized. No longer is the case. I would wear myself ragged just trying to pick up toys, let alone clean up all the things Reagan gets into that are not intended for play. To save my sanity (and my back) I have become accustomed to the scattering of books, blocks and stuff animals around my home. Don't get me wrong, I still make an effort to clean on occasion but its not something I will squeeze into a hectic week or stay up late to do. It happens when it happens and otherwise I live in functional mess. And there are really no off limits areas to the house. We allow Reagan to come and go and enjoy the space, lugging toys and all sorts of books with her where ever she goes.
Some of the scenes I stumble upon really crack me up. The apparent dead monkey, covered in respect by the white curtain. The Elmo book discarded against the toilet where it will be re-discovered later to a squeal of glee. Her sunglasses slipped into my jacket pocket for safe keeping. The never ending cycle of finding blocks in random places around the house. All evidence that a little girl is really the one running the show. All proof that life now revolves around the needs and interests of a child's growing mind.
I have also incorporated serious math skills into my average day. You know how kids always complain that they won't need algebra in everyday life? Well I have a formula for you. The likelihood of finding a nuk is directly in-proportionate to the level of emotional breakdown your child is currently having. Minor tears and you can quickly locate no less than 4 nuks within arms reach. Epic meltdown and I can't find a stinking one. That's because I have set them down in a strange spot or Reagan has tucked them into the folds of her blanket for safe keeping.
But my two favorite finds still make me giggle. The other day when I went to get the mixing bowl from the cabinet. On more than one occasion I have allowed Reagan to dig through the kitchen cabinets because she was entertained while I made dinner. It may not have been quiet as she turned my pots into a drum set but it was a happy, noisy time that allowed me to cook dinner. So it came as no surprise that I noticed she has also been into my mixing bowl and left a little treat for later.
And then there was the late afternoon she spent gazing out the window on our front door. No doubt watching the neighbor's horses or enjoying the sunlight. I noticed she would play in the living room then return to the door only to retreat back to the toys, over and over. Later that day I found a book abandoned and propped against our door hinge where she stood.
In the last 14 months life has gotten a lot messier. I have sung itsy bitsy spider no less than 3 times a day this week. I spend more on diapers than I really care to think about. I plan snack time menus with more detail then shopping lists and can't even do a load of laundry just for me. I find pink socks and pooh bear pjs tossed in my hamper and my sock drawer is fun to spread around the room. I arrange my tailgate parties around nap time and I choose restaurants based on how kids friendly the menu is. I smile at peak a boo every time and burst with pride every time she says a new word or imitates me. I make every major decision based on a tight budget and a blond haired toddler. But best of all, despite the chaos that is my new life now, I find treasures all over my house that I hope I will keep as fond memories for many years. Clean house? Sorta. Loved home, you betcha!