Friday, January 05, 2007

Done, done, DONE

Well, almost done, anyway.

I ran out of ambition about three hours ago and figured that was a good time to take my lunch break and handle my Special Project of the Week (drum roll, please): Cleaning out the toy boxes.

I knew it would be a dirty job. I knew it would be a frightening job. I knew it would be a big job. I knew I would face an endless stream of candy wrappers, dirty socks, mismatched toys belonging to sets that had been destroyed months, if not years, prior. I knew it would be tiring, back-achy kind of work.

I spent an hour chipping away at it. And then I returned to working for, you know, a paycheck, grousing about how my children constantly put their dirty socks in the toy box and then complain about how they have no clean socks.

An hour later, I realized that I still had no ambition and was, in fact, dilly-dallying about. Now, I recognize that in Real Life, people do this all the time at work. What I have been doing for the last hour is the database analyst version of rearranging identical deck chairs on a cruise ship. “Let’s try this one over here…hmm…no, no, I think I liked it better over there…”

People, it’s not even Nice To Have stuff. It’s pure And Now, Tama Plays Around To See Which Version of This Takes the Least Time To Run, In Seconds.

So I spent the third hour trying to force myself to be proactive. I have been encountering nothing but ‘out of office’ emails and other people saying, “Dude, can we talk about this Monday? I’m really not in the mood right now” (well, not in as many words, but I’m very good at reading the subtext).

It really isn’t fair to bill the client for this, and since I seem to be mentally incapable of moving into New Work on a Friday after lunch, I think I’m going to take a couple hours vacation time (I’m going into 2007 with three weeks in PTO coming to me…and I will be receiving another five weeks over the course of the year AND I have precisely how many vacations-as-such planned? That would be…0. None, nada, zip, zilch. No plans, no desires, no interest, ho hum.) and call it a week.

However, that said…I don’t want to go face the Toy Situation again, either. The hallway is stuffed with boxes and bags and oodles and scads of toys.

This is on top of the still-stuffed toy boxes.

We are not the kind of parents who buy toys for our kids all the time. They get toys at Christmas, and their birthdays, and that’s about it. But we also don’t purge them very often. So the MegaBlocs (suitable for the 12-18 month old in your life) that nobody has even shrugged at for months languish away at the bottom of the toy box with the aforementioned mismatched toys that go to Diego’s Rescue Center (circa 2004, 85% of it long missing due to breakage or loss).

And then, every once in a great while, something happens that drives me to get off my duff and handle it. Something like, say, uh…Christmas. Christmas, wherein all four Denizens received new toys. Wonderful new toys. A cornucopia of glistening plastic things that go BEEP!

The other night I was trying to put the middle two to bed, and I realized that I couldn’t shut their bedroom door.

Or open it all the way.

Because their entire bedroom had not wall to wall carpet, but wall to wall toys.

They had done their best to clean up (well, sort of done their best), but there was literally no room in the inn. There is nowhere for the toys to go.

So I put it on the list of Special Projects, and decided that today had better be the day due to the arrival of the charity truck next week.

And now, I am frightened by the sheer magnitude of what I have undertaken.

Also, I am terrible at this. I have real trouble getting rid of toys. Not quite as much as with yarn, but I still have this warm, fuzzy glow around toys. “Oh, I remember when I’d read this to Eldest, when she was a baby!” or “Oh gosh, Boo Bug used to chew and chew on these little rings…” or “Well, hello little Disney princess! Where’s the rest of your set?”

And even though my children don’t play with them or want anything to do with them, I insist that it’s a perfectly good set and, if I just put them in order so that the children can see what they’re missing, they will pounce and play for hour upon blissful hour with the Care Bear Cloud Kingdom set. (Which they will not. They never have. They don’t like the set, and don’t want to play with it. It is cheesy plastic and they can smell the cheap on it.)

Undaunted (and desperate not to wuss out on my pathetic excuse of a New Year deal quite this soon), I’m logging off now and heading up.

Pray for me, friends.

Pray for me.

[This was the last entry ever received from Mother Chaos. At last report, she was being swept westward toward the open sea after having unwittingly released an avalanche of small plastic blocks and marbles from an innocent looking closet.]


Anonymous said...

It's going to feel great when it's done. Seriously. I remember trying to keep the girls toys in check when they were little and a friend (a brilliant friend) came over and said "you have too much. That's why it's a mess. Get less."
I got less. The charity truck got 50%, 25% went into the basement to be rotated out with the other 25% (It's like gettting new toys every three months!) and the whole thing was reined in.

Be ruthless. Be brual. Be free.

Very Herodotus said...

Awwwww RESCUE PACK! Coming to the RESCUE!! Awwww RESCUE PACK! Coming to the RESCUE!

Die Rescue Pack! DIE!!!!!