Carrie On Parenting: Raise Your Glass to an Unproductive 2015

imagesNSFC02DLThere are many metaphors for the phenomenon I’m experiencing: hamster on the wheel, attempting to climb the slippery slope, two steps forward/three steps back, etc., etc. When it comes right down to it, I’m feeling a little under-appreciated by my family, and A LOT like I might never be a productive member of society again. This has almost nothing to do with my actual family and more to do with me.

“Look!! Hey!! Your house hasn’t fallen down around you! Your toys are put away, your bed is made, your dirty clothes have magically reappeared in your closets and drawers every…single…day. And have you noticed?”

I don’t mean to dwell on the past, but I used to be productive as all get out (y’all non-Southerners understand that one, right?). When I was teaching high school English, I was “on.” All the time. My students and I Got. It. Done. And I kept it together at home as well because, well, we were hardly ever there long enough to make too much of a giant mess.

Times have changed, and now that I’m staying home with the kids, I guess I’m just feeling like I’m struggling to get the “minimum” done (laundry, dishes, meals, minimizing messes, refereeing fights) and not actually making it to the fun part. You know, the part where I get to write my blog, or drink wine with my friends at the cute new places in town, or take a minute for myself, put my feet up, and read a book, or even to enjoy reading a book to my kids (Sarah and Tate fought throughout the book I read them this evening before bed).

So, I’m coming up for air to explain my non-productivity. And friends, it ain’t pretty. Brace yourselves.

1. Peed Beds. This is an unmade bed. Why is it unmade? Because Tate, the human IMG_2827sprinkler system, has peed on it…again. This is the fourth time this week (and it’s Thursday) that I will have changed this particular bed and I am slowly losing the will to go on. That is a puppy pad hanging out on top of the bed, in case you’re wondering. It’s a trick I learned long ago from my friend Josh’s wife who apparently had a similar issue with her son. Though I’m pretty sure by the time he’s done with his mattress, it won’t make the cut in a crack house. And yes, this slows down the productivity a tad.

2. Kitchen messes. Our house has a nice big kitchen that I just love, and we spend a lot of time in there, just as I knew we would when we bought the house. This is a double-edged sword. The boys want to be with me in the kitchen, and then they either a) bring their toys in and we dodge them all day, or b) they use kitchenware as toys. Here are a few exhibits, and though you might not believe me, they are all from TODAY.

Pulling out Tupperware to put on the kitchen counter. Just because!
Me: “No Tate, you may not have a snack. Your last snack was 45 seconds ago.” Tate: (grabs a cutting board, apple, and kid knife…) “Pretty sure I’ve got this covered, Mom.”
Mediterranean sea salt. Everywhere.
Sawyer: “You know, the bottom rack of the dishwasher just needed a little air. I took it out for a walk, bada-bing, bada-boom. Why is Mom’s face getting so red? Is she laughing or crying? I can’t tell…”
So, um, you know, I think you can see my sanity slipping further and further away. The kitchen is both the heart of our home and the place where we keep the inmates. Productivity rating? Very, very, VERY low.

Yep. That is a bunch of jigsaw puzzles, just tossed into the floor and left for me to find. Where is my blood pressure medicine? (and by that, I mean my wine, even though it’s only 1 o’clock!?)
 3. Toys Everywhere. My kids have a book called Too Many Toys and they are about to see the wrath of Carrie as toys start disappearing gangster execution-style. I am taking no prisoners. Our local consignment sale is approaching, and my kids will be lucky if they have a spool of thread and a one-eyed teddy bear to play with when I’m done.

4. Miscellaneous Messes. For your amusement, I have gathered a few photos which I can only lump into the “miscellaneous” category. Why? Because they are too random to even warrant mentioning other than that…I will not be writing the great American novel anytime soon because I’m diverting crises in situations like these:

Me: “Dude, how many times have I asked you to stay out of the wine fridge?!? Wait…did you somehow uncork that merlot?” When in Rome…
He’s a Dapper Dan Man. Okay, just kidding. But while I was diverting some crisis in a different room, Tate varied his floating crap in the sink/dropping toys in the toilet routine and chose to put a little style in his hair. No, he is not prematurely gray.

"Wait! I haven't made a mess this week! Here I go! I'm going to step into a mud hole and THEN dip my nose in it, and then I'm going to try to come in the house and give you the sad puppy eyes until you do something about it."
Lexi, the adorable golden retriever: “Wait! I haven’t made a mess this week! Here I go! I’m going to step into a mud hole and THEN dip my nose in it, and then I’m going to try to come in the house and give you the sad puppy eyes until you do something about it.” The result? A bathing suit shower with two kids,a dog, a removable shower head nozzle, and Sawyer screaming outside the shower door. Oh, and lots of wet dog smell.
So, I guess this is my plea for sanity and some sort of reassurance that I’m not alone out there. Please tell me, someone, that you walk around your house, putting out crises one after the other, and expect to see Ashton Kutcher and the Punk’d crew pop out of a closet somewhere. Please tell me that you’ve thought that one more mess might send you to the funny farm where a sterile padded room might offer some relief for a while.

So, am I unproductive? Absolutely. And maybe, just maybe, you’ve gotten a little glimpse into why. Happy Unproductive New Year, y’all!



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