Tuesday, March 18, 2008

and she rants. And vacuums.

Driving me crazy.

I have an insatiable need to buy toys, especially small sets of toys. I love them, but I hate them so badly. There is hardly a child in the world who will take out a set of toys, set them up, and play with them as a set. What children actually do is take bins of toys, and dump them out, and trip over them. Or, they load up a backpack, picnic basket, or grocery bags with many, many parts of many, many sets of toys. When that bores them, they dump out the backpack and throw it across the room. Older children open up hide-a-beds, unfold ten thousand blankets and pillows, and sprinkle all that, PLUS all those small sets of toys, with ketchup chips. Crumbled ketchup chips.

Nothing, NOTHING, nothing makes a child more pumped with expectation than when a grown up spends fify-four hours separating chip from ball; plastic couch from pez dispenser, re-loads them all back into their appropriate box or bin, and vacuums the whole mess. Nope. That kid just about lights up at the anticipation of scrambling all that up again into a tangled mess of dice and dolly dresses.

I get so crazy, that I rant this about how I am going to throw all sorts of toys into a large box and give it to the poor. Or the sane. Or a rottweiler. And how I will force the children to sit and watch as the rottweiler salivates and gobbles up all those delicious toys. Okay, well I dream about ranting like that.

And then I sigh and get out the vacuum cleaner. Actually, the vacuum cleaners. I have a similar relationship to vacuum cleaners as I do to couches. When I moved out about twenty-one years ago, I asked my dad to find me a half decent vacuum at the thrift shop. Then, whenever it quit for any reason, I returned it to my dad and demanded a lifetime warranty. Dad always gets it going again. But recently the powerhead, which he has already revived numerous times... died again. As luck would have it, I was visiting my sister who was shamelessly boasting about her hedonistic purchase of a retail vacuum that actually sucked dirt out of her carpet!! (she used to strictly adhere to the $17.00 mcc model as I do, but has recently backslidden). I faked joy for her sake, but quickly turned the conversation to whether the powerhead on her old model still worked. I did not leave for home empty handed.

Well, her powerhead works, but the rest of the vacuum sucks. Actually, it doesn't really suck, which a problem when, as a vacuum, that IS your destiny in life.

So. Not only are there fifty-gazillon-katty-rillion toys on the floor, but there are two vacuum cleaners. One for the powerhead, and one for the linoleum.

And I hate both of them.
Along with my hate for all the toys surrounding them.

But I am inexplicably compelled to return the paper money to the drawer in the kitchen centre, the plastic shields to the dress-up bin, the blocks to the box, the animals to the barn, the dolls to the crib, the &^#$@! video games to the console, each precious light brite peg to the game box, (okay, I lie. I take perverse pleasure in vacuuming those little beasts up), the bratz head (which wasn't MY IDEA, ROSA) to the shelf, giving her a good hard smack in the skinny belly and siloconed lips, just to soften my resentment..... Then I restack the books, gather the plastic cutlery, pick up the chalk for the board, separate them from the dry erase markers, rescue 49 buttons which have fallen to the floor, put the bread I bought last Wednesday into the freezer, and lovingly return the catapult to the castle.

And I know what you're thinking, you self-righteous, superior beings, you. That the children should be trained. That my children are old enough to clean up after themselves. That I should be less materialistic and have fewer toys, and instead set the children up with endive and scissors; henna and plasticine. That I should stop accumlating things, organize my day better so that there wasn't constantly piles and piles of stuff to clean up.

But I love the little dishes. The fabric aprons, the old wedding gowns in the dress-up. I love play mobil, horsies on sticks, teeney- tiny plastic strollers. And I try to make the kids responsible for their own clean-up.

how I try.


Brian the Mennonite said...

Here's Joyce's version of TRYING...ahem..."OK kids, could you please go downstairs and clean up all your things". ***BUT MOM***
"OK, never mind I'll do it."

She's not well, I tell you.

Roo said...

ahhhhh...but that stuff makes me crazy too. ,so crazy that i am known at times to throw those cute little toys against walls, door or ceilings in an effort to release my pent up frustration. :) but you know that already.

try it sometime (maybe you already have) it's excellant therapy. i just reccomend stepping out of the way so you don't get hit when the toy bounces back.

Mills' Memoirs said...

Joyce, I can totally relate! I love putting all of the little people in the bus and airplane, dishes and pretend food in the little kitchen, lego in the box... I'm trying to train my 3 year old to do the same, and she does pretty good with supervision... but sometimes I need to go in afterwards and organize a few things! I tell myself that I'm teaching her sorting skills, but I hope I'm not teaching her my compulsive behaviours!

gloria said...

LOL @ Brian "outting" you on your very own blog!

Bless his heart!

KG Finfrock said...

My husband would sit with my toddler and build the tallest castles out of the large plastic blocks and nothing brought more joy to my daughter than toddling over to him to knock it all down and then she would watch him build it again, just for her to knock down. (lol) Thanks for the memories.

Judy said...

I, too, love sets of toys.

Sometimes I get them out when no one is around.

But don't tell anyone. It's a secret.