Today was very quiet. I didn’t hate it.
I ate breakfast – a sausage, egg and cheese casserole that I had thoughtfully prepared last night – and took Miley for a walk before heading to the gym to try a step class. I have two things to say about the step class:
1. It made me sweat like a pig and my face was still red an hour later.
2. My usual method of cardio (treadmill or elliptical, while watching old sitcoms on Lifetime) is clearly not doing me much good. I really need to step it up. Ha! Get it? STEP it up?
After a shower, I headed upstairs to tackle Emma’s room. About a week ago, I gave up on making her clean it. I sometimes feel like all I do is hurry Emma, correct Emma, nag Emma. Her natural pace is so much slower than mine, and her threshold of clutter is much, MUCH higher than mine (partly because she’s 5 and partly because she is more like her daddy than her mommy). It usually goes like this:
Me: Emma, look at this mess! This room looks awful! I can’t believe you made such a mess! Start cleaning up!
Emma: (wanders around slowly, picks up a shoe, walks towards the closet, stops to tell me about something completely unrelated…)
Me: Emma! Pick! Up!
Emma: (looks overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of toys, books and clothes on the floor; slowly picks up one thing and puts it away)
Me: Nevermind. Time for bed. But you have to do it tomorrow before you do anything fun!
And so forth. Yeah. I’m a super fun mom like that.
Finally, weary of being angry with her, I decided, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle-style, that if I stopped making her clean, maybe it would get sooo bad that it would even bother HER and she would clean it up of her own accord.
That was about a week ago. I’m pretty sure she picked up NOTHING that she got out in those days. Every night I would calmly ask her if the mess was bothering her (considering you couldn’t walk a straight line without having to step over toys and dirty clothes), and she would cheerfully reply, “Not really!”
Wayne, the grown man who keeps a regular pile of clothes (some clean, some dirty) at the foot of our bed and who unpacks suitcases on an “as needed” basis, found this all very amusing.
So. My task this morning was not only to clean Emma’s room, but get rid of a bunch of stuff. Toy clean out time!
It took about 2 hours, but it’s done. A big box, full of toys that no one plays with anymore, has gone to Goodwill. A big trash bag, full of useless toys (itty bitty things that come in Easter eggs, anyone?), broken toys, random pieces of paper and other junk, is out the door. Her room won’t stay perfectly neat for long, but at least she’s got less stuff to throw on the floor now.
After all that work, I decided I could spend some time reading my book. It requires some thought, so I wanted to read it before evening, when I’m usually too tired to focus much.
I had leftovers for dinner, taught a piano lesson (one of the reasons I stayed home), started reading my other book, took Miley for a walk, and read some more.
Day 2: Quietly and productively AWESOME.