Frozen and Feigning Child-Centric Ignore-ance

the sweetest curlsI can’t mop the floor because the duck-down curls on the back of Magoo’s head are too kissable. I can’t clean the windows or appliances because Laylee has covered them all in “bominals” (One day I hope she explains why she calls them this. However by the time she has the vocab to explain it, she’ll probably call them something lame like “post-it notes” and think I’ve lost my mind.)
It’s very easy for me to freeze in place and ignore the work piling up around me, in the name of being a good mother and spending time with my children. “Some mothers may have a spotless house, but MY children have an enjoyable childhood.” I really believe I did not choose to be a stay-at-home maid, but rather a stay at home mom and that my kids should come first. That being said, children also deserve a reasonably clean and clutter-free environment and they deserve an example of hard work and responsibility. They also have the right to be taught to work themselves and help create the ideal environment they reside in.

Today I tried to figure out why I’m really stuck here, having trouble plowing through the myriad chores that haunt every minute of my day. I do try but not nearly as hard as I give myself credit for. Like Laylee, I think that coloring “bominals”, chilling on the pool deck, having a dance party or playing Pla-To are much more fun than installing towel-rods and dusting cobwebs off the ceiling.

Here are a few of today’s excuses for my lack of productivity:

bominals41. I cannot do the dishes because my living room is too full. We are resurfacing the garage floor so my living room contains a mixture of all things garage and all the boxes that haven’t been unpacked. It’s a TON of stuff. You see, we Mormons are supposed to store things for emergencies. It’s not so much the FEMA-suggested-year’s-supply-of-duct-tape-and-saran-wrap-to-protect-your-home-from-nuclear-explosions-and-possible-terroristic-invasion kind of storage, but more the large-buckets-of-wheat-and-#10-cans-of-Jell-O-powder-so-you-can-eat-despite-nuclear-explosions-or-jobloss-or-famine-and-terroristical-invasion variety. (Note to self – do a Tip Tuesday about emergency preparedness soon.)

When the end is near and Super Wal Mart’s mighty shelves lay decimated, party at my house, featuring whole-wheat bannock and layered gelatinous salad. Anywho, in honor of your visit during the bird flu pandemic, I have approximately one ton of food and emergency supplies in my front room. (Okay, okay. It’s not ALL food storage. “The Church” did not exactly put a gun to my head at Sam Goody when I was in Junior High, forcing me to buy large volumes of cheesy pop music on cassette which I would still be completely incapable of releasing into the wild at age 27. Those boxes are in there too. And the yarn.)

2. Your piece-of-jerk well-written blogs, your cute kids and your little dog too. Seriously, please stop writing and so help me if anyone else with a great blog leaves a comment here or introduces themselves at BlogHer!

bominals113. Cactus maintenance. I did get them and yes, it is possible to cause their untimely demise. These babies need a tender hand and loving words to really thrive.

4. I cannot do yard work because when I go outside I have to supervise very closely the activities raging on the pool deck. Sometimes I need to plunge myself right into the actual pool to save the children. Did you know you could drown in a teaspoon of water? Yeah. That’s no good.

bominals55. I cannot hang the curtain rods because the cordless drill battery is charging. I am cool because I came into the marriage with our family’s first power tool… the FIRE STORM.

6. Once the battery stops charging, I cannot hang the actual curtains because no one has ironed them, the iron is too high for me to reach and the ladder is upstairs next to the charging battery.

7. I cannot speak clearly because Laylee just stuck a plastic fork in my mouth and I cannot remove the fork because I am typing this entry.

8. I cannot install the new baby gates I ordered because they ain’t arrove yet, and I may never install them because the case-of-bottled-water-reinforced hamper-gate is so attractive sitting in my front entry.


9. I cannot think of a way to finish this post so I will leave you with what I HAVE accomplished.

I managed to hang up the weddage,


the piece of Christmas décor I keep up all year round because I must be some kind of hippy,


the floating book shelf


and the ill-gotten train picture.


I have constructed a slide


and assembled a pool deck.


Now I’m wondering how long “we just moved” is a viable excuse.

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42 Responses to Frozen and Feigning Child-Centric Ignore-ance

  1. Melessa says:

    Well, we moved in here a year ago and um…yeah.

  2. jessica says:

    As with giving birth, I feel there should be no statute of limitations on how long the “I just moved” excuse is viable. Milk it for all it’s worth, lady! (And I feel okay leaving this comment because you already know about my blog). Also, loving Laylee’s post-it vocab and Magoo’s duck-tail!! I’d stop working to hug them too.

  3. Grammy says:

    As long as it needs to be. I’m just hoping I can find my way to the guestroom bed. This is my main area of concern.

    The windows are SPECTACULAR! How do you get that kind of sunlight in “rainy land”?

    The garage will get done. Stuff will get put away. You will find your life under all of those boxes. In the meantime, kiss that neck and hug that little girlie for me.

    Love you!

  4. christina says:

    I just had to comment on your train picture… my in-laws have that same one. How odd?!! Just a random thought! And yes I also agree you can milk the “i just moved thing” for as long as you need to just like being a new mom.

  5. I wonder if it’s possible to hire a stay at home maid, and how much they charge. Then my kids could have a great childhood and learn work ethic from her. 🙂

  6. Tess says:

    sorry you feel so overwhelmed!! it’s okay. really, it is.

    I’m mucho impressed with the food storage. I have stored enough food to last us approximately 1 week. Well, 1 week and 1 day because a friend of mine brought me dinner today. 🙂

  7. Dee Dee says:

    We moved in 1 and 1/2 years ago and our office still has a few boxes that need unpacking… It’s so hard with kids!

  8. Bek says:

    well, we are going on 15 months and I am still using it…..

  9. Next to your floating book case is a print that has words that “paradise will be a kind of library”. Where did you get that? Really. I must know. Love it. Love it.

  10. Well, I’m wondering just how long I can use the “I just had a baby” excuse for this belly bulge that won’t go away!!! She’s 7 months now!!!

  11. allysha says:

    I say good for you. It’s tempting for me to clean away, instead of hanging with the little ones. I have found a happy-medium, though. My girls LOVE (almost always) to help me clean up if I invite them to. Killing two birds with one stone, and it’s usually painless as well!
    Love the pool deck!

  12. Julie says:

    I have the exact opposite problem. I have to force myself to ignore the cleaning and picking up and do the fun stuff instead. Much better since quitting 1 part time job. The “just moved” thing is good for AT LEAST one year, more if you have a child sometime within that first year. That gives you an extra 6 months automatically.

  13. abc momma says:

    It looks like you’ve accomplished a lot. I love the pool deck.

  14. If you build a new house and you never finish it then I think you can use that excuse for just about forever. That’s what I’m doing. Since you’re working on the garage floor you can say you’re remodeling for at least a year. Tearing down a wall or two would get you even more time.

    See photos of my garage here:

    Very scary.

  15. owlhaven says:

    By my calculations you have at least til Christmas to dig out your living room, and at least 6 years for the garage…


  16. Jeana says:

    Kathryn, I remember this stage! Not just that stage of parenting, although it’s a toughy, but that stage of moving. YOu’ve been working for weeks, keeping the house clean to sell and packing to move, then moving, then starting to unpack, at the same time doing all of your regular work and now you are utterly exhausted and you still have “miles to go before you sleep.” Take a break, do 15 minutes at a time and then relax in that luxury pool. Take it slow, it’ll happen. Don’t stress about it.

    And? That wedding picture makes me smile every time I see it.

  17. Damselfly says:

    Yeah, you *must* be some kind of hippy with a sign like that hanging around all the time ….

    Don’t hate me for posting.

    I love your comment about being a stay-at-home mom, not a stay-at-home maid. How wonderful you are there — present in every way — for your children.

  18. Lei says:

    I’m loving the barricade at the bottom of the stairs! Lol!

    6 years in our house and still painting and “touching up” stuff. :S Shoudl be ready by the time we move. Rofl.

  19. Mom on the Gulf Coast says:

    You have at least a year just for moving, if you have kids you can add another six months for each child under 5… So already you’ve got two years. NOW you get to factor in the “renovating” thing you are doing in the garage which is after all, the primary storage space for your apocalyptic pack-ratting, I’m guessing 3-6 months for that.

    So where are we at, 2.5 years give or take a month? That sounds about right… How long boxes can stay unpacked in the garage after you are done with “renovations” can be as long as the house stands. That’s what boxes and garages are for.

    The final factors you have to take into account are the statutes of limitation on your children’s itty-bittyness, once that’s gone, it’s gone so taking time for them is paramount. AND there is the mandatory, I’ve-just-moved-and-am-not-sure-I’m-completely-comfortable-with-it-nothing-is-the-same-so-perhaps-I’m-in-a-funk depression to deal with too. That’s a total motivation-sucking vortex that you have to accept and deal with in your own way as well. Kid time helps with that.

    So, long winded comment but just think, you’ve got years before you are looked at as “that shmoopy chick who can’t get her act together”. 😉

  20. Heth says:

    “bominals” = beautiful pieces of art

    Laylee, you are awesome.

  21. Linsey says:

    LOL!!!! Bominals… that’s good… And we have lived in our house and we are still doing our “just moved in” projects, so you have some time…

  22. Keryn says:

    I’m going to call my food storage “apocalyptic pack-ratting” from now on. Thanks, mom on the gulf coast!

  23. Love that book shelf! That thing is a blog post in itself!

  24. elliespen says:

    It’s still working for us after three months. Actually, we’ve been using that excuse pretty much ever since we got married over two years ago. (We moved into our seventh apartment at the end of April.) I find that if it ever starts to wear out, you just switch it to the “We’re about to move” excuse and all is well.

  25. HLH says:

    Holy Crap! If my LVR looked like that I would be so overwhelmed I wouldn’t know where to start so I probably wouldn’t. We lived in a 2 bedroom for a year before we finally unpacked all the junk that cluttered said second bedroom.

    Good Luck to you…See the EQ helps with moves shouldn’t the RS help with unpacking or at the very least supervise your children while you unpack?! I’d help you!

  26. Tammy says:

    Within your great, funny post there is that nugget of nitty-gritty…the balance between being a hands-on mommy, spending quality time with our kids…time for ourselves…and time for keeping the house from piling up beyond recognizion.

    Yes…I long for a maid! 😉

  27. Stephanie says:

    Well, once you have used up that excuse, throw a drop-cloth on it and say you are going to paint.

  28. Kris says:

    Just what in the heck is BlogHer? I see it mentioned on several blogs I read….

  29. I hope don’t mind….I quoted you…. 🙂

  30. Tiffany says:

    I got the tip early in my marriage to put the vacuum in the middle of the floor and plug it in. Then, if anyone drops by you can claim to be in the middle of cleaning the house. I’ve actually used it a few times. A mound of boxes like yours should work, as well. Good luck!

  31. Pam in Utah says:

    Cute pictures! What fun comments. And I’m with grammy!

  32. Sketchy says:

    Yeah…that excuse works for a good looooonnnnnggg time…

    Plus how could you do anything thing to mess with those “bominals”?

  33. utmommy says:

    I also decided to be a stay-at-home-mom, not maid. Good for you!

  34. surcie says:

    We moved in 5 months ago. There’s a quilt hanging over the window of my son’s room and a beach towel covers the window closest to our bed. The rest of the windows are bare.

    I hope that makes you feel better.

    (I still love the train, btw.)

  35. Eli's Mom says:

    Great Weddage!

    I also feel i am a stay-at-home-mom (not maid). I’m currently staying near on top of things, but the more mobile my baby gets, the ‘funner’ it is to play with him, so i’m sure my house will be less than clean soon also. But if he’s happy, who cares!

  36. bon says:

    Some days are better than others for me in the janitorial department… I do what I can, or rather, as little as I can get away with.

    Pearl tagged Magoo for a meme.

  37. Ashley says:

    I think you can use that excuse…same goes for “just had a baby.”

  38. modernmama says:

    When we moved we just rented a storage unit and put everything in there. Out of sight, out of mind! Once we move into a house though, I’m going to be in big trouble!

  39. Mama Darlin' says:

    Can these work if one has been sewing all day?

  40. Pam in Utah says:

    Cute pictures! What fun comments. And I’m with grammy!

  41. This post roooools, and you can use that excuse as long as you want to. Heck, I’m practically still using it.

    Love you!

  42. Caryn says:

    LOVE the list! I think all of these excuses are perfectly valid, and your reasoning that you’re a staty-at-home-mom and not a stay-at-home-maid is fantastic.

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