We are not an organised family, but when you have 4 kids and 2 dogs , you need to have some house rules.
Ours are mainly to do where things go. You know; lunchboxes on the bench, dirty clothes in the washing basket, coats on the peg, shoes in the shoe bin, that kind of thing. They are all relatively bright kids and it’s hardly rocket science, so I really don’t feel I’m asking too much.
I need to have at least a vague idea of where stuff is in this house or I’d spend my entire life looking for things that my children have misplaced. Quite frankly, I have Better Things to do with my time.
At least if things have a place they are ‘supposed’ to go, then I have some comeback when a child wanders up and tells me they can’t find their homework, or that their PE kits seems to have vanished into thin air.
‘Where did you last put it?’, I ask innocently, knowing full well that the answer is likely to be a pathetic ‘I don’t know’.
‘Where SHOULD you have put it?’ is my next question. They always managed to get that one right. Then we start to hunt for the missing thing. I make them look first but it’s almost always fruitless. They are just terrible at looking for things.
Their idea of searching is to stand in the very middle of the room, rotating their head by about 45 degrees in each direction, glancing helplessly around, then announce plaintively that they can’t find it. It drives me insane.
If I can force myself to count to ten, I will make them look again and suggest this time that they actually pick up some stuff and look underneath it. But normally, I find myself charging in and having a good look myself while muttering angrily about inept children and their painted on eyes. 99% of the time I usually find what I’m looking for.
Sometimes I just refuse to help at all, especially if it’s something that was lost after I specifically asked them to put it away. I’m mean like that.
This morning was a classic example. I ask the children to check they have both their shoes after they’ve eaten breakfast, before the TV goes on. It didn’t get done.
So when it was time to go, DS could only find one shoe. DD1 had a look through the shoe bin without success, and finally I went to have a look. It was nowhere to be seen.
I asked DS where he had put his shoes last night. ’In the shoe bin’, apparently. Yeah, right , I thought.
We checked by his coat, in the sun room, by the back door, down the back of the shoe bin, and in the dog crate. No luck anywhere.
I rang DH, he’d remarked earlier that DS’s shoes were quite dirty and might need a clean before he went to school. I work on the theory that if you notice something needs doing, then you should bloody well do it yourself, so I ignored him but it did mean he had seen at least on one of DS’s shoes. Phone contact revealed that he’d been looking at the shoe we already had. Where on earth had the other one got to?
Time was passing and we were all going to be late.
Finally we found the missing shoe, shoved it on DS’s foot and scuttled out the door, making it to the school gate with 2 minutes to spare.
So where did I find the shoe in the end? It was on the piano; isn’t that where everyone puts their shoes?
And of course no one can remember putting it there. How weird is that?
It’s would be just my luck that my children have shoes that can apparently move all by themselves…