If you know me personally, you know there is much physical chaos to my environments. I like the idea of organization, but I miss the boat when it is time to execute. Being married to Vanessa has helped with execution, but I still need to take a timeout once a week when I realize that my desk became a mental distraction.
Olivia is putting away her toys and books each night more and more often, but not yet every night. When I put them away, I become very anal. The train cars must be “parked” in the parking spaces on the city playmat. Each toy veggie must be reassembled and go back to the grocery bag to which they belong. This bin is for wooden building blocks. This one is for the plastic blocks. The boxes slide onto the shelves like this, not like that. Until very recently, each night, I would reassemble and correctly order this alphabet puzzle that has a letter on one puzzle piece and a picture of an item of that letter on another.
Within five minutes of either of the girls being set on the playmat in the morning when making breakfast, the chaos has returned and any semblance of order has been eliminated.
The girls will eventually not pull out every toy for the sake of doing so and they’ll eventually understand the desire for organization and order, but Daddy needs it now.
When Olivia puts away the toys, she can do it anyway she sees fit. When I actively help her, I guide her toward my organization, but am not ruthless about it. As long as some sense of order is achieved, we met the objective.
Being home all day, chaos is the primary state. After breakfast, the floor under the dining room table always magically has attracted crumbs, if not larger pieces of food. The changing area always seem to have a wild sock or wipe that Catalina pulled out of the box lying about. The bookshelves always seemingly reject half of the books and forcefully removed them. But, for a few short hours, we reached perfection.
We can’t micromanage our families. Our desire for organization and order, on some level, will have to be flexible and adaptable. The girls would revolt if I tried to get them to fit into my little mental boxes at every moment. But, there will be those mornings that they awake to find every toy put back into an exact place in an exact position.