My kids are happily snoring since both fought naptime yesterday and even though my son is almost 4 and should be getting ready to drop his nap he still clings to it with both hands and feet. Six days out of seven.
And as they sleep, I find myself staring at my living room floor, wondering what happened.
Every night, after the kids are in bed, I pick up. I dutifully put every toy in its place and throw out the trash. When my husband and I sit down to enjoy the peace and quiet, it isn’t beautiful, but it looks lived in.
Then the kids wake up in the morning and, as my husband says, “they go to work.”
This morning was no different.
We started with the PJ Mask toys. They ended up under the couch, under the coffee table, and in the couch. Though my daughter has an uncanny ability to find and promptly lose Owlette.
Next came the balls from the ball pit (just a plastic pool filled with plastic balls). My son is obsessed with space. These balls are his planets. Apparently there are more than 8. Somewhere between 10 and 15 most days. Depending on how many balls he wants to pull out, and how many he wants to share with his sister.
Then it was block time. He has a whole box of assorted blocks. Wooden blocks, block puzzles, stacking blocks, sorting blocks, foam blocks. He has an interesting fascination with restaurants these days even though we never actually go to any anymore. Lately, we’ve been building restaurants out of blocks, keeping them from his sister, and destroying them.
There are random toys strewn around, too: a fire truck, a bowling pin, the skillet from the play kitchen, some paperweights made from baby food jars. These my daughter plays with, and narrowly manages to miss dropping them on her toes. Though she’s currently fascinated with pulling her dirty clothes out of her laundry basket.
It’s nowhere near lunchtime when my son insists on playing with his Transformers. I blame his daddy for this obsession. My fingers silently curse him every time my son demands I transform one robot or another. Fortunately, I am able to talk him into cleaning up the blocks first. This kid rocks!
Sadly, his interest in the Transformers quickly waned this morning. He was only interested in making me turn Bumblebee into a car. But now there’s a pile of robots and he’s bringing out his Magic Tracks. Oh, boy. Anyone have to snap those little pieces together? My hands wish they could run at the sight of them. But I have to make concentric circles…And help him make a track so he can make a hill his car can barely climb up.
Thank goodness it’s lunchtime! I can move us to the dining room and momentarily ignore the piles of toys.
But lunch is over too fast. Fortunately, my son is tired by now. His sister manages to get her hands on all his toys, but he doesn’t care. Instead he settles down for 5 minutes with his tablet.
Five minutes later… The tablet is off and he’s going for the Duplo Legos.
Again I get lucky. He helps me clean up his Transformers. And then dumps the blocks on the couch. We spend a few minutes building robots and then he’s curling up, probably tired beyond belief.
Naptime approaches. We clean up the blocks. He snuggles on the couch. My daughter tries to eat his books.
But naptime is at hand and I don’t care anymore.
While my kids dream, I find the PJ Mask toys with my eyes, eye the bucket of blocks with misgivings, stare down the Magic Tracks in their concentric circles, count the balls under the coffee table, and wonder when, exactly, George the Monkey came to be lying on the floor.
And don’t even get me started on the coffee table.
Yup, the kids went to work this morning. Counting down to the afternoon shift…