Friday, June 13, 2014

The Old Playroom

Today is Friday the 13th.  And we're being graced with a full moon tonight.  Apparently this is a rare occasion, so it makes me feel a little bit like celebrating, although we don't have any plans, really.  If I was a superstitious person, I might be weirded out by today, but since I'm more superstitious-curious, I'm mostly thinking it's a reason to do something interesting tonight.  But not dance around the fire naked or anything like that.  I am superstitious enough to think that today would not be a good day to go to Valleyfair (the amusement park where we have a summer season pass) because today would surely be the day a ride would malfunction and I would pop out of a ride and plummet to my death...

Anyway.  I'm in the early stages of planning an office remodel.  The condition of my little office is pretty sad, and I use it as a scapegoat for too many things, like not writing, or not keeping the paperwork as organized as usual, or not getting any of my crafting projects done, because I don't enjoy being in here.  My office is actually a bedroom, the only one on our main floor.  But we've never used it as a bedroom, because, well, it's on the main floor.  And there are three bedrooms upstairs.  So when we first moved here, it was an office.  Then when we started reproducing, we carpeted it and made it a cute little playroom.  The "cute" lasted for about six months.  A playroom for two growing boys who are a year apart becomes a breeding ground for all kinds of horrors.

When we carpeted it, I chose this shag carpet that I'm assuming I thought would feel soft, cozy, and inviting at the time.  I was so naive.  Shag carpet in any area a child plays in is just a place filled with millions of deep hiding places for crumbs, legos, and God knows what to hide, and it was also designed to NEVER allow a vacuum to "work properly."  I also chose a very strange shade of green, and for the LIFE of me I cannot figure out why--I don't think I have even met the woman I apparently was 12 years ago.  Holy cow, 12 years.  That's how old this carpet is.
Yes, those are Mr. Potato Head glasses.  He wore them often.
Time flies.  When my boys were small, I went through a phase for about, well, three years, where I was just existing.  I was semi-awake during the day, but unfortunately also during the night.  Hubby worked very strange hours, and I was a stay-at-home mom out here in the country with no escape, and really no local friends yet, and I pretty much went quietly insane.  I showered intermittently, very rarely had a clean house, watched entirely too much PBS (we didn't have satellite TV at the time) and children's videos, and wore only pajamas or clothing that very closely resembled pajamas.  It was a lonely, crazy existence.  And sadly, I was unaware of the black hole that I was sinking into.  I was being a mom.

My kids were well cared for, always cleaner and better dressed than me, and happy, fed, and entertained.  So on that front, I was doing all right.  On EVERY OTHER FRONT, I was a total failure.  It was during that time that this poor room decayed at an alarmingly fast rate.

How many sippy cups can you count?
J was mildly addicted to chocolate milk, and he pretty much always had a sippy cup filled with it.  (For any of you out there who are tempted to judge my previous self right now, keep it to yourself.  He still has perfect teeth.)
Unfortunately, I have this weird disorder where when I find a product I like I buy far too many of it, so I had about 437 sippy cups, and no way to inventory them or keep them all accounted for.  So many would be found by following my nose, several days later, to a stray cup under the couch or in a toy box (thank GOD they didn't leak--honestly, they were amazing) where I would find the culprit.  There are not many smells fouler than SOLIDIFIED chocolate milk.  Eventually I just started throwing them away rather than trying to clean them...  But what's really creepy is that I'm sure that there was a substantial amount of leakage, not from the amazing cups of course, but from my darling toddler's drooly mouth, onto the green shag carpet of the playroom.

The Swiss Miss Incident of 2004
There were Spaghettio spills.  Lots of cereal.  Applesauce.  Yogurt.  Probably bananas.  Ice cream.  Peanut butter.  Yes, I let them eat in there.  They even had a little plastic picnic table so they could (horror of horrors) watch TV while they ate.  And there was the day I'll never forget, when I came into the room and they had smuggled a Sam's Club-size canister of Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix in there and were eating it, fist after fist, and apparently spreading it all over the no-longer-green shag carpet and proceeding to roll around in it in ecstasy.  That was a fun day.

So my little carpet shampooer was never a match for the job.  I tried, Lord knows I tried.  But as I sit here writing, I'm looking around at the strange colored carpet that used to be shag, and is now a matted, crusty, musty-smelling horror.  The walls that are sort of peanut-butter colored (again, I can't claim to know the woman I was when I was making decisions 12 years ago) are covered with random kid's art work, signs, chips in the paint, and scribbles.  It is highly over-furnished with random pieces we didn't know what else to do with, and every space is filled with crap.  It's NOT a soothing environment.  Not conducive to wanting to sit in here and write, which is a soothing thing for me.

So this season, I will be starting the process.  Emptying it out, putting in new, smarter carpet, and simplifying.  I will try to stay off Pinterest, because, well, who can live up to that, but I know I will be obsessively on Pinterest, so I don't know why I wrote that.  But maybe it will help me to keep writing, and who knows?  I might find some little treasures in here during the process.

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