We called it the Christmas of the Lego’s. It’s the Thing my kids are into this year. They. Love. Lego’s. They are very good at them too; sitting at the kitchen table with their instruction manuals and all the pieces sorted in little Tupperware bins. They blast right through them. They received so many though, and while we thought we had a great process in place, converting their old train table into a Lego table, we quickly became overwhelmed. They play with them and of course inevitably drop them, shattering not so tiny ambulances and helicopters into mixed up, challenging to rebuild pieces. So while I am in search of a more organized method for our self inflicted madness, I’ve got little bits of Lego City falling apart all around us.
Just before New Years I came down with the flu. It was a good two weeks before I had enough strength in me to get by on more than just the bare minimum when it came to keeping up with work and household duties. My house is still recovering, and over the past few weekends when there has been any time open to me at all, I have spent it trying to unbury myself from laundry and Christmas decorations. We’re getting there, but I still look around and see that my life is far from organized. Mail. Must go through the mail. Playroom. Must take on role of Supreme Dictator and engage children in forced labor.
The kids had taken a few of their broken Lego sets and brought them back to the kitchen table where they took out the instruction manuals, apparently made a good go at putting them back together, and then promptly abandoned the projects when they proved too difficult. I do recall this going on when I was trying to find my kitchen counter. I do recall one of them whining about it being too hard, can’t do it, whine, whine, whine. And I’m pretty sure that while I was elbow deep in suds of dishes or piles of laundry that I was waiting to hear some semblance of a proper request for assistance. A please, even a politely stated “Mommy can you help me”, would have sufficed. All I heard was *insert whining, bordering on bitchy tone here* I NEED HEEEEEEELP. A proper request for help? I didn’t hear it, and therefore didn’t give it. I may even have barked, “I’m in the middle of something; you need to wait.” Not the best use of a teaching moment, I realize, but seriously people, you should have seen my house.
Later that night when I went to ready the table for dinner I came face to face with the carnage that was once two beautifully constructed Lego’s and I became very frustrated at the abandoned ruins. “Why are these still here? You need to finish what you have started. ” Rant, rant, repeat. Sofia promptly responded. “I couldn’t do it. I need help.”
“Then why didn’t you ask for help?” I retorted, not really thinking that one through.
“I tried. There was no help available at the time.”
Every now and then, her words, they stop me in my tracks and I stand dumbstruck by her level of insight. Maybe it’s not even insight so much as the ability to effectively communicate with me when she wants to. And she hits home. It’s as if I see more clearly that on the average day I am mystified that a seven year old could have such valid and prolific argument. There was no help available at the time.
Granted, from what I recall as I was in my MUST CLEAN HOUSE zone, she didn’t ask nicely. Her manners are a continual work of progress; Newsflash, Mommy is not your slave. Yet, she was not wrong. Her words, they spoke volumes to the difficulty I have had recently in balancing my life, our lives, since taking ill. Those two little weeks being out of commission left my universe wrecked, and we are all suffering as a result of it.
But isn’t that always the way? If not an illness, isn’t there always something that can creep up where we as parents must choose over a plethora of daunting tasks to simply be available? I love that saying when it comes to spending time with your kids, “the house can wait.” If I’m not worried about entertaining I will often subscribe to that notion. Yes, I have a lot to do, but let’s go visit with friends, or take that window of opportunity to go sledding. Hey it’s not raining, snowing, or freezing out, so forget that you can barely walk through the playroom and get outside and enjoy it while there’s still time.
So often we let things slide until you just can’t let things slide a moment longer. And then you have to choose to not be available. I need to accept the repercussions, and they need to learn to wait.
Unless perhaps, if they ask nicely.
Oh, so my Lego Set hell. Are there any suggestions for organization that doesn’t require a complete remodel of my home akin to an awesome but somewhat unrealistic Pinterest board? Help a frazzled girl out and save me from myself.