FGG and I share a superpower: ruining our kid’s life by telling him to do chores in-between his summertime schedule of doing nothing and nothing. Just this past weekend, we assigned our 17-year-old, Jackson, some chores which involved (gasp) manual labor. Instead of “chillin” and playing video games all day Saturday (like he usually does), Jackson dutifully marched outside to shovel mud out of the street gutters and pull weeds. He had no clue what we were getting him into.
After several hours, my sweet but sweaty yet still non-complaining boy had shoveled enough mud to fill several large buckets, which he then had to haul to different parts of the yard. I was certain that our normally sedentary kid would be sore the next morning: muscles were being used beyond the usual few fingers needed to operate the control of his video games. My prophecy was foretold the next morning at 7 am when the complaining finally began. Jack, too achy to walk down the stairs to speak to me, texted me to tell me that he could barely walk because his muscles were so sore. I knew he needed Epsom salts to soothe his achy muscles in a warm bath, as well as some ibuprofen and some Sombra pain rub cream. A typical teen, Jack depended on Mom to fix this, and, being a typical Mom, I enabled it. I stumbled out of bed to look for the trifecta of remedies. I was sort of relieved that FGG was away on business because he’s a typical dad and would have told Mama’s Baby Boy to “just suck it up.” The only issue I had was that I drew a blank as to the location of the “things.” Being neither fully awake nor properly caffeinated, I crossed my fingers and tried to find the “things.”
Spoiler alert: Trying to find things in our home usually doesn’t end well for me.
I found the ibuprofen right away(yay!), but I couldn’t find the bath salts (and I had no idea we were out of them). Couldn’t locate the Sombra pain rub without looking in a minimum of 3 different places for it first. Forty-five minutes after his text, I had 2/3 of the things, but still felt like I had failed him.
This isn’t the first time I failed to “create a tab” in my mind to remember where things are. In fact, I lose things so frequently that I am amazed that Jack still had faith that I could find what he needed. Just last week, I lacked a tab for where I kept AAA batteries or the cats’ flea medicine.
From this most recent “game” of “find the thing”– a game which I seemingly play multiple times a day (and often lose), a new-found motivation to end the “chronic disorganization crazy-making” welled inside me when I rediscovered my unread 2004 copy of Get Organized with Heloise at the bottom of a cluttered bathroom closet during my hunt for the Epsom salts.
For those of you who do not know who Heloise is — according to the book’s amazon.com description — “the name Heloise is synonymous with household hints. Today, more than 40 years after the original Heloise began her newspaper column, her daughter has carried on the tradition for dispensing reliable and practical advice, garnering a whole new generation of fans.”
Essentially, the only thing that Heloise and I have in common is that we both write newspaper columns.