Sunday, February 07, 2010

Asthma and chaos reign supreme

The inner preschool teacher in me has finally taken over.

I can no longer take the "I didn't know where it goes" or the "I put it 'away'" from everyone around me and finally decided the time had come...

... to label everything. Shelves. Toys. Art supplies. Dresser drawers.

The artist in me, is of course drawing up funky designs or printing unusual fonts, but the teacher in me requires labeling of bins AND the location on the shelf where the bin goes (for matching words, of course. How else did you learn to read the word scissors?).

Really, it is just that there is this constant shifting mess around here as we try to figure out where to put things in this new house, and as room after room gets its makeover. Many times I think we were nuts to have bought instead of built, but even then there would have been a shell with little finish work done inside as we moved in... so maybe the chaos would have still reigned supreme.

I try this nailing down of "home" for objects, books, food, dishes, toys, clothes, even as I run around making sure everyone has had their medicine, the baby isn't choking on phlegm (trip to the doctors in his near future) and the dust I stir up is immediately caught and washed away. Nadia, Colin, Aidan, and Milo have all been suffering from their annual (well... Milo's first) asthma-inducing cold. Which means Xoponex and steroid inhalers litter my baby bag, my daily life, my every moment. Milo is sleeping sitting up and sometimes in a steamy bathroom. Nadia has learned to shake and inhale various drugs sloooowwwwlllyyy to get the full effect, and we have cut dairy out of our daily lives. (Which means an awful lot of undrunk WIC milk rotting in the fridge).

But instead of feeling sorry for myself and my kids, I decided to make use of the frustration to get things done. More bags of clothes to get out of here. More books on the shelves rather than in boxes in the basement. More wallpaper peeled in the kitchen. More healthy food on the table, despite a tight budget. More kisses for the ever-sicker doggy. And more labels for clutter-less living. (As in less clutter, not clutter free).

And just to be sure I remember how lucky we are, I offered up three, two-hour sessions for auction in Hardwick at a fundraiser for Haiti. We are blessed indeed. I may not be able to mail the baby clothes, or find extra change that I might not need for gas this week, but I do have time to share, and a skill with kids. So maybe someone in Haiti will benefit from me giving up a little time I had to give anyway. I wish I could do more, but sometimes giving what you got is the best you can do.

And it sure beats the six hours of gym-class teaching I am gonna do on Wednesday. Now _there_ is a skill I don't have.

No comments: