As I mentioned yesterday, today we tackled the playroom.
The playroom is a wine cellar that we converted into a playroom since the two bottles of wine we buy a year doesn’t really justify having an entire room dedicated to it.
And since we have approximately 1,239,775 toys turning that space into a playroom seemed like a good idea.
The problem is that the room is in the basement.
Being a Florida girl, I like to pretend we don’t have a basement because that means I have less space to keep clean. Our oldest son has a room down there and my gym is down there, but the gym is right next to the stairs so I don’t have to go any further into the basement to get to the gym.
Since the deployment started I’ve basically ignored the basement. Actually I’ve been ignoring it since I moved in, but sometimes I send the Commander down there to motivate the kids (aka threaten to throw away all the toys) and get it cleaned up.
Waiting 65 days to go into the playroom was a critical error on my part.
I glanced at the playroom the other day and noticed it needed, well let’s just say, an extreme makeover. Since my oldest was home from work I decided today would be the day to tackle the room.
Now normally when I enter a hazard zone I get upset with the kids for not taking care of their things. Today I vowed not get upset no matter what I found in the playroom.
No matter what.
I’ve noticed that the kids don’t really like big cleaning projects if all they get is negative comments from me about how they are poor stewards of their things.
Whether this is true or not, it makes cleaning rather miserable and they end up being reluctant workers.
So, today was going to be different. Cleaning was going to be fun!
Then I entered the hazmat zone.
Since I vowed not to get upset, it is only appropriate that the first thing I found when pulling out the bins was my son’s backpack.
With a 1/2 gallon of ice cream in it.
Thank goodness the lid was on and I’m cheap and keep my house pretty cold in the winter. The ice cream had only leaked a little bit, creating a nice white-ish green slime seeping through the backpack.
I mean who puts ice cream in a backpack and then puts it in the playroom? Upon closer inspection I noticed that the backpack not only had ice cream but sprinkles in it too- so this child (I’m thinking Cora) was totally ready for a picnic!
The entire thing made me want to vomit so I stuffed it in a trash bag and moved on.
I think finding the rotting ice cream backpack first thing was a good start to my day. What could top that?
We then dumped out all the bins of Lego’s, K’Nex, Bionicles, Playmobil, and Imaginext.
I’m pretty good at identifying Playmobil pieces but after that I’m useless. We sorted these little pieces for over three hours.
As I was sorting I decided that this job should replace and interrogation methods the government is currently using. I would have done just about anything to get out of sorting those little pieces that all LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME!!!!
Of course my kids could tell me in exact detail how they were different and how Bionicle had circles and K’Nex circles weren’t really circles at all. The whole time I’m thinking, if it is so easy how come you never do it?!?!
We found all sorts of exciting things in our bins including backs of television remote controls that had been missing for months, about two hundred batteries, and even a tooth.
The tooth didn’t phase me because I was still feeling woozy from the ice cream slime.
We found a few things that we couldn’t identify, but out of concern for public health I made the kids throw them away before we could review them closely.
But we kept smiling and I even started playing DJ letting the kids pick their favorite songs to listen to while we sorted. This was actually a devious plan on my part to take a break from sorting because I was about to go crazy.
See it almost looks like we are having fun here.
Also notice how the kids have to touch everything for 10 seconds before they put it in the bin.
As I’m putting items in the bins I’m mentally timing myself to see how long it takes and then estimating how long it will take to finish the job based on my speed, accounting for the disposing of teeth, rotting backpacks, and random toilet paper bits (hopefully unused).
After about three hours I realized we were all going crazy. I was actually impressed and surprised my kids made it that long without a total meltdown.
We took a break for lunch.
And dressed up in wigs, and dressed up the dogs. Because we now knew were our wigs were. They were at the bottom of Lego bin #7.
After lunch we got back to cleaning.
As the hours went by the kids got a little crazier. At some point they were dancing in their underwear (only the littles, we’re not that crazy) and then the dramatics started.
I think she was kidding.
I told her she wouldn’t die in the basement because there was plenty of food down here.
Banana with a side of dollhouse anyone?
We cleaned and sorted for nine hours.
We aren’t finished, but we made good progress. Hopefully we’ll finish it up this weekend.
My husband has been deployed to the Middle East for 274 days. These are my real thoughts expressing my heart during his absence. I appreciate your prayers and kind words as we cope, adapt, and carry on without him until August 2014. To read from the beginning, click here.