no, this post isn’t tips and tricks on how to keep your life and home with small children organized. sorry. if it were as simple as a little organization, my life would be in folders and Tupperware bins.
do you have a bulletin board? all my life, we had one for “important” stuff or stuff we needed reminding of. actually, growing up it was totally non-functional, always got over-loaded and then no one ever took anything down, they just added more and more papers to it. in any case, I somehow inherited this bulletin board and I now have it hanging up in my living room. I use it for reminders and flyers and things. but more of the time, I end up using it for an overflow space for all of the pictures I usually print about twice a year, all of my favorites, which turns out to be quite the stack. once the fridge and frames are brimming, I tack up the left overs onto the board.
now about the placement of this board. I used nails to attach it to the wall before we moved around the furniture and placed the couch right under it. this results in a lot of the contents of the board being manhandled by my two kids at will. a lot of the stuff falls behind the couch for weeks and months at a time (however often I ever actually move the thing to clean). needless to say: nothing is sacred on the board.
this post is not about my bulletin board. it’s about organization, as it says in the title. well, I consider myself a type b personality, sort of artsy and creative and thinking outside the box type person, though I’ve grown more type a since having kids and, would you know? they want me to be in charge and stuff. in any case, when it comes to my home décor, I have a very distinct style: sloppy hodge-podge. never heard of it? clearly you’re not watching enough hgtv. i like the look of stacks of things, i don’t like right angles, and i enjoy clashing. when i pin up my pictures on the bulletin board, i do it in a sort of collage fashion, where multiple pictures share pins and there is a lot of overlap. it’s sort of like one of those ink blot tests. do something subconsciously and it says a lot about the way your brain works, right?
well, the other day, i was putting joel down for his nap, and sort of dozed off myself in the rocker for a few minutes. ruth is four and a half, now, and she can be trusted pretty well not to start something on fire or behead herself while this is happening. after i woke up, i took joel into the bedroom and deposited him on the bed and as i was walking out, i happened to glance over towards the bulletin board and what i saw there stunned me into an awed silence.
my daughter had, while i was sleeping, re-organized the board to her liking. and, i shit you not, every picture was perfectly lined up into three rows with a single pin in the top middle of each one. it was actually a shocking realization. i felt like i was getting an inside peek into the brain and inner-workings of my daughter. and, as much as i say that ruth is just like me in some ways, that is NOT the way my brain works. at all. it was a moment that really hit home that my daughter is her own individual and that we might just be butting heads a little more in the future than i had anticipated. because it’s clear that we are in some ways very different. and, my sloppy and half-assed lifestyle may be somewhat infuriating to my daughter as she grows up. gulp (let me say that i had a very creative and sloppy father and that my older brother was very type a and anal and they CONSTANTLY feuded and they had the hardest time understanding each other).
it made me realize that i have a hard but important road ahead of me to walk in order to connect with my daughter, make her feel validated and understood when in fact i may not understand a lot of what she does.
i asked ruth, “tell me about the bulletin board and what you did there.” she told me she took any pictures that didn’t fit and threw them behind the couch. another gulp. this girl is cut-throat. whereas i am an overly sentimental freak. i could never have thrown a picture behind the couch. i can see it’s going to be a long hard road for you and i, ruth fen.