Monday, August 04, 2008

of entropy and exponents

oh where or where has my clean house gone?

oh where or where can it be?
with its vacuumed carpets and dusted shelves
oh where oh where can it be?

I often muse upon the days of my first married life when dinner was superb, the table was neatly set with placements. I spent my evenings reading short stories and watching good foreign films with my husband, prepping lectures or preparing to head off to some exotic locale on a medical mission. Somehow I thought it would always be like that peaceful evenings with with enjoyable activities. Everything was clean and in it's place and although there was a stack of papers to be filed on top of my filing cabinet it was less than 2 inches tall. And I wonder what happened to that?

Then I remind myself that our New England home is more than 3x the size of our bay area apartment and we have accumulated more than 3x the "stuff". Hence 3 x the surfaces to clean. We have 3/4 of an acre to keep mowed and weeded and landscaped as opposed to maintenance free living. We have three boys. Which means more than 3x times the mess and frequent interruptions for every task. Truly children have an exponential relationship here in their ability to create mess. The errands and phone calls and bills are endless.

I used to breeze through Safeway with nary a care, now getting through the aisles of Walmart with one of the monster "family carts" requires much self talk ("I am good, I am patient, I will survive"). My life is punctuated by drawings on the walls, a stuffed animals being given tastes of grape soda!

I have respect for the law of entropy but I never realized how it plays out over the life cycle-- order to chaos- please tell me it will not continue on this trajectory of chaos until I die because man I am already tired!
1. a house to live in
2. reading a good book to my boys
3. playing on the floor


Christy said...

3 X the love les! You know it's worth it!

lyn said...

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one! I picked up the house before DH arrived home yesterday, thinking it was so good of me - until I realized the house now looked the same as when he left!!

Courtney said...

I'm right there with you except for the dinner part - I am a much better cook now than I was 12 years ago!

smart mama said...

christy- how'd I forget about the love??

lyn- it such a futile business

courtney- seriously I can't imagine the entropy of triplets plus 2~i shudder at the thought

sweetpea said...

Oh my! I was thinking about this this morning, when I saw that the hamper was full again, despite me folding loads of laundry last night. It's a good thing we've got the love (like Christy said); that's what makes it worth it!

Chel said...

Love it. I am thinking it will get better as the kids get older... and when they all move out, it goes back to how it was in the beginning... yes?

LL said...

oh my friend. you SAY you live in chaos...what I've observed during smart family home visits is a patient, organized, pulled together fun smart mother.
With three adorable little helpers, who SMELL good, whether you believe me or not :)
cute post. i totally agree. thing is, during those quite organized early years of my life, all I wanted was a baby to care for. I'm glad wishes come true...i just wish I could do it with style (well, there is style if you count my PERM--right?!?!?)

smart mama said...

sweetpea- I have seeen nothing but extreme order in your world- ALas I covet

chel- I am not convinced it does-- that is what scares me- I it changes course but still has alot more elements as you get older

LL-hmm why can't we have it all the baby and organization- oh and the style miss permy volume!

We're Wingin It said...

Oh boy, I can relate! I found myself yesterday wondering how my house, which had been respectably tidy, could get so messy in less than an hour. I like the positive self-talk idea, next time we attempt to bring all the kids to the store, I am going to try that.

Gilbert Family said...

I know exactly what you mean...when we moved from our tiny apartment into our home I was a little overwhelmed! There is never enough time to do it all!!

Smilin' sunshine said...

Its eventually got to get better! Unfortunately one day they will all be gone and it can be clean again.

Don't wish the time away, I only have about 5 years left with my oldest....makes me very sad.

Enjoy it while you've got it!

smart mama said...

lol sheree- i will write some self talk scripts for us for various situations!

LG- oh i long for a tiny apartment-

D- I wish they would stay but the chaos can leave- LOL- I am ready to clear half the stuff out of my house- if I just had time!!