I look around, scanning the living room. Couch cushions are in disarray, couch pillows are all over the floor, yesterday's clothes and shoes are tossed around and being played with rather than being in their rightful places. The Weebles Castle is in teh middle of the room, sharing lack of space with several stuffed animals and dolls. Winnie the Pooh's tree somehow made it out of the play room, which right now just looks like a giant toy box. Blankets are draped over couches and cushions in a temporary "secret palace" and there is a toy bin... not only empty, but upside down. Serving as a mountain. If I don't look where I'm going, I will trip. I will not only trip, but I will fall, hard. And while part of me may fall comfortably on a couch cushion, any of my other limbs may very well become pierced by Barbie's I-can-do-everything sharp little fingernails. I could possibly slip on the hair of a too-perfectly-made-up Rapunzel Styling Head, as her hair blends in magically with the coloring of my wood floors. Was this room really clean before going to bed last night?
I look around, scanning the dining room. Books and papers strewn around the computer, but not too bad. Until I turn to look as some of the dining room chairs. Manny's coat over the back of one. Discarded dress-up outfits litter the floor and chairs. Last night's pajamas pepper the area rug and some have even been tossed carelessly on the table. Three children's coats also scatter the chairs and even the floor, a testament that nothing really stays put away for long. The Thinking Chair is sitting in the Time Out place, slightly crooked but sitting alone and empty nonetheless. Two booster seats and a high chair share the corner with the Thinking Chair. Not one chair, aside from the Thinking Chair, is where it should be. My children have rearranged my dining room chairs because they're great for creating a Secret Fort to hide in when the Secret Palace gets invaded by Storm Troopers.
The dining room table is piled high with Littlest Pets and Barbie dolls, not to mention a glow bug and a Boobah. There are crayons and plenty of paper for drawing. There are probably dozens of beautiful masterpieces, created by my artistic children, strewn across this same dining room table. Oddly enough, there aren't too many items under the table, and despite a breakfast of whole wheat vanilla muffins, there are surprisingly few crumbs. That could be because most of the crumbs have already been vacuumed, but were on the couch rather than under the dining room table.
So of course I tidy up, but my back is sore and I'm tired from being sick yet again, and I want a hot shower. I set the kids up with some vanilla muffins for a snack, and race upstairs to shower. A fast shower. I can hear everything going on, because they've followed me upstairs and are playing in the hallway right outside the door. I come out, feeling refreshed and toasty warm... and my entire upstairs hallway is coated in a rug of muffin crumbs. Great.
Thank God for vacuum cleaners.
The odd thing is that I also have a feeling of deja vu. The living room and dining room look as if I hadn't touched them before that shower. Did I imagine vacuuming crumbs and picking up toys? Did I really hang up the coats before I went upstairs? Oh, how I wish I had taken a picture, if only to prove it to myself.