It's just one of those things as a momma. You knock your head against something for so long that when the (rather obvious) answer appears, you can't believe that you haven't done it this way from time immemorial. I've had one of those weeks.
There are two things that have been troubling me for a while, and that my poor Beloved could practically recite in his sleep. Bear with me…the mess and the nap. The mess in the playroom, to be specific, and the lack of naptime. Until this week, nap time could perhaps be referred to as chase-time, because I swear that's all I did. And well, the mess is self explanatory.
Problem #1: Naptime. The answer: Think like a preschool teacher.
Problem #2: The mess.
Our partially finished basement is split in two: the office and the playroom. A three foot tall bookcase open on either side "splits" the room, and we have a stretchy lattice gate that covers the rest of the span (keeping Lorelei out of my paint and craft supplies when I am in and out). The kids play here for a large part of the day- watching videos (occasionally!), playing, building, swinging (on an Ikea swing we found). And they make a mess. A big big big mess. And when it comes time to clean up, we have a big big big fight. It has been driving James and I absolutely nuts. I've been puzzling over it for about a month now, because it truly became one of those critical mass family things. Here's what I discovered: there wasn't a 'place for everything and everything in it's place'. I honestly could not hand Ben a play John Deere tractor and Ben be able to put it back where it belongs. I came to this conclusion in a round a bout sort of way: Ann Voskamp had this post about spring cleaning, which linked to this woman's blog about the way she controls toy chaos. We also had picked up the Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room book at the library. A bit of purging, some reshuffling, and a bit more *logical* storage later, and everyone is breathing a sigh of relief. The kids now abide by the one container of toys rule: they may get the bin of blocks out, but they must pick it up and put it away before they get the bin of trains out, for example. What used to take nearly an hour to clean up (because every single stinkin' toy was spread in every nook and cranny of the playroom) is now a quick matter of maybe a minute. Say it with me, AHA!
So what AHA moments have you had? Do share! (You don't have to be a momma, or wife, or even female- jump in- you might help one of us poor goofs who hasn't thought of it yet!)