Friday, September 10, 2010

Dream: Lines of Demarcation

There is a pack-n-play in my bedroom; it is right next to the pink little girl's dresser with the flower lamp on top of it.  There is a foam poodle and a Goofy washcloth in my bathtub, to say nothing of the bucket of waterlogged toys that sits beside the tub.  In my living room, stands a Hello Kitty gumball machine.  My kitchen is furnished with a smaller non-functional version of itself beside the actual refrigerator and my dining room walls are hung with child-art created with supplies that fill the three sets of plastic drawers housed in that room.  No need to discuss the playroom or the girls' bedroom.

My children rightly occupy a vast majority of my mental real estate, but should their stuff be allowed the same privilege in my actual real estate?

The answer is no, and the obvious solution is to load up a truck and head to Goodwill.  Sadly, I don't have it in me. While I stopped keeping track of our toy collection long ago, my children keep a careful catalogue.  I realized this when I made the mistake of jettisoning Turtle the turtle, a carnival prize stuffed turtle whose size far surpassed his attractiveness.  He looked to me utterly expendable.  Nearly a year later the girls still ask after him resulting in conversations as awkward and evasive as those surrounding Purry the neighborhood cat who disappeared years ago and is believed in our house to have met a pretty girl cat and moved away to start a cat family.

So I am choosing the next most obvious solution and solving my problem Brady Bunch-style by drawing a line.  The playroom and office were previously painted the same fleshy peach and divided by a wide opening edged by a distractingly ugly dark wooden frame.  I am drawing my line by painting the frame white, the office Marine Blue and the playroom Honeydew Melon. 

When my project is through, I'm envisioning a reverse-mullet effect: the party in the front (bright colors, kid art and well-organized toys) and business in the back (neatly maintained computer desk, book shelves, family photos).  The children have been warned that the new office is off-limits to toys and I've been trying to spend as many evenings in there as I can manage, taping, priming, painting and reclaiming a tiny bit of my real estate.

Maybe when I finish I'll get around to thinning the toy herd...Christmas is just a few months away.

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