Tonight I am celebrating a true triumph of motherhood. A week ago, I had a minor medical procedure done, which, sparing you all the important and very personal details, hindered my mobility somewhat. While I could get around, I was never truly comfortable, and the basic day to day efforts of simply existing were enough for me to handle without having to worry about performing my evening duty of picking up Gulliver's toys.
(A few weeks ago Murray and I had a major clean-up and promised each other that to maintain our clean house, we would each do two things: Murray would do the dishes and clean the kitchen every night and put away his clothes properly, and I would clean Gulliver's toys every night and put my clothes away properly.)
So it's been a full week since I have picked up Gulliver's toys myself and done a thorough sorting and putting away. And in fact, it's been more than a week that certain toy pieces have been missing, but I didn't have the energy to search for them.
Tonight I spent about an hour and a half fully dedicated to nothing other than sorting, putting away, and finding Gulliver's toys.
The first to be assembled properly was the stacking/nesting cups. No big deal since those are a favorite of Gulliver's and since i find a strange pleasure in collecting them and nesting them myself.
The next was 7 out of 8 stacking rings. This is one of my major major hunts just about every day. In fact, we bought a whole new set of stacking rings because one ring from the old set was lost, and I'm convinced thrown out accidentally in the garbage and therefore irretrievable, and the thought of having an incomplete set of rings forever completely justified the $6 purchase of a new set. (The old set is in a cupboard and is to be used as an "organ donor" for the current set when needed. What do you know, the missing ring is the exact ring that is missing from the original set.) I decided to continue gathering and hope that the 8th ring showed up.
And I also noticed the missing peg from the peg and hammer set. Are you kidding me? I've been working so hard at keeping that intact! Where are you, missing peg??
And then there is the stupid color spectrum puzzle that I never should have bought because the colors are wildly inaccurate, and as artists, our heads might explode if Gulliver ever calls "chartreuse" what THEY call chartreuse. Nevertheless, an incomplete puzzle is an incomplete puzzle. And it has been incomplete for a while now. Stupid missing inner tiny piece. Damn you, lilac!!
But then I actually FOUND lilac, which was amazing, and I went to assemble the puzzle and finally reunite all the pieces... only to discover that ochre was missing.
One of the most baffling missing toys was a larger dinosaur. I mean, missing puzzle pieces, rings, and pegs are one thing, but a whole 8-inch dinosaur? I'm not going to find that under a couch cushion!
And finally the monkey. Oh, the monkey! I love Gulliver's monkey finger puppets so much. They are at the top of the hierarchy of toys for me. So important, in fact, that I don't really let him play with them, unless he is closely supervised. I store them on display in the living room, on top of some framed pictures they are art to me. Recently, Gulliver was crying because I had to go to work, so I lingered a little while, holding him, and he saw this as an opportunity to point out the monkeys to me. I got him the monkeys, and was able to leave just fine after that, because the sorrow of my leaving was replaced with monkey finger puppet joy.
Tonight, upon my initial cleaning, I only found 3 out of four monkeys.
So. Without going into every detail, because this recounting of toy hunting and sorting is already too long and too mundane, here is a reminder of my missing items:
1 puzzle piece
1 plastic peg
1 blasted monkey
And all of this was STILL missing about 45 minutes into the process, after I figured I'd already inspected every nook and cranny, and certainly all the usual hiding spots.
So the next 45 minutes consisted of some more intense exercise (in addition to my walk today! Today is also a triumph in pregnancy!!). I moved both couches, neither of which produced any results. I moved every single cushion/pillow in the living area (there are plenty) and I found the missing stacking ring! Yay!
I downloaded a flashlight app for my iPhone, looked in behind the electronics attached to the television and found the ochre puzzle piece! Yay!
I emptied out the blocks bag, the Duplo bag, and every single toy bin (and put it all back together again) and found the peg. Yay!
I puzzled long and hard about the dinosaur, which I expected to find under the couch, and wondered where such a large toy could be hiding. I realized the only place other than behind the couch was in the pile of stuff I've had to deal with for weeks (eek!) at the bottom of the stairs. I looked through it and found the dinosaur! Yay! (I promise I'll deal with it tomorrow.)
Then the monkey. Ohhhhhhhh the monkey. Where else could I look? I had already moved couches, gone through my pile of mess, gone through every toy bin and bag, checked under every single cushion, checked all of the usual spots to no avail! The only place left was the shoe bench, which needed attention anyway because there are still flip flops in it. I went through every. Single. Pair. Of shoes. And in the VERY last shoe..... I found the monkey!! And I literally called out, "Monkey!" and leapt right up from my sitting position (no small feat for being pregnant!) and reunited the monkey with his monkey friends on the picture frames.
Tonight, friends, is a true triumph of motherhood. (The house needs vacuuming, and I left all of the shoes in disarray so that i could immediately record this moment of joy.)
-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.