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Uncarved Block

Mornings are fresh, with no mistakes in them yet. Such was my Mother's Day morning - full of promise and the potential to be a great day. I was looking forward to it. And then I opened my eyes.

Not being immune from my family's OCD tendencies, I looked around, and immediately felt that I needed to straighten up. Sometimes I can squash this urge and enjoy my day, but not today. The mess was just really out of hand.

I decided to start with the room that would show the most improvement - the living room. The children's toys were everywhere, but really, it shouldn't take very long to tidy. The first setback came when I got to a set of magnetic doll clothes. There were pieces of the set that were missing.

Now lots of people might be able to ignore the fact that pieces of a toy are missing. They might think of it as a natural consequence of what happens when their children don't put away their toys. This is true - it is. But it's something that really bothers me. I can't handle missing pieces. Ever. I can't seem to let it go. So I started to look for the pieces.

Low and behold, I found them. Stephen, my three-year-old, had inserted them into the mouthpiece of a whistle - a whistle that didn't come apart. I was not thinking very kindly thoughts towards my son. An hour later (I used my best tweezers to get the tiny magnetic crowns out of the whistle), I was feeling quite accomplished - both in that I found the magnets, and in that I got them out. Except there were still two missing pieces. I began my search anew, throwing dark glances towards my son. I had to keep reminding myself that he was only three.

My search stopped abruptly when I lifted the cushion of the chair and found some sort of stinking moldy growth, either food or cat sick-up, adhered to both the underside of the cushion as well as the top of the couch. Did I mention I'm also a bit of a germ-a-phobe? I did not do well with this development.

My mother, who had come over for a Mother's Day meal, had joined in my efforts to find the Missing Pieces. She can't handle Missing Pieces either, and since finding things is her superpower, she was only too willing to join in the search. At the site of me dry-heaving over this disaster on the couch, she was also kind enough to help me clean it up. Ok, she actually cleaned it up for me, while I twitched in the corner. (She also managed to find the missing magnet pieces, because hey, it's her superpower!)

Now the question was, how did the moldy mass get there? If it was food, my money was on my husband. He eats in the living room all the time, and he is none-too-careful about his food, frequently laying half-eaten pieces of whatever on the couch. He also might be inclined to cover up the mess with a cushion, to hide it from me. He is not, however, stupid enough to forget to clean up the mess. Nope, no he's not - slovenly though he may be. Maybe it's the kids? I call them over to show them.

"Oh no Mommy, that's kitty sick-up! We put the cushion back on it though, so it wouldn't get on our clothes when we sit down."

I sit there not moving, taking in that comment. The cat saunters by, and I will it to step away from me, for it's own safety.

I stand up and decide to focus on something else for a while, when I see that my son has now taken every puzzle we have in the house (that he could reach), and has now dumped it in the middle of the room. Apparently I'd been too busy freaking out over the mold to notice. I send Mr. Fixit downstairs to "help dad with supper", and I begin to address the puzzles. I get one of the harder puzzles put back together, and I immediately go to put it up and out of the way, on the highest shelf in the linen closet - a shelf to which I'm sure Alex hasn't yet managed to climb.

Except because I'm short, I can't see the top of the shelf, and had no way of knowing (or seeing) that some unthinking tall person had put the Perfection game up there - without putting the pieces away. They were loosely scattered on the top of the game, which was apparently partially sitting on top of something else - neither of which I could see. So when I placed the puzzle on top of the precariously perched game, it came crashing down on my head, and the little Perfection Pieces flew everywhere, bounced off the walls and shelves and came to rest in various places through-out the linen closet. On every shelf of the linen closet.

I gathered up all the Perfection Pieces I could find, but there were Missing Pieces. Again. And I had no way of knowing for sure if the game had been complete whenever that unnamed tall person had put it up there.

I begin taking apart the linen closet so I could really make a concerted effort to find those Perfection Pieces. One entire shelf was reserved for toys - toys that either the children could not play with unsupervised, toys that were too old for them, or toys that had been purchased for someone else, but not yet given. I removed the toys. Mostly puzzles. I mentioned to my husband to keep the kids away from the toys as he walked by. I did not notice him taking the wrapped toys out to the living room. I didn't hear him unwrapping them either, nor did I think that the squeals of joy I heard were anything more than their usual play-squeals. If I'd been paying more attention, I would have noticed that it was an "Oh WOW! New Toy!" squeal.

As I'm going through the linen closet, I'm finding things that should never have been put there. I'm finding socks rolled up in with the towels. I'm finding a pair of shorts I thought had been missing. I'm finding a plethora of baby socks. All this time I'd been blaming the drier, but really it was the linen closet that was eating our socks. That and someone wasn't being very careful when they put things away. I'm now muttering to myself as I search for the Missing Pieces. I manage to find them all but one.

I take the socks and go to my son's room to put them away. I'm still muttering as I go into his room and open the dresser drawer. It's empty. The whole dresser is empty. I look around. I see stacks of clothing everywhere. On the floor. On the dresser. On my sewing machine. Spilling over in the piles and onto the floor. Where the cat has sicked-up on them.


"Jason! What have you been doing in here?" I yell as I head out to the living room to discuss it with him.

That's when I saw all the new puzzles - both those purchased for other children, and those which were for our own children in five years time, dumped in the middle of the room in the puzzle-pile on the floor.

My vision exploded into varying shades of red at that point.

"What the fuck are you doing?! I TOLD you those toys were NOT for our kids, and to keep the kids away from them! Why the FUCK would you let them open up and dump out more puzzles, when they haven't even put away the ones they were playing with, and what the fuck possessed you to give them more toys, after we'd just finished having a conversation about how they had too many toys, and too many puzzles in particular??!"

"Honey... I think you need to chill."

"Daddy, why is Mommy so grumpy?"

My brain explodes into a million pieces. A million Missing Pieces.

"Mommy, I think you need a time out!"

So Mommy took a time out.

They really did try. Jason bought me my favourite flowers. The kids had made me a card. Alex made me a necklace. I got a Mother's Day dinner and cake for desert. There was nothing they did wrong. Not really. But when people keep asking me how I enjoyed my Mother's Day, it's the story above that comes to mind. And all I can think about is that and the Missing Pieces.


This entry has been percolating in my mind since Mother's Day, but when I saw this week's lj-idol prompt, I decided to make it a home-game entry. The prompt was "Uncarved block".

You can read the other contestant-only entries here, and the special Round Two entries here.


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2011 07:57 am (UTC)
Those blasted Missing Pieces! I'm sorry for your bad day, but the way you wrote this was hilarious. I could really picture the frustration.

And I hear you on Missing Pieces. Not long after we moved here, Doyle shoved a good chunk of the pieces from his Elmo puzzle book under the built in wardrobe. I collected as much as I could by sliding paper underneath it to bring them out again, but there are still Missing Pieces under there. I'm not sure what I ended up doing with the book.
May. 17th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC)
Ugh... Missing Pieces you can't reach!

I have had that. It bothered me for months until I finally found some way to lift the fridge.

Glad you enjoyed the entry - thank you for reading!
(no subject) - comedychick - May. 17th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - May. 17th, 2011 04:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - comedychick - May. 17th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - May. 17th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - comedychick - May. 17th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - May. 17th, 2011 05:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - comedychick - May. 17th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - May. 17th, 2011 05:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - comedychick - May. 17th, 2011 05:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - May. 17th, 2011 05:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - comedychick - May. 17th, 2011 05:31 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 11th, 2011 08:24 am (UTC)
Heh. I was wondering what the outcome of the puzzles on the floor might have been - and what led up to it. Hilarious, even though I'm sure it wasn't for you at the time.
May. 17th, 2011 04:35 am (UTC)
It sort of was afterwards, but yes, at the time, I had to work very hard to keep from exploding onto my family :P
May. 11th, 2011 12:14 pm (UTC)
I hear. I hear you on every level. I would not be able to move past the Missing Pieces either. I've had to let it go though - five children, at least two of which have special needs means that I have to go or go entirely mad.
May. 17th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC)
It's totally something of which I need to let go. There's no doubt. So far though, this has been the hardest part!
(no subject) - sharya - May. 17th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 11th, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
I also hate missing pieces!!
May. 17th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
They are a total menace!
May. 11th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
That sounds horrible.
May. 17th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)
It was at the time, but I was able to see the humour in it after the fact!
May. 11th, 2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
This makes my head hurt, right behind my eyes and in my sinuses.
It is most definitely a comedy of errors. Oh poor you.
May. 17th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)
Writing about it actually helped me to put it all into perspective. Head no longer explodey :)
(no subject) - phaedie - May. 17th, 2011 12:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 17th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
Dude. When he said that, my blood pressure seriously climbed much like the way you see it happening in cartoons.

The thing is, from his perspective (and everyone else's I'd imagine), I was totally being over-the-top. It's just that my reality, was not his reality. So yeah. Hopefully it won't happen again!
May. 16th, 2011 08:57 am (UTC)
"Oh no Mommy, that's kitty sick-up! We put the cushion back on it though, so it wouldn't get on our clothes when we sit down."

Ah, logic. I confess that as a child I'd do exactly the same thing. Now I just cover it with paper-towel and leave it for someone else to deal with because animal sick is the one thing on earth that makes ME throw up.
May. 17th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
LoL I know! I totally don't blame her; it was just another part of my tragically comedic day. Thank you for reading!
May. 16th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
Missing pieces drive me batty, always have. As a child I spent a quiet afternoon sorting all of my lightbright pieces by color, and then I only let my brother play with it if he'd put them away correctly.

May. 17th, 2011 04:50 am (UTC)
I DID THIS TOO! Seriously!

I got Very Upset when people messed with my Lite-Brite! Thank you so much for reading!
May. 16th, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
Oh how I can relate to a lot of what you write. I have a bit of the OCD from my mother... not as badly as her but enough to make things difficult sometimes. I've been known to take 20 minutes to leave my house... going in and out to check doors, windows or what have you. Just checking and then having to re-check what I just checked. So I totally get where you're coming from. Oy. I'm sorry that your Mother's Day was a rough one like that. That's just not a lot of fun. And missing pieces *do* suck.
May. 17th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC)
Yes, everything has to be "just so", and it has to be checked and re-checked to make sure it is "just so". I hear you. I totally hear you.

Thanks so much for coming by to read!
(no subject) - java_fiend - May. 21st, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - May. 22nd, 2011 04:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sharya - May. 23rd, 2011 12:56 am (UTC) - Expand
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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