I’m Fighting Our Stuff. It’s Winning.

Things always end up where they don’t belong, so I thought of this great system for containing the spread of stuff:


When Boobaby takes off her socks, transplants a toy, or adopts an empty plastic bowl in the living room, I toss it into the “back of the house” basket. There’s also a “front of the house” basket in our bedroom to collect books and bills for the office.

The theory is that once a day or so, I will take the baskets and distribute the out-of-place items back to where they belong: socks in the laundry hamper, toy in the toy basket, bowl in the kitchen cupboard.

In reality, though, I just get out another basket and fill it, too. There are now four baskets in the kitchen filled with various items that variously are out of place (crap, did I not pay that water bill?) or have no place (an old roll of film — where did that come from?). There are three more baskets on the dresser. What started as a time-saving organizational method has turned into — well, a basket aesthetic, I guess.

To illustrate, let me excavate one of the baskets for you — remember, this is merely a quarter of the crap that’s collected in the “front of the house” that belongs in the “back of the house.”

  • piece of Harry Potter toy
  • extra glasses (that were being used as a toy)
  • maracas
  • extra tube of Desitin
  • checkbook (crap, I was looking for that)
  • current New Yorker (like I’m gonna get around to it)
  • notepad
  • two sets ear buds
  • brag book of Boobaby photos from when she was six months
  • yellow highlighter
  • oven safety lock, not installed, to replace one destroyed by in-laws
  • stroller connectors
  • three bills
  • three C batteries
  • iPhone screen protector, uninstalled
  • haircut coupon

I know it’s my job to take care of all this stuff, but I just can’t get started! It’s to the point where I feel panicked and weepy just looking at it.

I’m a horrible at-home-parent. I do about 60% of the child care and 75% of the housework. (The other 25%, unfortunately, is mostly left undone.) I see other at-home moms around me taking care of their kids 90% of the time and keeping the house together and, you know, cooking once in a while.

Maybe I’m just blogging too much. I try to hold it down to one cuppa coffee’s worth of break time, but on days like today, that cuppa is a long cuppa. A procrastination latte, double foam.

People tell me a lot I’m a great dad. They’re just being nice. I think if I were so great, I’d be able to handle all this stuff once and for all.