Most people associate the term "super heroes" with what they see on the big screen: Jedi Knights protecting the galaxy, Avengers saving Manhattan, and The Dark Knight defending Gotham. But, super heroes also live and walk among us, and they disguise themselves as parents. But alas, every super hero has her own kryptonite. A parent's weakness stems from the total chaos created by*gasp* a baby. Need proof? Clean your house and watch all the random, missing items that miraculously appear, practically conjured out of thin air after once being given up as lost. Welcome to the world of decluttering.
Babies are life-changers. They leave you filled with love but short on sleep. And in that cloud of go-go-go resulting from a sleep deficiency, items go missing. Teethers, diapers, socks, and toys, to name a few. That is, until you decide to clean. Then they emerge in the most unusual of locations.
Swinging Singles Galore
There's nothing more annoying than sorting a freshly dried batch of laundry only to discover one or more of your socks is AWOL. You can rest easy knowing your dryer eats children's socks as often as it does yours, but that doesn't help when turning your baby's sock drawer upside down in an attempt to match pairs. The obvious place to look is a side compartment in your diaper bag. Or your pants pocket.
The Couch Monster
If you want a glimpse of what your son's appetite will look like when he hits adolescence, look no further than your couch. Besides the usual dust balls, pocket change and pens, that three-cushioned monster eats everything your baby needs. Missing bottle caps or nipples? Can't find that teether when your little one is writhing in pain? Still on the hunt for that elusive sock? Salvation rests beneath the cushions.
In an effort to consolidate, how many of you have designated one kitchen drawer solely for baby food supplies? Bottles, plastic plates and utensils, sippy cups, food storage bins -- it makes sense to do. Now, here's your test. Sort that drawer and count caps and tops to bottles and containers. It's as much of a guarantee as death and taxes that you're either short or you have extras.
Gas-Powered Baby Carriage
Face the facts: you don't have a car anymore. The automobile formerly known as your car has since morphed into a gas-powered baby carriage. Start in the backseat. That's where The Little Prince, aka your son, rests in his baby seat as you drive here, there and everywhere. And if his car seat isn't littered with an assortment of Cheerios, Kix, and other types of crumbs from the cracker food group, you're not doing it right.
Cheerios aren't just for the breakfast table
Photo Source: Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski
Under the front seats is where missing toys, noisemakers, sippy cup tops, and, if your son has a penchant for tomfoolery, entire sippy cups reside. These valuable items to a baby's daily life are only revealed upon the goodness of the car seat gnomes. Car seat gnomes, you ask? Yes, car seat gnomes. Crafty little fellows who lurk in the cracks and crevices of your car making nary a sound. After such time has passed – meaning you've stopped looking or you already bought a replacement – a car seat gnome will push one of those items out from under the front seat so your peripheral vision catches just a glimpse.
Moving onto the trunk, which, of course, you thought was for storing a spare tire, a set of jumper cables and carrying groceries home.Ppffftttttt!!!!!!! Outdoor nice weather toys have signed an iron-clad, long-term lease on your trunk. Surely a pack of travel wipes mingles among various sand toys. Add that to the high likelihood that a random diaper or two (hopefully not wet, but possible) is hiding inside the beach pale.
No doubt that your children are the twinkles in their grandparents' eyes, and it helps you greatly knowing you can rely on mom and dad to help out when you need a break. Or a nap, for that matter. But there is a price to pay for Nana and Papa's help. Whenever you can't find an item you absolutely need, be it a favorite toy or a certain clothing item, it's obviously at their house. Don't try to search your memory for how that happened. Just accept it and go on about your business.
Photo Source: Flickr/Intel Free Press
So the next time a round of decluttering unearths three missing socks, a teether, and enough toy parts to make Melissa and Doug jealous cut yourself some slack. Parenting isn't easy, and it's only natural that you'll lose a few things along the way (including your mind!). Now, where's that missing sock...
Featured Image Photo Source: Photo Source: Flickr/StarsApart