March 29, 2021

March Madness and a mad mama

It's an exciting time of year. March Madness. My people are basketball people. Have I mentioned? They're making up for last year's cancelled tournament by being crazed about this year's games, and their brackets, and upsets, and underdogs, and yadda, yadda, yadda. 

I like basketball too, but I prefer a team that one of my offspring plays on. 

In case you can't tell - Curly makes a 
free throw to tie the game with seconds left. 
We still lost, but it was so exciting.

While they are obsessed about watching b-ball, I am obsessed about getting the house in order. Bad timing:  No one cares about my priorities.  

I emptied the mudroom today. The shoes . . . gowrsh. 

A few weeks ago I gave instructions: park snow boots by basement door. I figured I'd gather them, haul them down to the storage room, and dump them in the appropriate bin. It saved me having to dig boots out of the depths of the mudroom. 

There is a door from the kitchen to the mudroom that can't open or close. Too many shoes are in front of it and behind it. I assume the families I sit for, who enter and exit my house via the disaster-area mudroom, go home and bind their children's feet in hopes they never reach Shenanigan-like gargantuan sizes. 

Tank wears a size 15. Coach and the other 3 boys all wear a size 13. Thankfully both girls are only a 9, like me. 

Side note:  Coach and I don't use the mudroom. 

I walked past the boots that lined the hallway near the basement door for at least a week (I'm busy and they weren't going anywhere) before I decided to delegate the next step. 

Me to Reg:  Bring all of the boots that are on the basement stairs and in this hallway down to the storage room. Put them IN THE BIN FOR BOOTS. Do NOT leave them on the floor of the storage room. 

The other day I found a lone snow boot of Curly's. I handed it to Tank. 

Me to Tank:  Go put this boot in the bin of boots in the storage room. The other boot is probably already there. 

Tank a moment later:  Um, yeah. The boots were just all lined up on the floor OUTSIDE the storage room. They weren't in the bin. I put them all in the bin. You're welcome. And Curly's other boot was down there.

Please note:  Tank, president of the half-ass club, leaves a trail. In order to stand out and shine - well, he'll throw a sib under the proverbial slob bus happily.

I lined up the shoes this afternoon in the kitchen. When the mudroom was clean, I invited kids to put shoes they intend to wear again back under their lockers.


Minus boots, it isn't too bad.

Me:  Lad, please come in here and put the packages of diapers back that you knocked on the floor when I told you to get your cowboy boots out of Ed's locker. (I keep diapers in Ed's locker when he's at school).

Lad did it right away. Major progress from the 'WASN'T ME' crap I got all summer (which is great if we don't focus on how he dumped the diapers on the floor in the first place. Baby steps). 

While he was in the mudroom, I almost gagged. 

Me:  Lad, you smell. BAD. Have you showered today?

Lad:  (taking a whiff of his shirt) I do? Hmm. OK. 

He ran off to shower. Before he did, I handed him a bag of used Tupperware that was in his locker from his lunches:  "Handle it." 

I continued to scurry around putting away stuff from the mudroom. Walking through the kitchen, I stopped. The bad smell that I blamed on my oldest son was RIGHT THERE. On the counter was the bag of used Tupperware. Not handled. 

I deserve a bravery award for smelling it. 

When Lad got out of the shower, I let him know he didn't smell - it was his disgusting, rotting, not-rinsed food containers. This time he handled it. He also lit a candle. I was honestly relieved that he wasn't the source of the smell. If his issues are going to include poor hygiene, life is gonna get really challenging. 

Last weekend, I asked Coach if he could put away the tools that littered one section of our bedroom floor. They weren't in my footpath, but STILL. The tools were there since, brace yourself, the dryer died . . . before Christmas. He used the tools again finally to re-hang the door and rebuild the destroyed door jam about a month ago. I felt like maybe it was time to put the tools AWAY. 

Starting to understand what I'm up against? 

And while the kids have been e-learning, I've become a barmaid. What happened to DON'T EAT IN THERE? 

I hollered one night during an impromptu family meeting:  If you think I'm cleaning up after you all, then you have another thing coming. You're in for a rude awakening.

They were bewildered. Not because I wanted them to clean up after themselves. 


I switched to their native tongue:  


They congratulated me with whoops and laughter:  


They enjoyed my lingo, but missed my point. 


Nicole said...

That is a LOT of really big shoes. Yikes!

Pat Birnie said...

Wow those shoes!! That’s a lot to trip over. So happy that Lad is doing better. Love when our dated expressions just elicit a blank stare- when my 29 yr old son & his girlfriend moved in together last year, I asked jokingly ‘how do you like living in sin?’ Such a common expression in my day. He replied “what’s that?’ He’d never even heard the expression.

Kari said...

Size 15...LMAO.
I wear a size 9.5 so I feel you on big feet. Although, we aren't considered big feet anymore. I had size 9 feet back in the 80s when having small feet was "all the rage". EYE ROLL.

All those shoes are giving me the shakes. Although, I do miss having that many kids in my house. But that was only when we had parties. ;)

Suz said...

You can cancel your family? What? Is that like cancelling a sitcom? I don't understand this because you know, no teenagers in my home now.

The shoes. Goodness. Riddle me this: Why don't they keep their shoes in their own closet in their bedroom? I mean, I understand snow boots, but the other shoes?

And, what is wrong with you? We need to see the lockers. :) Do they have combination locks because if they do, I'm going to have 'that nightmare.'

You are living with a bunch of sasquatches. THOSE FEET!

Smelly Tupperware is the worst.

I also like watching basketball. College or HS, never Professional because you know, all the pros have kind of ruined sports.

Ernie said...

Nicole - They are indeed. When they leave their shoes around the house INSTEAD of in the mudroom, walking around becomes dangerous.

Ernie said...

Pat - I instruct them to keep any excess of shoes in the garage or dress shoes in their bedroom closets, but they end up back in the house or mudroom. The lockers have space under them for shoes to be stored, but they usually just leave them in the middle of the room.

I'm laughing at the 'living in sin' comment and how he hadn't heard it. I'm sure Tank knew what I was saying, but he likes to get me riled up. All.The.Time.

Ernie said...

Kari - To be honest, Tank only has one foot that is a 15. The other is a size and a half smaller. Rather than buy two pairs of shoes, we cater to the big foot. His shoes literally look like skis.

Curly was a shoe fanatic as a baby. Born that way. It was freaky, she LOVED shoes. I would volunteer as a timer at a swim meet and when I was done, Curly would've gather abandoned shoes from various sides of the pool. Returning shoes to the owners was interesting and awkward. Then one day she saw a talk show about someone who was so tall that they could never find shoes to fit and Curly broke down and cried because she was crazy tall and everyone always commented on her height. She admitted to crying because she worried she would one day not be able to buy shoes in her size. ;)

Ernie said...

Suz - My kids are constantly telling me what has been cancelled. Various Disney movies, Dr. Seuss books, etc. This is the theme of late, so they loved that I suddenly seemed so 'with it.'

Um, we do not wear shoes in the house, so I guess that is why shoes aren't kept upstairs in their rooms. We have carpet (I know that's so outdated, but the bedrooms and basement and family room are all carpeted) and their shoes are usually dirty. So, mudroom. I do encourage them to keep dress shoes that aren't worn regularly in their closets, but their closets ESPECIALLY THE GIRLS are crowded.

I will get a picture of the mudroom. The lockers are not metal. No doors. They are just separate spaces with cubbies and hooks and a space beneath for shoes to be stored . . . but alas, so much easier to just kick shoes into the middle of the floor. And yes, big feet means big shoes. Walking through the mudroom sometimes means taking your life in your own hands.

Oh my gosh - the smell of those containers. At least rinse them, seriously.

I recently saw a few minutes of NBA b-ball and I was like, OH THAT GUY TRAVELLED. But they didn't call it and Coach told me that they don't really call it so much when they take several steps to the hoop. Huh? But that's not basketball.

Beth Cotell said...

All those shoes! I would be insane!

Gigi said...

This house doesn't have a mud room, per se - but when Man-Child lived here he would kick his shoes off at the kitchen counter and leave them there for me to trip over. Made me insane. Both Man-Child and I never wear shoes in the house, but my husband, The Neanderthal does for some reason. The only good thing about that is that he kicks his shoes off in his closet.

I get the tools on the floor since December. We JUST moved the chair out of the dining room (it was put there to make room for the Christmas tree) and back into it's rightful place in the living room.

Ernie said...

Beth - For years I kept shoes that were either out of season or those that still held some life in them for a sibling (especially 'church' shoes and cleats and boots) in a cabinet in the basement. By cabinet I mean it was like several cabinets in a row (particle board cabinets). It really did almost make me crazy to sort through them periodically and find pairs and try not to miss the window for who could wear it next. We never handed down sneakers or shoes (except for muddy-play) that they were going to wear a ton. We were on a tight budget but being married to a PT means that he understands the importance of good support and kids feet being shaped differently, etc. It is actually a relief that I only have a few bins of shoes for winter or summer in the basement these days in addition to the several pairs they each own in the mudroom.

Ernie said...

Gigi - Coach and I inform our kids that we only owned a pair of shoes for gym class and running around after school and then a pair to wear to Catholic school/church. That was it. I usually also had sandals in the summer. Our kids get all glassy eyed when we talk about this strange world we came from. They don't get it.

Tank is the worst at kicking his shoes off near his kitchen chair. I usually have 3 high chairs set up on that side of the table. He also hangs a drawstring bag on his chair. I have tripped and once I got my foot caught in the string from his drawstring bag while walking with a baby and I almost went down. He was e-learning in the basement and I called him out of class to get his crap out of my kitchen.

Our mudroom was the laundry room when we moved in.
We moved laundry upstairs. Thank goodness, because I would not survive without a place for the shoes.

Despite covid, we are still quite busy - so there is always something that needs attention and a pile of tools that no one is tripping over is going to come in last place always.

Ally Bean said...

Oh this made me laugh out loud. Talking their language, you are one smart cookie. Sorry they missed your point though. So many shoes... I can't even...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making me laugh with this post! The photo of all those shoes! Omg. Love that you could immediately switch gears during Family Meeting and speak the lingo of The Youth of Today! You’re the Cool Mama who knows the hip lingo. :-)


Ernie said...

Ally - I just cleaned the garage - more shoes. So many single shoes. Where did Coach and I go wrong. I can't wrap my brain around the lone lost shoe. What in the world? Glad I made you laugh. I made my kids laugh a ton when I threatened to cancel them.

Ernie said...

Maddie - Glad you laughed. My kids keep telling me that I could never be a high school teacher (the career that I wish I'd have done) because I am not 'WOKE' enough. I was like HUH? This whole new world and their nutty lingo makes me feel ancient.