The Big Tidy: one family’s story of tears, tantrums and survival 

So it’s that time again where we can’t move for toys and everywhere I look there’s a giant pile of crap with no place to go. All the days and weeks of us both  working, and life, trips out, and being generally so exhausted that the idea of picking up yet more Lego makes me want to stab myself  in the face, means that minimal tidying  has being going on, so nothing is in its sets. It makes me (perhaps unreasonably) uncomfortable that I’ve got Lego in with the stickle bricks and play doh squished into toot toot cars, dinosaurs in with diggers and knex literally in every corner, and without drinking even more wine than I do now, I don’t think I could cope with the mess for a second longer. So with all the enthusiasm of a puppy chasing a ball I decided today would be The Day of Tidying. My husband likes this day least of all the days, and his reaction on being told he’d need to get the loft ladder out and finally put the Christmas decorations away (yes, it is June, don’t judge us) & help me sort out the beasts’ toys was a mixture between this: 

And this:

Once he’d gone for a four mile run and gotten used to the idea, I enlisted The Beasts (with a hefty bribe of sweets) and we BEGAN. At first it seemed like a great idea, even though with only half the toys tipped out the living room looked like this:

Never mind I thought, if everyone pitches in, we’ll be done in half an hour. An hour tops. Max an hour and a half. 

Two hours later when hubbo tips out yet another storage box full of shite – sorry – toys – this was me:

That there my friends is a look of pure regret, while I’m wondering what the hell I was thinking and if there is any more wine in the fridge (there wasn’t; I’ve drunk it all.)

 Now I like to think that I’m not alone,  and that every parent has been in the situation where you have more toys than the local nursery and yet all your children want to play with is a mouldy lemon. And all those millions of toys, regardless of how often they are (not) played with, they just seem to spread themselves around your house so that eventually they’ve crept right up, almost in slow motion, and before you know it you’re sat watching tv or reading your diet magazine and out the corner of your eye all you can see is children’s paraphernalia. Everywhere. 

That is, of course, unless you’re one of those super (possibly mythical / supernatural / sorcerer) parents who make tidying up a game, probably with a song too, and it’s so much fun that your children just can’t wait for tidy up time, and everything goes neatly back into the right boxes at the end of the day. And because of this you never have to deal with the hideous sound that is a veritable truck load of plastic toys being tipped onto the floor ready to be sorted. *cries softly* *I can still hear it  when I close my eyes.* 

It’s fair to say that i’m definitely not one of those parents but have a deep admiration for those of you who are. If that is you, bravo my pretty, bravo. 

During The Big Tidy our emotions were turbulent. We began full of hope and vigor, determined that the house would no longer be the usual shithole. All the toys would be sorted into complete sets and everything would be back where it goes. And it would stay there. This optimism however swiftly faded, to be replaced with a dull panic upon realising that as quickly as we were sorting, the pile just didn’t seem to be going down, and by hour 100 still looked like this:

Chuck in two little beasts whose idea of helping is to throw wooden beads at your head, have a fist fight over the etch-a-sketch that’s just appeared under a pile of rubble, and whine continually that they hate tidying and need (yet another) wee, drink, snack, etc, soon we felt like this:

And of course, for a small beast, having every single toy out and strewn across the floor induced a fervor something similar to being given ice cream dipped in sherbet then being told you’re getting a pony and a puppy, so to save everyone’s sanity, the only option to calm everyone down was a quick play in the garden – in torrential rain. But no matter – what’s a bit of water when you’re still in your pjs at 3 in the afternoon? 

Especially for beast two: 

Ah the taste of sweet freedom. 

Meanwhile inside we could finally see light at the end of the tunnel – and the living room floor. I like to think we also score several marraige points for only bickering 57 times, hubbo hissing ‘this was your stupid idea‘ only about 15 times, cursing mildly about the sheer amount of shit we have only approximately 698 times and managing not to drop the F-bomb in front of the beasts when one of us invariably stepped barefoot onto one of the *thousands* of Lego bits covering the carpet. Appearing to have survived the ordeal, the toys now look like this: 

And the Christmas decorations are finally in the loft. 

I’m anticipating around 7.3 weeks before we need to start the process again 😳😱 but for now am off to buy more wine. Lovely wine. Farewell my comerades 🍷🍷

Once again my beastly readers if I could ask for a share, like, retweet that’d be super 😍



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