Monday, November 29, 2010

Not Me

Margo Kaufman said, "One person's mess is merely another person's filing system."

I could not disagree more with that statement.  I realize that there are times when my home takes on a bit of an organized chaos kind of feel.  But, by and large, I'm a pretty orderly person.  I wouldn't go so far as to admit to being a "neat freak," but I do get a little anxious when things aren't where I want them to be. 

I have found, in my child-rearing, that no matter how much you attempt to train your children, no matter how much you attempt to model specific behavior, and that no matter how many times you correct undesirable behavior, it is simply in a child's DNA to do things that just leave you scratching your head and wondering how you could have messed up so badly!

I give you Exhibit A:

This is our cereal storage cupboard in the kitchen.  It's one of those low, narrow cupboards just right for the slim design of a cereal box.  I keep our cereal in plastic storage bins made for such provisions to keep them fresh. There are four of them in there - with a family of 5, we have several taste preferences to satisfy - plus a small square'ish container that holds packets of instant oatmeal.

I opened the cupboard the other day to find this.  And I, stupidly, asked the following question:

"Who did this?"

And I, unsurprisingly, heard the following response:

"Not me!"

Yes, one-by-one, my sweet little charges answered my question with great conviction. 

But wait!  What's that? 
Someone has a twitch. 
Someone is avoiding eye contact. 
Someone is sticking his tongue into his cheek like that someone always does when a fib is going down.

I'm not going to rat out the perpetrator.  He knows who he is and he's made things right.  (My pronoun usage opts out Jenna, so that leaves you with two guesses.)

There are times, many times, when I am quite certain that the good folks who write the comic strips for "Baby Blues" and "Family Circus" has a nanny-cam set up somewhere in my home.  Just today, Family Circus ran one of their familiar "Who-Did-This?-Not-Me!" supplements.  Either our life is imitating their art or their art is imitating our life. 

"Not Me" is a very busy member of my family.  I'd like to send him/her packing, but something tells me I'm stuck with him/her until all my kids go off to college.  Hmmm...

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