Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Find It Yourself!

I have seen a few recent posts about Mommy Pet Peeves, so I thought I would chime in with my own two cents about the number one parenting responsibility that irks me. If there is one task above all, that makes me want to tear my hair out on a regular basis, it is looking for lost crap.

You know what I mean, right? When your darling little child starts a sentence for the umpteenth day in a row with "Mommy, where is my _____________?" Usually this inquiry is shouted from the bedroom upstairs while I am downstairs trying to conduct some sort of household duty, and my hearing is no good anyway. It always requires me yelling back "Get your lazy little butt down here and ask me I can't hear you, come down and ask me your question, please." The exchange is even more frustrating when The Baby has finally fallen asleep for a nap after 45 minutes and is jolted awake by the "conversation".

Why is it that kids believe their mommies possess some sort of radar to find their missing items? And why do we attempt to prove we do when they ask?

And so the search begins. Of course, they never know where they last played with/wore/looked at whatever they need RIGHT NOW. And in my house, a thorough search means ending up with a bigger mess than we started with.

We look in the "obvious" places ...
- under the bed, an area which seems to attract just about everything Little Diva doesn't feel like putting away when she is done.
-in the drawers, which have usually been pulled apart by Little Diva earlier in the day while she was attempting to construct her fashion ensemble for the day. ("Ensemble" is a fancy word for a ridiculously mis-matched outfit including short sleeves and flip-flops in the dead of winter.)
-in the closet, basically just a war zone. Enough said.

After 15-20 minutes of tearing through every possible inch of space, we either find it or we don't (by this time, Little Diva has usually lost interest anyway and is on to making more messes finding something else to play with). And the piles of crap relocated by our quest must be left unattended because The Baby's quiet whimpering has escalated into full-blown "get me now or I will puke" cries for attention.

I wonder if anyone out there has good strategies to help your kiddo keep track of their belongings. Anyone? Anyone?!


  1. Ha! Wego through this every single day at my house, too!

  2. I would love a way to find the stuff. I think the only answer is to toss it all, but that may be a bit extreme.

  3. We used to go through this, but a couple of years ago, I started telling my kids that they would have to look for it themselves or play with something else. They made messes and they would still ask me to help them find whatever vital toy they wanted, but I figure that if they really want something, they can look for it or keep their room clean enough and their toys picked up so they don't lose their toys. Mine are 6 year old boys, so maybe that's in you future.

  4. Bubba loses stuff all the time. If it's a toy, I usually say, "Sorry, Bubs, it's not my responsibility to keep track of your stuff." And he looks for it alone. If it's shoes or a jacket, one of two things happens. Either, I search for it to get us all out the door, or, if one parent is staying home, he is not allowed to go if he doesn't find it before Mom/Dad is ready to leave. I am hoping this will eventually teach him to keep better track of everything, but not so far!


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