Depending upon who you talk to, I’m either the most organized or the least organized person this side of the Mississippi. If I’ve got the time, space, and energy, you’ll happily find me (on my days off) organizing shit, making it more efficient and reducing clutter. If I don’t? Well, I’m sure The Guy on My Couch or The Daver will cheerfully explain all the ways in which I am *not* organized.

It’s a good damn thing I know how to lock them out of the back end (snort) of my blog.

Anyway, by comparison, I look like (insert name of professional organizer here) compared to Daver. Looking for something on his desk is like going on an archeology expedition. Oh! Wow! There’s that stapler that’s needed staples for 4 years. And holy shit! I think this coffee cup holds a cure for the flu! And that thing I’d asked him to return – guess that’s not going back!

If you think I’m ragging on The Daver, let me tell you a little story. Gather ’round, Pranksters, because this is a good’n.

I was packing up our condo in order to move Dave for the third time in two years. He’s magically gotten a “headache” every time anyone has to put shit in boxes, leaving me and whomever else I can con into helping lug my crap around.

I’d gotten to his “office” which was really just a room with a computer that the cats peed in. The room, not the computer. The floor was, as usual, covered in paper. Daver has this thing about paper – he never knows what to recycle or get rid of so he just…keeps it. It’s not like he’s a hoarder. Not once did I see him yell, “BUT THEMS BE MAH PRECIOUS THAAAAANNNNGS,” as I removed his precious box of VHS tapes (we had no VCR) or his books of bad poetry, when I’d get down and dirty with the cleaning.

While I’d prefer to give you the mental picture of me strong-arming Daver away from a box of miscellaneous cords, yelling, “THIS IS AN INTERVENTION. LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE BECOME – TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR.”

Dave happened to be out at work when I made this particularly awesome discovery in the cat pee room/office floor, which was probably for the best, considering I spent the next twenty (two hundred) minutes sitting on our couch, staring at it, while a much younger Ben sat on the couch watching the same Sesame Street DVD over and over again (thanks to autism, I can’t even SEE an Elmo without breaking out into a cold sweat).

It was….mesmerizing – like one of those weird picture within a picture things I can never see because I’m colorblind and possibly brain-damaged.

Pranksters, I wish I had a snap to show you, but I did end up throwing it away well before I began blogging here at Mommy Wants Vodka.

What had been so sacred, so important, so revered, was a simple slip of paper. A simple slip of paper from Target. A simple slip of paper from Target detailing items Dave had, himself, purchased before we began dating, some three years prior. What, I can almost hear you ask, the hell was on this slip of paper that Dave deemed it so important as to not only keep, but MOVE three times?

In November of (counts on Fingers) 2001, Dave had bought himself a bin of kitty litter.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – why bother with kitty litter when the cats just piss all over the place anyway? The answer is, I don’t know Perhaps, Dave used it himself. Maybe he had an oil spill or really liked to hunker down and squat over a kitty shitter to evacuate his bowels. I don’t know. I didn’t ask.

And I’m damn sorry I didn’t keep the thing. I’d have framed it, like I framed the check I got from BlogHer for .01.

Sometimes, we must celebrate how ludicrous life can be.

Anyway, biology be damned, Little Ben seems to take after The Daver in more than just personality. My father, to give you an idea of the genetic soup I rose from, is the most organized person on the planet. His books are arranged on the bookshelves using the Dewey Decimal System (is that still around? I CAN’T BE SURE).

So I assumed some of this would rub off on my kid. I mean, if you tell me, “Hey, AB, go rearrange your blogroll to meet these arbitrary criteria,” I’d be halfway done before I asked myself WHY I was doing such a task. I may not be the most organized person on the planet, but I can follow directions like BOOM.

My firstborn, on the other hand, would be asked to go and clean his room, figuring that this was enough direction for a child who had my father’s genetics somewhere in his body.

I’d go and check on him a half an hour later and find that he’d carefully, painstakingly pulled out each of his Lego kits and had rearranged them to match whatever the instructional booklet showed.

 

Sorta like that, but less Star Wars-y.

His floor would be covered in miniature stacks of carefully laid out Legos while the rest of his bedroom appeared to have been subject to a very tiny tornado.

It was then that I realized my son would need some help with organizational skills. But how? When the kid is such a perfectionist that he has to fold and refold a shirt 26 times OR shove all of his clothes into one drawer, what do you do? I mean, he’s too young for a professional organizer…right?

Anyway.

Organization in school has been an issue with him for oh, I don’t know (counts on fingers) six years? I’ve tried differing systems with him – he gets too bogged down with making sure things like, “wipe ass” are on there. I’ve tried buying him a calendar-type planner so he can see what’s coming up in the future. I’ve bought him dozens of watches in the hope that if he had them, he’d be able to tell time and get his ass home in time for dinner.

The watches were gone within a few days. The planner was gone too.

Which is why, when he was invited into a program in Middle School called “AVID,” I was thrilled. It was a whole college-prep class about organization, note taking skills, and shit, I half-way wanted to sign up for it. Happily, Ben signed up for it, knowing as well as I that organization will always be a struggle for him. It made me feel a HELL of a lot better about sending the kid to middle school.

And then. And how. And why.

*sighs*

I got a letter from the vice-principal of the middle school. Due to lack of interest, the program won’t be offered this year.

When I stop weeping, I’ll let you know.

P.S. I know my site looks janked up – I updated to the newest WordPress and it took a shit on me. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS, WORDPRESS.

P.P.S. While at the time, I wept and shook my fists at the sky, I think I’m going to see this as an omen that I need a new site design.

P.P.P.S. Randomly, what’s an Amazon Affiliate? I’ve heard that phrase no less than three times in the past 24 hours but have NO idea what that means.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

13 Responses to Forever Yours, Avidly

  • Jessica says:

    Amazon affiliate is a fancy way of making cents from amazon when you put links to their site on your bloggity. You can find more info here: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/

  • wendy says:

    While I do completely love an organized house, my ADD & OCD take over & shoot me in the face. I get overwhelmed with going through a small box of crap that should be just pitched –but my brain just goes on loop with ZOMG-Keep?-Pitch? Fuck it, I’ll put it on a shelf & deal with it later. Then two years later, I’ll pull it out of the garage & start cussing at myself for that same stupid box. I’ve been known to throw away car titles, but yet keep grocery receipts in my car for years. Fairly sure, I’m just a slob with grandiose ideas of having things tidy.

    And? I totally understand the Elmo situation. My son was obsessed with Teletubbies & then moved on to Thomas-the-Holier-Than-Thou-fuckin train. It made me mostly a raging agnostic/atheist just out of spite. Just once, I would have loved to watch that mean Diesel bitch-slap the rest of the whining trains.

    I should have known Aspie’s was involved, but I was oblivious to it for years. When I would clean his room, he would keep it that way for months. Compulsively lining up all of his hot wheels cars or transformers in different orders for HOURS.
    Now? He’s 13, I’m afraid of his room & he cannot do his homework without me still checking his backpack. We’ve tried all methods, therapy & tricks with responsibility & accountability to no avail. I will prolly go to college with him.

    He’s now been into Star Wars for 4 years. He sets up all his action figures into battle scenes, along with the spaceships and will make me watch re-enactments of the movies daily. He’s a trip!

    P.S. I would like to meet the person who designed the less than 1/18th inch guns/weapons for the action figures and kick their ass. My son has had full-scale meltdowns over a missing light sabre.

    • Zak says:

      OMFG, the tiny little weapons.

      And then I am looking all of my house and car for “I don’t even know what the eff you are talking about”.

  • Jen Nay Furr says:

    Trying to stay organized is a bitch. A big bitch with B.O. and an overbite. That’s why I have a “Jeanine”. (step-mom. parents had to move in with us recently.) She wakes up and farts organization. OCD is a wonderful thing if you’re not the one that has it. Especially with three demons – uhh – children in the house.
    Also – pretty sure an Amazon Affiliate is someone from the rain forest that goes around feeling people up in line at the grocery store. At least that’s what the giant told me right before he suggested that I relax my sphincter a little.

  • Grace says:

    Is it wrong that I look forward to moving out of this house because it means I can start my organization system all over again? Everything is a mess, and my current system isn’t working. Who says Do Overs can’t exist in Grown Up World?

  • In theory, it means that you send people to amazon to buy shit, and amazon gives you pennies for the referring.
    In practice, I have no fucking idea because WHERE THE FUCK ARE MAH PENNIES AMAZON?

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    oh, AB, you and you alone can bring me from laughing til I pee i (n the floor like The Daver’s cats at the image of The Daver on “hoarders” screaming ‘thems be mah precious thaaaaaiings, mah precious, mah precious’) to genuine tears at a parent’s pain as she tries to figure out how to help her child. #thisiswhyiloveyou

  • alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Dear Auntie,
    My mother would be upset with me for making any suggestions whatsoever to any parent about how to parents his or her child, much less to presume to tell the parent of a child with exceptionalities (which, in cases such as your child’s, mean mostly that he’s exceptionally brilliant if disorganized) but can his 504 plan, if he has one, (I doubt he qualifies for an IEP) be rewritten to demand virtually every accommodation that AVID would have afforded him? IThe school might, then, find it easier to offer at least a modified form of the program to the few parents obnoxious enough to advocate for their children?

    Seriously, my mom would be p!$$ed at me for writing this. My dad gets mad when I give medical advice, and my mom gets mad when I give out special ed. advice. I understand their concerns in this regard, as I have no qualifications to tell anyone anything pertaining to either topic. On the other hand, there’s this pesky situation of my being seventeen and all, and we all know that seventeen-year-olds are inherent geniuses. We KNOW everything. My dad says I’ll wake up in a few years and not be quite so intelligent. Whay in the world would that happen?

    Anyway, please forgive my seventeen-year-old know-it-all ways. It’s just that I listen to my mom talking about 94-142 and its subsequent reauthorizations, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act all the time. You’ve probably already explored the options and concluded that it’s not worth it because they say they’ll do something and then don’t, and you’re not militant enough to force the issue with litigation because sometimes one can win the battle yet one’s child can, as a consequence, lose the war. (My mom said those very words to someone on the phone last week.)

    If it’s any consolation, I have to limit the “wisdom” I share because i’m typing with one hand for awhile.

    Alexis

  • alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Dear Auntie,
    My mother would be upset with me for making any suggestions whatsoever to any parent about how to parents his or her child, much less to presume to tell the parent of a child with exceptionalities (which, in cases such as your child’s, mean mostly that he’s exceptionally brilliant if disorganized) but can his 504 plan, if he has one, (I doubt he qualifies for an IEP) be rewritten to demand virtually every accommodation that AVID would have afforded him? IThe school might, then, find it easier to offer at least a modified form of the program to the few parents obnoxious enough to advocate for their children?

    Seriously, my mom would be p!$$ed at me for writing this. My dad gets mad when I give medical advice, and my mom gets mad when I give out special ed. advice. I understand their concerns in this regard, as I have no qualifications to tell anyone anything pertaining to either topic. On the other hand, there’s this pesky situation of my being seventeen and all, and we all know that seventeen-year-olds are inherent geniuses. We KNOW everything. My dad says I’ll wake up in a few years and not be quite so intelligent. Whay in the world would that happen?

    Anyway, please forgive my seventeen-year-old know-it-all ways. It’s just that I listen to my mom talking about 94-142 and its subsequent reauthorizations, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act all the time. You’ve probably already explored the options and concluded that it’s not worth it because they say they’ll do something and then don’t, and you’re not militant enough to force the issue with litigation because sometimes one can win the battle yet one’s child can, as a consequence, lose the war. (My mom said those very words to someone on the phone last week.)

    If it’s any consolation, I have to limit the “wisdom” I share because i’m typing with one hand for awhile.

    Alexis

  • Mary Trunk says:

    Have you ever read Louise Erdrich’s poem “Advice to Myself.” It’s great and while I do like things organized (a lot), I also know there are times when I should stop obsessing. Figuring out when those times are, is hard work. Anyway, if you go to laundrylinedivine.com, I think she put the poem there. I also put it on my documentary film facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/lostinliving. Enjoy! And thanks for a great post.

  • Heather says:

    My DH is the worst unorganized person I’ve ever met. When he worked in an office one weekend when I went with him to work on the weekend (before we had kids) and cleaned it for him while he worked out on the telecom floor. Now he works from the office at home and it’s awful. First his excuse was he needed new furniture to organize things in the drawers. Now he has the new furniture, no excuse and it always looks like a tornado hit it.

    And our daughter is the same way. Her room is always a disaster. At the age of 11yo I fear this is how she will be forever. I always was a very neat person as a child as well as a grownup. Our daughter can clean up her room, just like DH will clean his office sometimes, it just goes right back to looking a mess within a few hours of use.

  • JodieGirl says:

    Hiya Aunt Becky,

    So sorry to hear Ben won’t be in AVID this year! My son was in AVID for a couple of his high school years and it made a HUGE difference! Surprisingly though, it was in part just him thinking “hey, so what if I have an IEP? I’m fucking smart enough to go to college & these people know it and are giving me the pre-college class! Sweet!” If the school is backing out for the up-coming year, see if you can get a commitment from them to start the process for the next year & ensure that there are enough kids to fill the classes (BTW, I personally think that is a lame ass excuse,~ you mean to tell me they can’t find kids that wouldn’t benifit from AVID? Horeseshit!!) Good luck & keep up the fight!

    Love,
    JodieGirl

  • Barbara says:

    My boyfriend could use a class in organization. He liked to leave things in what I call his “hiding places”. It’s so frustrating when I’m trying to find something and have to look all over the house!

    P.S. If you need help with your site, I’m offering.

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