Last week as we were getting ready for bed Brent looked up at me in the mirror and said, "Do you do it on purpose?"
This is one of those loaded question moments. I think it was Bill Cosby who did a routine about calling your kids in to the living room every once in awhile and saying something like, "Well? Do you have something to tell me?" and then waiting for the confession. Because odds are they've done something that they think they are getting away with right until this very moment.
So as I turned off the water and met his gaze in the mirror I was wracking my brain, do what? What have I done lately? Is this "I'm sorry I didn't mean it" time or "I didn't do it!" time? Hmmm...so..."Do what?"
"Put everything back in a different order."
Oh! I get it. I had cleaned the bathroom that day and I take everything off the counters and clean then put it all back.
"Did I put things back in the wrong place?"
"Every time. Always different. I was just wondering if you did it as a game or because you couldn't remember where it all went."
Both of these are valid choices. Putting things back differently each time because it amused me would be something I would totally do. And having no clue where the things were 15 minutes before is also something I would do. Now the really crazy thing is I do think about it when I put them back. Not just trying to recall where they were but what would make sense in where they should be. And every time I put them back in a different place. Let that sink in for a second. From week to week I think the logical place to put something is a different place than last week.
So every week Brent gets to learn the new arrangement for his things. "Do you fix it?"
"Nope. I just leave it in the new arrangement and wait for the next week's surprise. I just wasn't sure if you did it as a game or an accident."
I gave him the "what are you going to do?" smile in the mirror and said, "Just an accident. Just think of it as helping you fight Alzheimer's!" (new ways of doing things you normally do by habit are good for neural pathways)
I thought about that today as I cleaned house. I had today as the only day this week with a good uninterrupted chunk of time to get the house cleaned before the mother-in-law visits this weekend. I needed to get it all cleaned top to bottom. So how long would it take? Let's make it a game! I thought it would probably take a normal person 3 hours so for an easily distracted person I was giving myself 4. I had 5 hours to get it all done so even if I went over I would be fine. I set a stopwatch and off I went! It took 4 hours and 37 minutes. So more than I thought but not terrible because I had other things that came up...
Like the clothes I started to switch out yesterday but only got halfway through before I left to take C to the dentist and forgot to get back to when we got home. I had some that I needed to try on to see how they fit and the rest needed hung up and the closet arranged. But I got that done. Then there were the pictures from graduation that I was going to scan in to email people and when I was sorting recycling I saw we had photo paper and realized I could actually print the pictures on the photo paper and give the grandmas' hard copies. And that took a little bit of figuring out but I got that done. And then the three times it took me to actually get the dishwasher unloaded because I kept getting distracted by other things. I don't really do chores in a linear fashion...a little of this...a little of that....which is great for keeping me interested but lousy for having to stop and think..."Hmmm? Where was I again? What's left?"
But the good news is, the house is clean.
And the toiletries are all rearranged.