Posted by: angelnorman | August 4, 2007

Teetering on the edge of crazy.

Looking back, I suppose it doesn’t surprise me much that I have developed a neurosis like this. Can one just develop OCD? I don’t know. What I do know is that I cannot stand chaos lately. With the way I grew up, this doesn’t surprise me. I had one of those mothers, bless her heart, who spent every waking minute between work and sleep cleaning the house. (Don’t cast no stones at her. I’m sure she felt like she sorta had to, as me, my sister, and my stepdad all made our fair share of messes.. and then some.) Anyways, I have always been a messy person with a fondness for collecting and hanging on to everything. (Ask my mom! My room was pile upon pile of stuff I deemed to precious to toss.) And I was this way in my first five years of marriage too. Even after Nick was born, cleaning just didn’t make my priority list… Sanitization in moderation, yes. But having everything organized and put away: eh, not so much.

Until Nicholas turned two, had an insane birthday and Christmas, and suddenly, that just wasn’t an option anymore.

Despite my normal messy tendencies, I got bitten by the spring cleaning bug this year and ever since, I’ve been increasingly obsessive about it. We simply have too much stuff and it severely overwhelms me. Sometimes I’m able to see the silliness in the worry that I produce over stuff being out of place or piling up. I can tell myself to relax, that these things will make it back into place over time. But here lately, since my mom announced that she wanted to have a yard sale and I seen the perfect way to get rid of my junk, I will get downright defensive if someone messes and doesn’t clean up after themselves. I cannot stand things being out of place, stuff piling up, or people leaving dishes and/or clothing laying around. It makes my skin crawl. Order, on the other hand, relaxes me and makes me happy. Is that such a crime? Should I be on medication for such ridiculous behavior? I think not. I think everyone should straighten up their respective acts and join me on my path to crazyville.

On Saturday, the hubby tried to clean for me to make me happy. What a sweet guy, right? Yeah. You know how some people’s idea of cleaning is “straightening”? Well that’s him in a nutshell, so while I appreciated his efforts, on Monday I set out to re-straighten and then do some deep-cleaning too. I spent Monday AM getting my house in order, babysat some kids on Tuesday that ensured I’d spend Tuesday night re-cleaning everything… especially Nick’s room. The damage there was severe because I refused to let them bring more than one toy out at a time. I can envision them going home to their mom and dad, saying, “That Angel lady is seriously wiggin’ out. She used to let us free play and now she won’t even let us come out of Nick’s tiny bedroom!” Then Wednesday and Thursday, we had people here (lots of kids, as my last blog suggests) and I felt like some sort of nazi. “That is not where this goes,” I’d say. “Little People stuff here, trains here, cars in this bucket, puzzles right here…” And yes, I re-cleaned after our company left on both days.

Yes, I’m one of those women- every single toy of my child’s has a home, books must be in order by size, etc. I don’t think I’m unreasonable.

Except in the eyes of children, of course. And maybe some of my friends. On Wednesday, my friend Jen, knowing I would be devastated to see that our children had removed every single book from the bookcase (and then poured a small toy box full of stuff on top of that), actually tried to BLOCK me from going down the hall to see the damage. “Don’t look,” she said. “Just walk away.”

Here’s some things from this week that had me seriously on edge, for your enjoyment: 

Everyone's favorite toy-- but not mine!

Nick's room, Tuesday PM.

A rogue tractor in the kitchen floor.

And while I have no picture to show you this, I should probably point out that an unmade bed also drives me nuts. Because, seriously, look how restful this is:


Who wouldn’t want that?!



  1. I am not convinced it’s a disorder yet. If so I’m much sicker. I organize shelves at stores while shopping, straighten chairs and tables at the coffee shop, and reshelve stray books at the library.
    As long as you don’t start sanitizing things and people before you let your kid touch them I’ll still love you. The germaphobe thing crosses the line.

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