If articles in my living room could speak, telling our sordid tales of everyday living, you might gain an in depth expose of living in a fully dysfunctional ADHD household of humans. Wadded up striped socks might inform you that on many a day, they are not monogamous in our household, but frequently change partners, where they may or may not meet up with their mate in the laundry basket of “awkward reunions”.
Tables are not used by our family for sit down dinners, but rather as “Piling stations” where random projects of rainbow loops, pipe cleaners, last month’s flashcards, and an empty Ritalin bottle like to hang out and shoot the shit.
Blue liquids with a grainy substance linger in the bottom of jars and bowels along the kitchen counter, as testament to abandoned Science experiments, where baking soda and vinegar were sorely needed, and dish washing soap and salt were poor substitutes.
“She could have been a contender. She had such a gift for Volcano’s! If only her mother would have remembered the vinegar and baking soda. Such a shame!”
Our Happy Tunes, faux-denim-covered record player would pipe up for us that we have kept him around for over 20 years, and only recently discovered he had a purpose. Herb Alpert tunes are now played merrily at the only decibel that comes in clearly at 8 am: extra loud and warbely.
The dilapidated dining room chairs commiserate amongst themselves about all the ways they are used; none of them involve sitting still. Occasionally one will bring up the “Great Blanket Fort of 2008” where their sturdiness held tight against the volley of couch pillows, and threat of dismantlement by Mama–saurus Rex after 4 days. Although chipped, princess-stickered, and badly worse for wear at any garage sale, these dining room chairs hold their dignity as any veteran of child-raising should.
Our marigold covered sofa, chosen partly for its sunnier disposition, resembles the color of newborn baby poo yellow. It might tell Velveteen rabbit types of stories. Surely, after all it’s been through, it deserves the gift of being “real” and would probably put itself up on Craigslist as soon as possible.
Spineless throw cushions that have caved to childhood pummeling, where the horizontal landscape of seating tolerates permanent depressions on fault lines where seats meet. These cushions alone should probably be condemned for all the methane gas they house within. They are like family “secret keepers”; housing and hiding away farts, stashes of swear words, and misplaced change, illicit candy, car keys, and remote controls.
Couch has stories galore. How many teenage butts, spanning countless years of online gaming and marathons of “Scrubs”, “and “Dr. Who” have graced these cushions? The jelly stains and marker “enhancements” that my daughter Genghis Kali have embellished over the years could one day be the archeological evidence of our societies value systems and beliefs. Much like the studies of cave paintings, one might look further into the corners of the cave, to find the remains of a cave Mom, slumped against the wall in resignation. “I told them not to draw on the walls! I just spent the entire afternoon scrubbing! Why can’t we have nice things?”
There are many times I am thankful my living room furniture and accouterments haven’t played tattletale on me. Most times I am mortified by our constant clutter, the Halloween pumpkins that are pouting just outside the patio door, reminders of what a failure I am as a neat and organized housewife. I am a Pinterest reject, and I fear the uninvited knock at the door, even if it’s a kid who came to see if my daughter Genghis Kali can play. Guests that I know are arriving trigger my fight or flight instinct and serve as a warning to my kids; my 4 hour window of fever-pitched-anxiety-frenzy has just been activated.
My house will never look like a cookie cutter dream come true, and after 20 + years as an adult with ADHD, I realize it’s not just a phase I’m going through. This disorganization is here to stay. What we do have are friends and family that seem to be blind to all my domestic shortcomings and keep showing up for family gatherings and visits. My kids always have a “Home” to come to, which is different than a house. A home is where you can be yourself. A home is where love gathers like dust bunnies and celebrates your experimentations, creations, and half-baked ideas. I’m convinced my daughter is going to revolutionize pipe cleaner art and have the first showing in MOMA. We allow ourselves 5 days of “chaos incarnate” and then 2 days of shoveling into some semblance of order.
Many of my friends and family post on Facebook their organizational magical holiday flow, where right after they put their Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge, their rooftops suddenly blossom with Christmas tree lights. A fully decorated blue spruce, along with a roaring fireplace is brought out of winter storage while hot apple cider and cinnamon waft in through the ventilation. I’m seriously considering blocking these people till after January, or at the very least, stealing their living room photos of Pinterest Perfection, and photo shopping our family in for the greeting cards! If it’s a Leap Year, you may get yours before February, but don’t hold your breath.