Wednesday, December 12, 2007

At a crossroads

I'm at a crossroads. A point of no return. And no, it's not because my new GPS broke (it's working quite nicely, thanks for asking). It's because I'm about to put doors on the new cabinets I've built.

You may recall I took on the project of built-in cabinets in our living room back in September. Dad came in, and in about two days we built base cabinets and bookshelves on either side of the fireplace, leaving me with the relatively straightforward tasks of tiling the counter top, cutting and hanging shelves, painting everything, and installing doors.

Well, after over three months, I'm down to that last step. The doors. And this is where I hit the turning point. You see, my wife and I have small children. Perhaps you were aware of this. Perhaps you have a few of your own. If you do, you're also aware that any room in which a small child plays becomes a cleanup project for FEMA within seconds of the child entering. I'm afraid that once the doors are up and the cabinets are officially done, there will be no stopping Hurricanes Natalie and Jessica from striking landfall in our living room.

You see, before the project began, this room was "the playroom". There was no furniture in there, only a, a swamp...of toys. Barbies. Puzzles. Blocks. Fisher Price animals. plastic playsets. tiny hair brushes, no more than a centimeter in length, used either to brush the hair of a Polly Pocket doll or to lodge in the windpipe of a puppy. There were times when it was quite literally impossible to walk from one end of the room to the other without getting a Mr. Potato Head body part wedged under a toenail. When the project began, we decided to completely empty out the room. All toys went to the guest room (speaking of which, please don't visit any time soon unless you plan to stay at a hotel. We have yet to hack a pathway to the bed in there). Since there was no furniture in there to begin with, the room has been a sanctuary from the daily clutter of living with children. A place where a dad could run free, and handily enough a place where a four-year-old could do multiple tumblesaults (her word) without injury.

Once I put those doors on, my project will be complete. No more, "Kids! Get your stuff out of here! daddy has to use the sander and doesn't want to get dust all over your Magnadoodle!" No, those doors will go up and suddenly a huge volume of stuff will make it's way back into the room. Those nice empty cabinets will be stuffed to the door frames with crap, crap and more crap. The kids wil find reasons to bring down Animal Bingo, Fisher Price Zoo, and multiple cans of Silly String. It will be chaos.

I'm thinking of putting a lock on one of those new cabinets, and saving the space for myself. Not so I can store stuff. But so I can hide in there. Sure, I won't be able to tumblesault in there, but it will still be my sanctuary.

Sigh. I guess there's no putting it off. To the workshop I go. Well the good news is, once this room is ready, I'll move on to either the office or the dining room. And that room will get its chance at a few months of heavenly order before that overwhelming force known as clutter takes over again.

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