My vision for our living space was very clear when we purchased our current home. The boys would have ownership of the bottom level. They would share a large room that would be subdivided into a sleeping area and play area. They would also have their own bathroom. The middle level would be shared living space with the living room, dining area and kitchen. The upstairs? All ours. Ed and I would have our bedroom, bathroom and an office/guest room. To keep the boys happy in the basement, we spent a lot of time and money making the space comfortable and appealing. We put down hardwood floors, got rid of the cottage cheese ceiling, painted and decorated all shades of blues and reds and cars and trains.
This grand plan has been under siege, pretty much from our move-in date over three years ago. In Gremlin-like fashion, the toys migrated up into the living area. Eventually, they found their way onto the top floor. MY floor.
The boys also like to bathe....not shower. Spoiled little things. Their bathroom has only a shower, so their bath stuff and toothbrushes have found real estate next to my Burts Bees and Body Shop products in the master bath.
A couple weeks back I came home from work to find Asher had labeled the bathrooms in our home. The upstairs bathroom, MY bathroom, now had a big imposing "MEN" sign on the door. The downstairs bathroom, next to the boys' beds, was now the designated Ladies room. He was very proud, so I played along for the day and only used the ladies facilities in the basement, IKEA pirates mirror, plastic footstool, and all.
Only when I found myself walking past my own bathroom and stumbling down two flights of stairs to reach my assigned bathroom in the middle of the night did it finally occur to me.
I was losing this war.
Fearing we were in for many more years of battles, a mini-Vietnam of sorts in the middle of the Northern Virginian suburbs, or even worse, that we could end up on one of those home organization shows on cable, I decided to launch Operation Reclaim My House.
Operation RMH began September 7th and it is no small coincidence that school began on that date as well. The last two weeks have been a manic blur of sorting, organizing, throwing out, giving away. Making sure all little boy things have a home that isn't in my desk drawer or under my pilates mat. Throwing away all signs written in colored marker that tell me where I can sit, sleep and pee.
Overall, I am claiming victory. I even pulled out a copy of our house deed to show Asher that, in fact, our little slice of NoVA belongs exclusively to his mother and father and he has nothing more than squatters rights (he offered to write his name in colored marker onto the deed).
But even as this battle has been fought, the war is long ..... wish me luck.