Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hurricane Macie



 The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Hurricane” as the following:
1: a tropical cyclone with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or greater that occurs especially in the western Atlantic, that is usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning, and that sometimes moves into temperate latitudes.
2: something resembling a hurricane especially in its turmoil.

When Macie is in destruction mode (which is pretty much her constant state) she resembles a hurricane. She can turn a spotless room into a disorganized, chaotic mess. She leaves heaping piles of wreckage in the wake of her whirlwind of devastation without concern for the damage and disorder she has caused. In the process she leaves piles of drool behind her, a side effect of her open mouthed giggles- a clear sign of her glee. Once Macie has completely devastated a space she surveys her work with satisfaction and eagerly toddles towards the next room.

As you can see, Macie’s favorite activity is to destroy. Macie likes everything to be out on the floor where she can see it and take inventory. When Macie sees a stack of blocks she immediately knocks it over and takes it apart, like a mini-godzilla knocking over high rises in a city.  She is going to be one of those adults with a desk covered in paperwork in disorganized stacks so that she can “find” things easily. If she sees a clean, picked up room she immediately gets to work “correcting” the situation.

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Hurricane Macie in Action

Macie’s Bedroom

Macie literally pulls EVERYTHING onto the floor- shoes, bibs, books, bows, toys, stuffed animals, diapers, everything on the changing station, clothes, etc. She usually begins her destruction with the bookshelf. Once all the books within her reach have made it safely to the floor she moves onto her toy chest. When all of her toys and stuffed animals are on the floor she moves onto the drawers and pulls out bibs, shoes, socks, and bows. Finally, she moves onto her changing table and begins to pull out diapers, wipes, and miscellaneous baby items. At this point it is difficult to walk around Macie’s room without stepping on her possessions. When I try to clean up her room I have to put her in the crib because the minute Macie sees me trying to clean her mess she immediately starts undoing my progress.

The Bathroom

Out of all the rooms in the house, Macie spends the least amount of time in the bathroom. Typically the room is closed to her except during bath time and tooth brushing time. Occasionally she finds her way into the bathroom a step ahead of me and she takes the brief moment she has to pull all the toilet paper off the roll, eat a bit of toilet paper, and dig in the wastebasket. As I pull her out of the bathroom (usually kicking and screaming) she often has toilet paper wrapped in her hand- a souvenir of her exploration.

My Bedroom

Like the bathroom, Macie spends minimal time in the Master Bedroom. The room is not well child proofed and lacks play space and toys. The little time that we spend in my bedroom Macie spends pulling clothes out of laundry baskets and removing my shoes from the closet one by one. I don’t know why or how, but Macie is definitely a shoe baby- she is fascinated by heels, flats, and running shoes alike. Macie carefully inspects each shoe, tastes a portion of it, and then moves to the next.

The Kitchen

Macie's Evil Laugh
A baby gate separates my kitchen and living room with the purpose of keeping Macie out of the kitchen. Obviously, the kitchen is full of hazardous and dangerous items- chemical cleaners, knives, heavy dishes and appliances, etc. Therefore, Macie has limited access to this space. I guess it’s true that we want what we can’t have. Any time the baby gate is open Macie toddles into the kitchen as fast as she can and makes a beeline for the food cupboard. With pleasure written all over her face, Macie opens the cabinets, takes a second to analyze the situation, then carefully pulls the food items out one by one.

The Living Room

Macie spends most of her daily playtime in the living room. This is the most childproofed space in the house and is furnished with comfortable couches. The space is open and light, with baby height windows for Macie to stand and observe the world. Best of all, I control the quantity and type of toys, books, and stuffed animals that Macie plays with in this room. I weekly rotate a selection of toys from her bedroom to the living room to change things up and give Macie variety. Because there are fewer items in this room for Macie to destroy she quickly moves on to the “grown-up” items in the room- remotes, DVDS, cell phones, etc. It’s pretty funny to watch Macie play with Josh’s Blackberry and pretend to send a text message and talk on the phone (usually in a loud, rambling tone).

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As you can see, Macie moves from room to room wreaking havoc and leaving destruction in her path on a daily basis. Although she revels in these activities (they are the highlight of her day), it adds at least an extra half an hour of cleaning to my workload. Sometimes I wonder why I even try to clean up- Macie will just reverse all of my work the next day. Then I recall Macie’s quirky smiles and erratic laughs as she goes about her acts of devastation, like a mad scientist shrieking with delight, and it makes the picking up process a little less tedious (remember, I’m not really the domestic type- housekeeping is not my thing).  
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 Before Hurricane Macie



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After Hurricane Macie






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