Please don't phone the police!
It's not burglars!
It's simply the work of a three year old boy and his 39 year old accomplice, who really should know better!
You'd think I'd learn by now wouldn't you...
Never to do...the annual pre-birthday declutter...........on my own!
...especially when the King of Decuttler and strategist extraordinaire is out-of-reach and far far away on a three day residential course in Buckinghamshire.
Let's face it...he is the expert in messy bedrooms. I, on the other hand, am crap!
I really don't have the head for it!
But I was a desperate woman, preparing for another exciting birthday in the life of the Junior Waste Saboteur and embarking on Mission Impossible, which was to create space for some new presents to land. So it was time to sort out the toys and rearrange the furniture. The only other time this happens with such conviction is Christmas!
However, the flaw in this plan is that whenever I move around the furniture, I reveal the beastie that lurks in the bedroom. I know it's there, but if I don't look it will go unnoticed...and therefore it will cause me no distress.
But when I go hunting, I need to have my wits about me and make sure I am sufficiently armed to tackle the real nightmare that hides under the bed and in the shadows of the bedroom. If you're a parent who also struggles against chaos, you'll understand what I mean.
It looks like this.
But the truth is that it's an unexploded bomb awaiting disposal, a casualty bay of things missing in action and a collection of wasted opportunities.
With a background in library management, you'd think I'd be good at sorting and putting things in their place.
Well if it's got a Dewey number on it and is part of an age-old classification system then I am. However, the problem is that the broad categories of broken limbs, random jigsaw pieces and unidentified plastic objects are enough to send me running to the hills with my finger in my ears singing la, la, la, avoiding the truth of the matter and the inevitability of landfill.
But at least I can deal with things that look like this...
Yes, I know I chose carefully, but aside from the fact that it's a much loved bin lorry, the other thing I like is that it comes in just four easy bits, which once put together can be handled as a specific toy with a real purpose.
It's not that I dislike things like jigsaws. They're great and give the brain muscles a good flexing, but you can get too much flex when the odd piece goes astray.
Then there's Playmobil! Why did I buy that farm set off eBay, with all those fiddly bits, when my eldest boy was just three? Talk about peaking too soon!
Life would be easy if it was just Books, Lego, Cars, Trains and Kid K'Nex.
I'd know where to put them.
But I suppose it would be boring for a boy who soaks up learning through play, like a sponge with water. However, to his credit, his imagination knows no bounds and he can do all sorts with a cardboard box and a sweeping brush!
The great news is my mission to declutter was successful and that I've collected a few odds and ends to pass on to good homes, like little T's nursery and the fair-trade cafe in Bury St Edmunds.
But we've also said a sad goodbye to a bag-load of cuddlies, who have gone to a really good abode through Freecycle.
Anyway the surprise for everyone, including Mr A who gets home today, is that this woman on a mission finally pulled through and within a couple of hours of blood, sweat and tears, managed this miracle...
Oh, how I wish there was a course in the Management of Stuff. Having had kids, it'd be of much more use than a masters degree in Library and Information Management.
But at least, with the room now in a state of managed control, I can breathe easy, which is great news because the party is tomorrow.
Yey, time to celebrate.... in more ways than one... before I move onto the next area of the house...the kitchen!