Let’s play a little game … What do the following items have in common?
- a baseball cap
- a fleece glove (just one, not the pair)
- an Under Armour sweatshirt (brand new)
- a football
- a frisbee
- an athletic cup
- a water bottle
- a lunch box
- a day planner
- a vocabulary workbook
- an iPad charger
- a pair of scissors
- two cereal bowls
- two knit hats
- two different socks (not a matching pair)
- two drawstring bags (one with clean gym clothes inside)
- three mouth guards
- three reading books
- four homework worksheets
- five text books
- six lacrosse balls
These are all items that my boys have collectively lost, misplaced, forgotten or destroyed over the past three months. Consequently, I have lost countless hours (and dollars) searching for, retrieving, replacing or repairing said items. I have also lost my patience more times than I’d care to admit.
I’m told it’s a kid thing. They are only 8 and 11, after all. I guess that means I’m supposed to cut them some slack. Easier said than done.
My younger guy is easily distracted and generally pretty forgetful. I love him dearly, but he is also horrible at putting things away after he uses them … thus his perpetual misplacement of everything from books to socks. He is also independent and stubborn at the same time, which has resulted in a few broken bowls, plates and glasses. All accidents, of course, but irritating all the same.
My older guy is much better at returning items to their rightful places after using them, so he doesn’t usually lose things inside the house. That’s great, but outside the house is a different story. He isn’t very organized and can be careless or preoccupied, resulting is many a left-behind text book, sweatshirt or bag. Best example: On day #6 of school this year, he lost his ever-important planner … with his class schedule, homework assignments and assorted papers inside. Four days of searching and $7 of his own money later, he had to replaced it. So far, planner #2 has made it home every night.
Side note: My middle schooler is extremely diligent with his cell phone. He has occasionally forgotten to remove it from his backpack, but he has never lost or misplaced it. I guess paying $7 to replace his planner was painful enough. He knows that if he loses or breaks his phone, a replacement is his responsibility … and it’ll cost much more than $7.
So what’s a hyper-organized, everything-has-a-place, Type A mom to do? Suck it up, I guess. Continue to remind them. And when appropriate, let them suffer the consequences of either replacing the lost item(s) with their own money or going without. Hopefully, as they grow and mature, they’ll become more responsible and mindful. Hopefully.