Warning! Warning! Mom’s Got That Crazed Look In Her Eyes Again…

Yep, apparently it’s *that* time of year again!  That time of year when I just can’t stand it one more minute… the dreaded Tupperware® (and really,  how much of it is actually Tupperware???) cabinet needs cleaning out.  I’ve opened that stupid cabinet door just to have things come tumbling out one too many times.

Such is my glamorous life these days.  You can’t just re-arrange the Tupperware cabinet.  Because when you start there, you realize that every cabinet in your kitchen is wrong, all wrong.  And next thing you know, there you are, giving your kitchen an extreme makeover.

So on Friday — our big “unstructured day” where the kids have no school, no classes, no playgroups, etc. I apparently decided to get the cleaning bug — a rare virus around this house.  I kept tossing art project after art project out at the kids as they looked at me with concern in their eyes.  JavaGirl,  age 2.5, almost looked as if she wanted to ask her brother, “Dude, what’s up with Mom?  Do you know how to dial that phone thingie to call Daddy at Work,” (Work being this mysterious place Daddy goes to), “because I’m not sure Mommy is okay.  What’s this cleaning thing she’s doing?  Mommy usually doesn’t let me have art supplies all day long!”

Meanwhile, I was reassessing some of our life choices as I went through each cabinet.  Seriously, where in the world did those three hot pink PLASTIC daquiri glasses come from and why were they cluttering up my glasses cabinet?   Out they went.  For goodness’ sakes, why do we have so many darned pieces of plastic containers anyway?  What do they breed in the middle of the night?

And should anyone we have some sort of cake mix or pudding shortage in the Northern Virginia area anytime soon, just know that I have you covered.  But if there is a corn starch shortage, I’m sorry, you’re out of luck as I had not just one, but TWO boxes that were expired.  Really, how does one do that?

I didn’t realize that JavaDad had squirreled away quite so many party favor bags in the butler’s pantry — ye gads, just as I thought we had gotten rid of all the tiny toys and Halloween candy I found a whole other stash — eek!

But the hours of work in cleaning up and rearranging the kitchen was worth it as I pared down, consolidated and reprioritized things — not just the things themselves, but what I want to accomplish in this kitchen.  I laugh as I look at the very, very dusty martini glasses from Crate and Barrel (whatever happened to those fancy parties I imagined us having when we first got married) and came to realize that even though I’ve never consider myself a baker, my cake pan and baking supplies collection has grown so much — a reflection of my son’s constant requests (and unwavering belief in me) for fancy cakes and cupcakes for almost ever occassion.  Somewhere, somehow, I became a baker.  And yet, I’ve never allocated the appropriate space in my kitchen for that.  I’ve never given that new part of my life it’s proper due in the kitchen — baking supplies were relegated to storage space in because in my “before kids” life that was just a “sometimes” thing.

I so clearly remember looking at this house before we bought it.  We were about to be married and our realtor had just had her baby and she was holding her newborn while we were standing in the kitchen assessing the size of it.  It was then that it struck me that one day *we* would be holding babies in this kitchen.  At the time the kitchen looked so immense — the house we had lived in in CA was so tiny that you either had to step to the left (which meant out the door into the hallway) or to the right when you opened the oven door, but you could not stand in front of the oven when you opened its door.  With its attached butler’s pantry that leads to the dining room, I thought the kitchen would give me plenty of space from which to calmly cook and host dinner parties and couldn’t imagine filling all those cabinets up.  Now, with a bustling family of four, although the kitchen is not small, it always seems to be bursting at the seams with activity — not nearly as spacious as it seemed at that moment in time when we were about to be new homeowners — I have to find storage space in the garage, in the basement — wherever I can — but no doubt about it, the kitchen is the heart of our home.

It started as a way to make the pieces of plastic stop falling down, but I’ve ended up with a better organized kitchen, some renewed priorities, and some sweet reminders of the hopeful new couple who chose this home and the family of four we’ve grown into six years later.

When’s the last time you rearranged your Tupperware cabinet?  Literally… but also figuratively?