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I am a complete neat freak. I like order. I like to put things away in the right place. Organization is the love of my life. Straight cushions, wiped counters and wrinkle free bed linens fill my heart with joy and satisfaction.

Neat freaks should not have children. My 2 ½ year old daughter is like a wrecking ball in my apartment. Within minutes of opening her eyes each morning, she is dismantling my living room. Her toys sit quietly in the corner like unwanted house guests while she rearranges our kitchen drawers, smears her fingerprints on our computer screen and empties our bin of dog toys. Anything without a child lock is up for grabs.

I try to be calm. I give myself mantras like, “it will all be cleaned up in time.” I tell myself that these are just material objects while my daughter is a living, breathing amazing person who is discovering the world. Why am I so neurotic? I could leave dirty laundry on our kitchen counter for days and my husband would never even notice it. But for today, I can’t take the chaos anymore. We are headed to the playground where my toddler can be free to explore and I can be calm.

kelcey kintner