|Photo via Pinterest|
There was another less-glamorous part of Sunday morning that I conveniently chose not to talk about the other day.
Right after all of us finished checking Scarlett’s basket of goodies from the Binky Fairy, Matthew ran off again. Matthew’s done this a few times before. He’ll start out playing quietly in the front yard, innocently enough; catch his friend three houses down pull up from daycare and before he knows what happened, wind up in a den somewhere playing trains, without a thought in the world as to what I might be thinking happened to him instead. He’s been grounded for it enough times to finally realize now that he has to go back home pretty quickly, even if he still forgets at first.
But this time, he was gone for more than 15 minutes - long enough for us to throw Scarlett on our back in her pajamas and start searching the neighborhood in every direction.
Turns out, he was at the one friend's house we didn't check. Afterward, we exchanged numbers with the parents, which is really something we should have done a long time ago. All was well in the end, but that got me thinking: he’s collecting so many friends now that in an emergency disappearance, knocking on all the doors up and down and across our street that he could possibly have wondered off to without permission, would waste a lot of valuable time.
Then I thought about other things. He’s starting kindergarten this year. That means more friends. That means inviting classmates to birthday parties. That means needing to keep better track of contacts than I currently do anyway.
Oh gosh, I’m not even thinking about all the other school related things to keep track of! This year, for the first time, we’ll have two kids in school. Sign up sheets, field trip forms, fundraiser packages, book orders, band recital flyers. Ugh.
Then, as if just to drive the point home, yesterday happened to be a correspondence day. You know, the kind of day you never even make it out of your sweatpants for because you know you’ll be making phone calls, wasting stamps and typing credit card information into little *required fields until the sun gives up, anyway. The kind of day you spend half of, just hunting down old account numbers and confirmation numbers and contracts so that you don’t waste any more time on the phone than you have to.
We keep stuff pretty organized around here, but sometimes there are multiple places under which a particular packet of information could be categorized - which would make all the difference between it being on the top shelf of the linen closet in that yellow binder, or in the file cabinet down in the basement, or in that one section of the accordion folder we keep by the cat food. Sometimes, tracking down information requires nothing more than texting Spencer. But I can’t tell you how annoying it is still having to re-ask for his social security number like once a month. You’d think I’d have the damn thing memorized by now.
So today, I’m making a home management binder.
All of us will have our own section with:
social security card
(list of doctors with contact info and apt. dates on the separator for that section)
general contact info
(like employer contact, school ID, etc.)
list of sites with corresponding passwords. <~~~ this one is especially important for “Dad” and I with Mary, now that she’s old enough to manage a number of social media networks. But also helpful for us, just to keep track of our own!
Even the animals will have a section for:
List of past/present medication
Clear photo/description to keep handy in case they ever go missing
The kids will also have:
School’s contact list
(names, extensions and e-mails of all relevant staff)
School event calendar for the month
List of friends/teammates with parent contact information.
Then, there will be:
Budget - monthly and annual
List of loans/large expenses
(+ number of payments we’ve made toward each and date to be paid-off)
Court papers/legal documents
Tax information, forms
Obviously, there are risks associated with having all of this information in one place. But I'm of the opinion that the benefits for our family outweigh the risks. The binder will have to go in a well-considered place. In any scenario, it's better than what I have going on right now. I registered the kids for school weeks ago and both birth certificates are still only protected by a Lightening McQueen folder inside of a paper tray in the dining room.
I've studied a million different ways to do this on Pinterest and I'm not bothering with cleaning schedules or color coded chore charts. I've printed things like that enough in the past to know that they don't serve much purpose than to sit there, looking pretty in wasted ink. (I mean a lot of wasted ink, too. Some of these Pinterest-preneurs go way overboard with the cutesy graphics - which is why I'll be making up my own.) I don't want to clutter this thing with anything that won't seriously help me out on a busy morning when there are better things to do than fish through drawers for which little fun-size notebook I scribbled a confirmation number onto. I don't plan on flipping through it when I'm bored, looking for something to give me direction. I want the only pages in it to be something I know I'll have to reference in the future.
As soon as I have it up and running, I'll be sure to grab a few pictures.