Feb 17 2011

Today’s vocabulary word is paraphernalia.

Paraphernalia – (noun, plural) personal belongings

Used in a sentence:  Five kids have a freaking lot of paraphernalia.

I swear on the Environmentalists’ Holy Handbook that I do my ever-loving best to reduce, reuse, and recycle, but every school day we still have to handle:

  • 3 backpacks
  • 2 homework folders
  • 3 lunches
  • 4 snacks
  • 2 preschool buckets
  • 1 dance bag with 5 different pairs of dance shoes, bobby pins, hair nets, leotards, tights, shorts, and  hip hop gear
  • 1 preschool sharing bag complete with sharing item and written clues
  • 1 martial arts uniform
  • 1 tumbling leotard and shorts
  • 5 coats
  • 5 pairs of shoes

I love it when that stuff leaves my house.

I’m not such a big fan of managing it while it’s here.  It’s particularly tricky to designate places to keep it all so we can find it when we need it.

In related news, my husband is a genius.

In case you’re curious, I am not a genius.

To clarify, I mean genius as in, on the IQ test, certifiably, Mensa-qualified genius.

Technically, I may have made that last bit up, as I’m not entirely certain Greg’s been tested.  But by way of anecdotal evidence, I offer the following:

  1. For fun, Greg built his own digital video recorder.  I’m pretty sure he used a stick of gum, a pair of pliers and a Mac Classic from 1993.
  2. Sometimes, to get Greg to understand the world around him, I have to draw computer-based corollaries between his world and mine.  Usually, these corollaries involve me throwing around archaic computer terms and Greg kindly not laughing at me… things like “If you give your wife lots of flowers as input, guess what your wife’s going to do for output?”  I get lots of flowers, so I’m standing by this whole corollary idea.
  3. Every time Greg correctly predicts something relational on TV (Is she flirting with him?  She’s flirting with him, right?) he exclaims, “YES!  I got it!”

As if those three things aren’t enough to prove geniousity (go with me on that one – it’s a cool new word), Greg also put his genius power to practical use in Paraphernalia Management.

That’s our entry way.  And, yep, those are school lockers.

Each member of our family has one, and all our paraphernalia is stuffed inside as soon as we walk through the door.

Gene E. Uss

Now, since I promised you honesty and I tend to sometimes unfairly blame the chaos on the children alone, I’ll tell you that I can fit a lot of paraphernalia in my locker.

In fact, we cleaned out the lockers recently.  And, by “we,” I mean I hired a couple of high school girls to help.  Thank God for kids who need money for camp.  My household would grind to a halt without them.

Here’s one of the girls, holding only the stuff from my locker.

I kid you not.

I can cram all that stuff in one locker, and I can spell paraphernalia.

You know what?  I might be a genius, after all.