A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

As if I needed one more reason to hate clutter.

We’ve talked before about how “clutter costs you.” Like when I found that pile of uncashed checks in my home office worth $1463 and ended up on Oprah. Well not actually ON Oprah, she probably wouldn’t like that, and neither would Steadman. I mean on her show. True story.

But two nights ago I learned another valuable lesson about how costly clutter can be. 

Long story short: I broken my frickin’ toe when I tripped on one of Bucket Head’s toys in the middle of the night.

It’s not that great of a story, so I thought it might sound better as a song. Please click the link below to hear it:

Broken Toe

I’ve never embedded a song before, so please let me know if it doesn’t work. Alls I have to say is, watch your back Ke$ha, cuz my autotune skillz are badass.

I’m actually not even sure if my tootsie is broken… I’ve never had a broken toe before. But it sure does hurt like a mo-fo, especially at night. And it’s all bruised and swollen like a narsty fat cocktail wienie gone bad. Worst of all, it just looks SO out of place on my otherwise pretty feet. Poor, poor toe. And oh, the injustice! Couldn’t I have stubbed one of my ginormous manly fingers instead?

Sorry – but it’s just too hideous to show you the unedited shot. And to the sweet man who wrote in requesting more pics of my feet, please forgive me.

Anyhooooo, one good thing has come of this. Yesterday, Bucket Head, Mini-Me, my throbbing broken toe (“Drizella”), and I all worked together to clean the snark out of his cluttered bedroom.

Here’s what it looked like the morning after I tripped on one of his toys:

And from another angle:

Lord only knows what I tripped on! Yeeesh.

In his defense, the poor kid is only four and he’s having really bad night terrors: wakes up screaming every night. Maybe I shouldn’t have let him watch all those Friday the Thirteenth movies. I don’t know. But anyway, every night at bedtime, if he doesn’t sneak downstairs and curl up on my lap on the couch, he avoids going to sleep by playing in his room until he basically just collapses on his bedroom floor. We end up moving him into his bed when he’s sound asleep and usually just scoot the toys out of the way.

Letting him keep all those toys in his room was my lazy-ass way of not dealing with his sleep problems. It was just easier for me to let him play than to put the hammer down. Bad Mommy.

And I guess I was too tired or drunk or lazy to clear a good path that night like I usually do. Serves me right. Dammit.

But stubbing my toe on one of his toys is just the wake up call I needed. It’s time to teach this kid how to be a better sleeper. And the first step is eliminating the clutter from his room.

The sleep issue is huge – and too much to include in this post. We’ll save that for another day, because I have a lot to say about it.

But for now, all you need to know is that we have a new rule: the only extra things allowed in Bucket Head’s bedroom are stuffed animals, books, and his baby doll stuff. Yes, Bucket Head has a baby doll. His name is Zeke. Shut the fuck up. We’ll have to discuss that separately too.

Ready for some after pics? Don’t judge my shitty decorating. He’s my third and final kid. He gets nothing.

I think I’m most excited about the two baskets on the bottom shelf for all the paperback books. I already had those baskets elsewhere in the house, so I didn’t have to spend anything. They fit perfectly and it will be so much easier for Bucket Head to flip though them for what he wants. Here’s how I was storing those paperbacks before:

It was a mess.

Here is the updated system:

 We carried all the extra toys down to the basement play room, where they belong. And starting tonight, SLEEP BOOT CAMP… if I can stay awake for it once the painkillers for my toe kick in.

Humbly and gingerly, but with gratitude for the KICK I needed to stay on my organizing journey,


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.


  1. Julie @ mamamash

    I’m sorry, I really tried to concentrate on your organization skillz, but it’s hard to read because I am laughing so hard at your song. It’s #ALLCAPSAWESOME.

    • The Bearded Iris

      YES!!! It worked! Oh praise Jeeebus! So glad you liked it!

  2. Alison@Mama Wants This

    Yikes, that toe does look broken. Shouldn’t you limp to the doctor already?

    That is one neat room! (my todder’s room? Just looks like a, er, room, so totally not judging there)

    Poor baby with the night terrors, must be so hard on him (and you). Good luck with that!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks Alison! You are always so compassionate and supportive – love that!

      I’m self treating. Doctor, schmocter! If the bone was sticking out, maybe. But it’s so minor. I’d rather save my co-pay money for some voice lessons. 😉

  3. Barefeet InTheKitchen

    Nice job on the room! I laughed out loud at your post and that song… well, words kinda fail me. Pure awesomeness.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thank you! (sung in autotune)

  4. Sidney

    Fantastic. I am crushing on you hard right now!

    Clutter is crippling.

    • Sidney

      Oh, and bravah on the organization! Really looks excellent, Iris. Keep it up.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hi Sidney – thank you and welcome to my blog! Love my fellow clutter battling sisters!

  5. Danielle@sixtasteschef

    Nice!! I love your organizing style! What you did seems workable for a 4-year old, he can get in there and pull all his toys out, and then (presumably) can put them all back. I always love before and after pics.

    Sorry about your toe. I had a sprained or broken (never did find out which) toe in my early 20’s and it hurt like a mofo!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thank you Danielle! We actually moved almost all of his toys to the basement so he won’t have so many choices while he’s in his room. Hopefully this will help! And thanks for the toe-sympathy! 🙂

  6. Ann

    That is one ANGRY toe! Put your feet up, angry toe and all, and have cocktail. Doesn’t that fix everything? Maybe I should bring over the Grape vodka???

  7. Heather

    My kids were rolling on the floor laughing while I listened to your song. I suspect it was because they thought I had written/recorded it!! Hilarious.

    As for the sleep issues, let me know when you find something that helps. My husband (yup, you read that right!!) suffers from terrible night terrors. He started getting them in college (yup, you read THAT right, too… most people grow out of them, he grew into them). They start when he is overtired and stressed out… Last winter he “pushed” a hole in the wall fighting off an invisible foe – SOUND ASLEEP… true story. He spent the whole next day grumbling while he repaired the wall. Hopefully Bucket Head will go the right direction with his or you are going to get some serious nasty-grams from your (future) daughter-in-law… 🙂

    • The Bearded Iris

      Little Bucket Head gets that from ME… I have night terrors too. Never outgrew it. Scares the shit out of my husband once in a while and yes, totally related to stress. I need to help Bucket Head express himself better during the day so that he won’t have all that residual crap in his brain every night. Poor guy. Sorry to hear about your husband! Maybe we could get a group rate for therapy?

  8. Stacey H.

    I love the song and think you should make a YouTube video out of it! Plus, I love the
    graphics on the toe. Pretty sure with the bruising it is cracked or broken. You might need to get it xrayed. Not much they can do with broken toes though.

    Your site is hilarious and I’m glad I found it! Stacey

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks Stacey! And thanks for the input about my toe. I’ve got it taped to its neighbor, and it hurts much less today than yesterday. I’ll have to talk to my resident film maker (11 y.o. son Nature Boy) and see if he can help me turn it into a video. Thanks for the interest!

  9. Sue from Livin In Duckville

    Ugh… sorry about the toe, been there done that. Even done a fancy dance step across legos carrying a newborn – in the dark – in the middle of the night – in my groggy-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-this-baby-and-why-isn’t-he-sleeping state…

    Bigfoot used to have night terrors. We ended up laying hands on him & praying for him every night before he went to bed. That helped him. Another friend sprayed ‘Monster Guard’ (air freshener) around the room & under the bed. Praying that you all get through it soon.

  10. FiveOGrrl

    we need to find a KISS yardsale and get you some monster platform boots (minus the plastercasting dust) they would protect that hoof.

  11. FiveOGrrl

    Oh MY GAWD, you have a total YINZER accent in that toe song, LMAO I am laughing so fucking hard bitch……

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh my GAWD – can yinz hear the chipped ham in my mahhth? Really? GIT AHT! I’ve been working so hard on disguising that and just pullin’ it aht for special occasions, n’at.

  12. Bernie Bickers

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, sorry about the toe, whatever – let’s get down to the more important subject here…Where did you get all those AMAZING retro 1970’s Fisher Price Toys?!?!?!? The garage with the elevator, the barn, the playground with the spinning wheel for the little people to sit in – it was like I time-warped back to my own childhood!!! Do they still sell all those things? Does this mean in a few years when my kids get get a bit older I’ll have another crack at these? They are going to have to wait their turn, cause’ its Daddy’s garage playset!!!!!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Dude. Ebay. I’ve been collecting them for over a decade. Total addict. I’m coveting the hospital but it is over $100.

      • Bernie Bickers

        Fine…just add a photo showing where in your house you’ve moved them to so I won’t need to disturb anyone when I break in to steal them sometime later this summer. And please tell me you didn’t hurt the precious garage with your club foot of yours…. 🙂

  13. Kate Y

    Love your organizing! Great idea with the baskets for paperbacks. And I love that your son has a doll named Zeke! Too fucking hilarious. My friend’s son had a baby named Bob. Zeke’s a way cooler, bad-ass name, though. Rock on!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks Kate! Yeah, I’ma have to write about Zeke soon. It’s pretty frickin’ cute, Bucket Head and Zeke. Makes my ovaries throb.

  14. Anne @ Domesblissity

    Iris! You are quite the songstress! That song is fantastic. You definitely are a woman of many talents. And your organising skills? Just fantastic. You’re one step ahead of me. I wanted to enforce that rule too. Only stuffed toys and books in their rooms and everything else in our downstairs playroom. Haven’t got there yet but you’ve inspired me. That is one poor, sorry looking, swollen toe on what would normally be such a beautiful foot! Hope it’s not broken and better soon and hope Bucket Head gets through this phase soon.

    Anne x

  15. Amy

    If you went to the Dr they’d tape that broke toe to the ones on either side to give it support. Taping makes a big difference, btdt. Hope you feel better soon.

    Do you realize how much you’ve corrupted my conservative butt with your blog?I can’t read your blog if anyone is around because I, Ms. No-sense-of-humor, starts cackeling like a hyena. Then my kids want to read “what’s so funny.” I find myself checking your blog at least ten times a day for updates because your blog is like a drug addiction. I’m self medicating with free therapy via Iris. You are hilarious and deserve to be Oprah’s replacement.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh Amy, be still my alcohol-dependent-heart!!! Thank you thank you thank you for that glowing endorsement. I love your conservative butt.

  16. Jellyhead

    I totally want that dinosaur! And I don’t even like dinosaurs. Room looks absolutely terrific. Song is even better!

  17. Jane

    Ahh, I can’t stop laughing. Not about poor Bucket Head but about everything else.

  18. Tracy L

    1). I love the blue polish on your toes. We were separated at birth.
    2). I sliced my foot open on a lego in the middle of the night last month. Those damn things are going to be the death of me!
    3). Loved the before and after pics of your son’s room. Putting our house on the market forced me to de-clutter and it has been so painful. I love the result, but as an OCD perfectionist the process nearly kills me. It’s almost better to just leave it a mess (until I slice my foot open). Thanks for the inspiration, and as always, the laughs. 🙂

  19. Dawn@LightenUp!

    I think I see the Fisher Price Peoples barn in that first shot! Oh yes I do! and the Parking Garage?! *breaks into yinz guys’ house**
    sorry I can’t listen to your song now. Big Brother listens…
    Feel better, your toe.

    • The Bearded Iris

      It’s okay – the Broken Toe song contains no inappropriate material! It is safe for children of all ages. (Unlike the one I posted on FB yesterday of Bucket Head using all his bad words…hilarious!)

  20. Brennna's Mom (Barefoot Deliberations)

    Awesome. I just about broke my ankel on a wooden truck Tuesday night and my kid never sleeps either. We ‘re like twins. 🙂

    And I’m going to steal the idea for he books. Perhaps this will help him (and me) stop stacking them 36″ high on my dresser (which is supposed to be clean cause I did it twice already). Good job!

    Let us know how Sleep Boot Camp goes – I’m not bada$$ enough to even try to pull it off.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks, Twinnie. I’ll keep you posted on the sleep boot camp! Promise!

  21. Meg @ Adventures as a Small Town Mom

    The room looks great. I lacerated my big toe recently when I visited my grandmother who has too much stuff everywhere it’s not even funny. I tripped over some sort of fold out metal grocery cart that she never uses.

    Anywho, I tried to listen to your song, but no dice. It could be me browser though (firefox).

  22. Meg @ Adventures as a Small Town Mom

    My* browser…apparently I wanted to sound like a leprechaun for a second there.

  23. Dawn

    I love that you have “Everyone Poops” on display- and why wouldn’t you? lol That is one of my BEST SELLING BOOKS (well…I didn’t WRITE it ….but I am lucky enough to be a book seller that represents that publisher 🙂 And my second biggest seller? “The Gas We Pass- The Story of Farts” …in the same series. (most of the women who buy it are not buying it for their kids…but for their husbands) I hope you have that one too..it is brilliant! (we also publish “The Holes in your Nose” and “Contemplating your Bellybutton” ) 🙂

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oh we LOVE the poop book! Surprisingly we do not have the farting equivalent! I need to fix that ASAP. There is enough gas in this house to lift off a hot air balloon.

      And WHAAAAAT? There are books about nostrils and belly buttons too? Clearly I have not been spending enough time in book stores! We do have and LOVE Bart King’s The Big Book of GROSS Stuff. Highly recommend. He’s awesome. And not just because he liked and used my Pootorial on his Ultra Gross website!

  24. Dawn

    If you email me with your address or PO Box (my email address can be found on my website if you click the link on my name) perhaps the book fairy will send you a little gift 🙂

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