Sixth Sense.

March 6th, 2012







Apparently I have a sixth sense, I see ….not people but, things. Some in my family may call it a super power, or an other-worldly gift I’ve been bestowed. They believe I should feel honored to be so blessed. I on the other hand regard it as a curse.

I wish I could share this gift with them. Help them see what I see. Pass on this rare talent. Oh I how truly I wish they would see as I do….And then, for the love of god,  PICK IT UP!

The pencil shavings, the hair clips, joke book, wet towel, yesterday’s socks (oh who am I kidding -last weeks socks) the homework folder, cd’s, uno cards, unfinished finger knitting, finished finger knitting, empty silly putty container,  the random shoe lace…..

What I am about to tell you is a true story, I kid you not.  You see, I did a little experiment on my family. (No animals were harmed although our dog kept to herself and out of my way just in case) This one particular day, my daughter brought home a large map drawn on poster board. (I think most readers at this point would agree that a poster board is large enough to be seen by the naked eye, by the average person, with or without superpowers.) We all exclaimed how wonderfully well she had copied Africa and popped it up on the kitchen counter because we all know that is exactly where maps of Africa on large poster boards belong. 2 minutes later the map falls on the ground in the middle of the kitchen. (who knew, but perhaps the map was too big for the counter after all) Now before I go any further, I must point out that like most family homes the kitchen is the busiest room in our house, it is frequented by every member of the family, often, and is where the all manner of conversations, arguments, passing comments, daily scheduling, political discussions, negotiations and feeding of the hungry masses takes place.

Here is the part where I kid you not, as in I am not kidding in the slightest but wish I were, So, how long do you think we stepped around, over, on top of that map? A few minutes? An hour? An evening? A day?…..well sadly the truth is, Africa was on our kitchen floor for 3 days. Yes, you read it right, 3 DAYS people!!!

And how did it finally go from floor to garbage bin? Well, I think we all know the answer to that. (yeh yeh it was the kids project, but I say if it’s been trodden on by the creator then all bets are off) I just couldn’t take it any longer, the shameless neglect and abuse that map endured just had to end. My experiment had proved all my worst fears. My entire family either cannot see which I seriously doubt as I’ve seen them seeing during various points of their lives. No it’s much worse I tell you, after living with such suspicions for years now, it has been confirmed – I don’t think my family can…..bend!!!!

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  1. naomi says:

    Great story. Things like that happen in my house too except they go to the drawer in the kitchen where my chidlrne keep their odds and sods – the rubbish they pick up off the floor or find. Every home needs one I think. Not sure about your sixth sense though!

  2. Kelly says:

    HILARIOUS!  This is a true event in my home also!  We play the “Mom, where’s my… game” where it ends with me saying “I swear to God, if I walk in your room and find it you are in big trouble!”  The other problem that I swear my family had/has is hearing problems.  But the minute I take my conversation down to a whisper; my daughter’s door opens far down the hallway and she says “What did you say about me?”  What’s up with that?!

  3. Bill Lawton says:

    It is Margaret replying, and I have to tell you Meg, that this is an inherited characteristic and the gene holding it comes from their grandfather! No doubt about that. Great article, Margaret

  4. Katarina Broughton says:

    I know exactly what you daughter calls me the xray she does not notice  hairs in the bath on the floor kitchen bench etc., Have I been gifted or am I more observant tidy or  what??? I am not exactly  tidy I do like a so called artisic or intelectual mess it kind of more relaxing- and it suggest activity            but hairs dead flies ect., is something else it is a dirty mess and hard to relax in.

    Maybe I am mindfull about what matters to me………………… 

  5. Remco Brandwacht says:

    Lmpo! In my family this is à problem to. Also hearingproblems! When i whisper the word candy the kids al turn and leave their business. Mom is always à succer for the word darling!

  6. Kathy Hollenberg says:

    Great piece, Meg! This “sense” can make one crazy. I always wondered how the kids would survive after they left home, but they develop the sixth sense, as well, some faster than others. They discover that they, and they alone, must remember to keep track of everything from sock pairs (don’t you know how washing machines love to eat them?) to the paper which is due on Friday. And they don’t want their roommate to think them a total slob, so they throw their comforter up over the pillow, at least, when they hop out of bed in the morning. Visiting my kids’ dorm rooms–and watching them take responsibility–has been a highlight of my middle years! 🙂 Blessings.

  7. Libby says:

    This happened in my generation also. In my parenting days I finally instituted a tidy box. I would warn the family, including Dad,  I was doing a trip around the house, and to retreive any item I collected, they had to put away everything else in the box.
    After a few collections when they learned I was serious, my warning elicited a quick ‘pick-up important things’. And it became known as ‘Mum’s tidy box” in a fun way. It was full of things no one wanted, and I felt free to toss them.
    Thanks Meg

  8. Meg, I can soooo relate! In my first house, my laundry room was in the basement, so I would carry the clothes up to the first floor and often just fold them in the family room. I would carry it up to the second floor on the next trip up. One day I experimented by putting the filled basket with the nicely, OBVIOUSLY clean and folded clothes, right smack in the middle right in front of the bottom step. You could not get by it without a huge step over or picking it up to move it. The entire family, (3 kids and husband) all went up the stairs practically killing themselves to step over and up a few steps. (OK the littlest one probably couldn’t have lifted it anyway, and she probably fit nicely to the side…but still!) So, I think not only can people not bend, they can’t lift!!!
    Thanks for the chuckle! Diana 

  9. Carolyn West says:

    Seriously laughed out loud. This is so MY house too. It boggles my mind how the entire family can walk over and around things that are blatantly IN THEIR PATH without bothering to pick it up.

  10. meg says:

    oh boy – seems I’ve struck a chord with many……I feel your pain.

  11. Joanne says:

    Laughed a lot.  I have “seeing games” with my grandkids.  I tell what I want, where it is, how it looks.  When Zoey still scream “I caaann’t Fiiinnnd iiiit!”  I ask, “Is it OK if I spank you if I come and find it?”  (I never spank them)  She finds it. 

  12. Claire H says:

    We share the same family! Five of us in our family -five! But only one who ‘sees’. And I’ve tried so very many ways to get them to ‘see’. I should think, like me, that you have one other talent (burden). When eventually something is noticed – usually by the other grown up member of the household – you are the only one who feels gilt, shame … or still does anything about it. Cures anyone? 

  13. I am not alone.  Thank you so much, I felt I was a freak, a strange by product of nature for I can see and bend.  If I hear “Mum/Darling  where is my…………” one more time I swear I will remove the speaker’s head from their body and place it (with deep and graceful bend from the waist) upon the said item.
    I tried not picking anything up but I gave in after a day, mainly because I was fearful I would break my neck if I didn’t.

  14. Yvonne says:

    Nicely written piece about an all-to-common problem. This made me chuckle. 🙂

  15. Elaine says:

    So funny! Absolutely know what you’re talking about! Occasionally my fiancee and I have little “wars” leaving something like that to see how long….And when I can’t see things (excuse: too busy with ……) I take pictures and look at them. It works like a charm looking at the photo, everything goes back to its home.

  16. lucille says:

    ok…  who else has vacuumed their dining room table?

    with an upright

    and when company is coming… just put everything in the car.   
    makes searching for laundry, cookware & textbooks a lot easier.  

  17. Rachel says:

    I have tried many such experiments in my time as a Mum and wife. 
    I have found that hiding the things I find out of place is the most succesful way to get people seeing things clearly again (for a short while at least). 
    I have found that if I put all of the things I find in a place that only I would think of putting them, people generally assume I have thrown said things away, and become super dilligent for at least a couple of days as they don’t wish to lose any further property. 
    I throw it into the mix once in a while when I’m getting really fed up.

  18. Sharon says:

    Yep, I am gifted with the same superpower plus I have eyes on the back of my head!  I’ll bet you do, too.  it’s amazing how many people complain about things not being tidy and the moment the counter is clear begin to put all their stuff, not in neat piles but scattered around so it has to be moved before dinner can be prepared!  Or it gets moved to another spot which is in someone else’s area of responsibility.  Therefore no matter who claims ownership, the problem now belongs to someone else!

  19. That happens ALL THE TIME in my house!!!! I am so glad that I am not alone, lol. Thanks for sharing!
    -Audri @ Rediscovering Our Family (

  20. This is an every day occurence in my house too, and my kids are grown and gone. Who to blame this on?

  21. Fantastic article, thanks for the mid-afternoon chuckle.  I think “bending” will be done with a smile for those of us lucky enough to have read this!

  22. Mamaste says:

    This made my day, Meg. Yes, we do have super powers such as: eyes in the back of our head, ability to see through objects, super hearing and the ability to tell us what these children think they are hiding from us.  
    Here’s the secret. Once the umbilical cord is cut, then all super powers are revealed.
    Who says women are the weaker sex?

  23. Karen says:

    I had simliar experience growing up with all males & pleading to keep the toilet seat down. For me, the lesson was just do it myself with a good heart!  and I am pickier about who I invite to my party now too!

  24. Kenneth Vogt says:

    I have come to peace with the same “curse”. I see a bigger world, in more detail and in technicolor. I have compassion for others who must see the world as small, lacking in definition, and gray (at least relative to my perspective).

    It’s in the car that I find this the most amazing. Are gravity and centrifugal force things that are unknown to most people? No kidding your stuff went flying off the dash or your coffee spilled. What else were you expecting in a moving vehicle? Oh well. I enjoy your journey.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The sixth sence isnt a curse its wisdom that we teach our chirlden. Transform your home with things like landrey shoot, lots of counter space for there school stuff. And keep an eye on how much toys they own because we cant expect them to really manage a room properaly when really we have made them horders. Basicly there home needs to be so customized they will do it on there own with encouragment and pats on the back. (Time pressure and giving them somthing good to look forward to can move mountains). When u hit a snag try and see it throu there eyes. I learned to stay out of my wifes way and I stepped up and gave each child a set of chores that are custom for there abilitys. I designed my home for them and they clean it together. No fusteration! At night when I sence its time I just say girls its time to clean up. With in a minite I can hear there little feet bebopping around the house because they learned the quicker work gets done the more time they have to chill 

  26. Elise says:

    Meg, I am laughing as I read this and looking  at a huge (poster size) picture of Garfield my son painted in school and then propped up behind the computer!  It has been there for a couple of weeks.   Love it!  Elise

  27. Denise says:

    I heard this quote the other day and loved it:  “It’s not really lost until mom can’t find it.” 🙂  Loved your post too!  Do you live in my house??

  28. Sam says:

    Hahaha! That’s a very funny story, but also ‘serious’ at the same time. Poor project. You really had me in suspense and I chuckled at the end of it all. Thank you. 😉

  29. Anonymous says:

    Now I love your columns. But I think this is partly about different senses of responsibility and aesthetics. Kids and blokes are much more mess tolerant. Mothers, attuned to managing families, are more likely to want a degree of order, because families are essentially disordered, and they need to have control over chunks of their lives. Notice how messy teenage daughters become tidy, organised young newly weds.Gross generalisation I know, but women are planners on the domestic front; men & kids are “just in time” operators. Look for it at the last minute. There is probably a PhD thesis on why this difference develops. Anecdotally, I think ex military men are much more tidy & organised & planned ahead. Perhaps we need consultant Sergent Majors to help mothers develop successful strategies!!!          Thanks for a lovely story, God Bless  JohnP 

  30. Jen N says:

    I can so relate to having a “sixth sense’ & classing it as a curse.  I decline from telling most people about my own (seeing snippets of future events) as they all want me tell them the outcome of future events involving them, or they label me as “a freak”.  Yes it is a curse sometimes, but it can also be a blessing at times…. Have a great day/evening!  🙂 

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