Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Shock and Awe

Long after we’ve taught our kids to drive, showed them how to do laundry, watched them get their diplomas and congratulated them on their first “real” job there is still one thing about motherhood that will haunt me – walking into my children’s bedrooms. It’s got to be one of the scariest things that I do on a regular basis – and then, only if I have to.

I do not consider myself a neat freak or hyper-organized. Still, I try to declutter throughout my house as often as possible. I do my best to live by the old adage – A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place. Well, maybe I should say that I live by that adage in two situations: 1) Somebody is coming over. Or 2) There’s nothing on TV and I’m crabby as hell.

Nevertheless, it bugs me when I walk by my kids’ bedrooms and see more clothes on the floor than in a Gap dressing room. Or, my pet peeve - dirty dishes, empty soda cans or wrappers from food. Sometimes I think that a FEMA trailer might pull up in front of our house, hearing that there was a state of emergency on our second floor. But no such luck. (And seriously? I don’t think even those people would go in unless they were equipped with hazmat suits. Yeah, it’s that bad.)

For those of you with young daughters, I have two words of wisdom: Good luck. There is virtually nothing you can do to keep up with the flurry of clothing that will fly around your daughter’s bedroom and end up on the floor. The tricky part is figuring out what’s clean or what’s simply been tried on and rejected. This is where you’ll have to resort to smelling the clothing piled on the floor. Oh yes you will!

Oh and the answer is yes. I do go in and clean up my kids’ rooms. Yeah, I know. Every single parenting manual will tell you that it’s the wrong thing to do and that they’ll never learn responsibility. That manual will also not be there to deal the ants that will invade if I don’t. Or deal with a sobbing adolescent looking for “my favorite cami!”

And even if you do decide to go for hazardous duty and go into your kids’ bedrooms, you must still be prepared for the verbal attacks: “Mooooooom, where’s my (insert name of crappy but beloved piece of clothing here)?!” It’s always spoken in an accusatory tone, implying that you had the item, lost it and didn’t care about them (the child) or the item. And when the item is found at their friend’s house, don’t spend a moment thinking you’ll get an apology. It’s not gonna happen.

Still, I’ve decided that visiting my kids’ rooms regularly and making a feeble attempt to at least find the floor is good for my soul. It makes me feel a little less frazzled, I get an up-close peek at their world and once in a blue moon, I actually get to hear the words “Thank you.” To me, it’s worth it.


At 2:49 PM , Blogger Blitz Krieg said...

"...and see more clothes on the floor than in a Gap dressing room" Simply brilliant. I too tour the kid's rooms and it's the piles of tissues in the boy's room that drive me over the edge. Especially since the trash can is less than a foot from the pile.

At 5:53 PM , Blogger kenju said...

Sing along with me now....."Memories......"

My daughters were the world's worst at leaving clothing strewn about. I thought they would grow out of it (as I did) but they still do it. UGH.

At 7:14 AM , Anonymous Pearl said...

oh heavens, good you keep your sense of humor. A few more years and the relationship shifts again.

At 10:04 AM , Blogger angela marie said...

I'm faced with that right now. Entering the childrens' rooms and trying to sort it all out. God I hate it. :)

At 10:10 PM , Blogger Carmi said...

My, do I relate to this entry, Karen! When I refuse to carry our 9-year-old daughter to bed because I worry about tripping over the mess on her floor, we know that the next day will bring a major cleanup.

I guess I violate The Code as well, because I'm not above rolling up my own sleeves and cleaning it up. Otherwise, I worry that we may never see the floor again. Worse, we'll lose the dog in that mess. And I really like our dog, so...

It's been too long since I said hi, so I wanted to drop in and do just that. Please don't hate me for being a stranger: it's been a very busy time around here of late. Some good - new job - some not so good - sick mother-in-law. Life, in other words. I hope things are going well for you.

At 3:18 AM , Blogger Catherine said...

I can't remember how old my children were when I stopped cleaning up their rooms. Now, they know if they want it washed, they take it to the laundry room. I try to avoid even looking in their bedrooms :)


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