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Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's almost Mother's Day, right?

Michael used to be very good at cleaning his room. This video clip from 2002 proves it. Each day he would dutifully put all of his Legos into the Lego box and all of his blocks into the block box. His clothes would be put away, and his books would be returned to his shelf. I liked that.

His new standard of cleanliness for his room is "seeing the floor". I do not think this is a good goal. When I ask him to clean his room, he will do what he calls "clearing a path". This is exactly what you think it is. Toys on the left side of the room are pushed to the left wall. Toys on the right side of the room are pushed to the right wall. Clothes, books, cash, and old notes from his teacher are pushed into one of the two piles. Actually, it is probably more accurate to refer to them as mountain ranges: it's not as if there are only two piles of mess. They will occasionally have minor avalanches that completely upend the natural order. I don't know how he finds anything. I definitely don't know how he knows which items of clothing are clean, because it seems to me that they are all strewn across the floor with no accurate way to determine the difference.

I am really starting to get the feeling that I am nothing more than a maid. No, wait: normally, you pay the maid. On the other hand, I am expected to work every day so that new purchases can be placed in the mountain range.

Every few months I will go through his room and fill two garbage bags with old toys. I do this secretly while he is at Daniel's, and he never misses the things I've thrown away. I am pretty sure he could live quite happily with only his Pokemon cards and his Transformers DVD. I also suspect that I could do a similar purge on Steve's stuff while he is distracted by the short-skirted girls on Deal Or No Deal, but I haven't actually put that plan into action.



scribe said...

This habit has only gotten worse with age. My son is 15 and on the rare occasion that I hire a cleaning service they are not allowed to touch his room, lest they disturb the piles. I wait for him to go to camp before I sweep in and do my thing. Is once a year enough?

Anonymous said...

It must be very hard living with two peeps like that? And on mother's day to. I feel fore you my love. All my husband does is buy stuff on the internets and watch reality tv (and its not even GOOD reality tv). I feel that we are a kindred spirit. Have a good mum's day. Your husband is lucky to have you.

Trudie said...

I know this may not work for everybody, but...
The state of my son's room was a source of constant arguments, until I decided that I would close the door to that disaster area. I only ventured in there to deposit his clothes just inside the door - the rest of the time, I pretended that there WAS no room behind that door.
Suddenly one day when he was 16, the room was purged, cleaned and cleansed. I resisted the urge to check his temperature, in case he had taken seriously ill but instead inquired what had brought on this.

Turns out his girlfriend was coming over for the first time...

I should also add that he was always good at helping me keep the rest of the apartment clean, even if his own room was a condemned area (in my opinion!).

Anonymous said...

My parents thought a lot like Trudie. After numerous tantrums, they realized that I should have my own space and that space should be mine to manage...with one stipulation: make sure there is a path from the bed to the door. Reason #1: Safety, reason #2: laundry drop off. The rest of the house, especially the common areas, was a different story and often involved micromanagement. It worked out rather well and today I am a very particular person when it comes to any room.

By the way, for some reason the video is "unavailable" for viewing.

Megan said...

Thanks for letting me know. It should work now.

Trudie said...

Miss Lyndsy - Actually, my reason for deciding to consider his room as a non-room was simple: I wanted to save my breath and energy for more important arguments - such as curfew time,
going to no-parents-at-home-parties,
attending music festivals in other cities.
Incidentally - I think my son has become a bit of a neat-freak after he got his own place, so I guess my strategy worked.