Ah, Bartleby! Ah, Humanity!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On Sunday, I made one of my projects to clean the room of my daughter. And I mean "Mommy Clean" the room.

I had just finished wrapping the gifts that are stashed away for her and realized that we would have no room for her new things, due to the plehtora of stuff that she owns currently.

Now, Emily is her mother's daughter. I am a pack rat, who is begat of a long line of pack rats. I know why it is important to keep that tiny scrap of paper that your friend gave you in 7th grade, cause it's, you know, special. However, I now must balance my own pack rat tendancies, with the pack rat tendancies of my child. My mother's house in Vermont is FILLED to the rafters with all my accumulated stuff. She once tried to threaten me with a yard sale, hoping this would motivate me to come and denude her spare room of my 35 years of accumulated junk and I called her bluff. "Do it", I said.

She couldn't. She couldn't bear to give any of our things away. I knew she wouldn't.

So, when I have to "mommy clean", I have to wait for Emily to exit the house. If she is present for the cleaning, every scrap, every old marker cap, every bent or broken piece of crayon becomes her "Faaaaavvvvvoooooiiiiittttteeee" that she "nnnnnneeeeeeeeedddddddsssssss"

On Sunday, I spent nearly three hours in her room. I mega-cleaned. I placed every piece of everything back into it's assigned place. If a marker had dried up, I tossed it. If a coloring book had been filled, I tossed it. I dug things out from under the bed, found things stuffed into small boxes and nooks and crannies. I threw away a bag full of garbage.

She came home and said "Thanks Mom - my room looks good" . "Yes", I said, "and I'd like you to keep it clean for Santa ~ he needs space to put your new things!"

Of course, this lasted for about 35 minutes. Because of the Box. If you want to give a child of just about any age a really good time, give them a big box. First I had to pretend I was shipping her to Alaska, then the box became a cave, until the box changed into a house.

So here it what her room looked like by Monday Morning. She had decided to make the box into a house and then to camp out in her house box that night.

But it was this mornings scene which stopped me in my tracks - This is the scene after night 2 of the campout in the box:

So yes, It is messy again. I understand why my mother generally just gave up and closed our door. I mean, it is so clear that this is the room of a happy kid ~ a best beloved kid. She is my daughter through and through.

7 Baleful Regards:

Lisa said...

That is too cool that she had so much fun! You are SUCH a cool mom!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Yup, I'd feel at home in your daughter's room.

And I still like big cardboard boxes.

Anonymous said...

My youngest kiddo (the 3 year old) is the neatest one of them all. He arranges things. When you go into his room, at first it looks messy, then you look closer and you realize that everything is arranged very specifically. Not the way I'd arrange it, but still, some effort has been put into it.

When you ask him to put his things away or hang up his coat, he will.

I guess God figured after 4 of the messiest human beings to walk the earth, we deserved one neatnik. Thank you, God.

Anonymous said...

My packrat tendencies (inherited from my mom) and clean-up tendencies (inherited from my dad) tend to clash with each other, so I'm actually a very neat packrat. I do go through periods when I throw out stuff, and I'm pretty anal about keeping stuff picked up. With the kids, though, I recognize it's mostly a losing battle! I just hope eventually they'll start to love neatness too. :-)

I love Emily's hair -- it looks so pretty pulled back.

Cindylou said...

Does the "house" actually say I love you Mom on the top flap? And more to the point does this house mean that you and your hubby got to have "your" bed to yourselves?

V said...

I love her house! That rocks! We got a gigantic box with the new TV, but it filled the entire living room, so Little A could only nest in it for a few hours.
AND...you are very smart to clean when she's gone. I somehoe am still the terd that thinks I'll teach my kid to let go of things if she helps. All it really helps is the hysteria fairy.

Anonymous said...

I remember playing with empty boxes. Man, that was fun. I love that she actually camped out in hers.

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