Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Is Your Room Clean?
As a child I had a chronically messy room. If I asked my mother any question ("can I go outside?", "can so and so come over?", "can I pick my nose?", etc.), she would simply ask, "Is your room clean?".
Inevitable the answer would be "no", to which she would reply, "Well then, there is your answer".
The once or twice I actually said, "yes" we had to break out the defibrillator as my mother clutched her chest in shock. It was an ugly scene. Fortunately, "yes" was not the norm.
After I got married a strange thing happened which made both my mother and mother-in-law start to stutter in confusion and plan our painful deaths (Mr. Clean was a messy child as well). We became anal about our house. We cleaned it a lot and when it started to get cluttered, we would simply take care of it. Seems logical, right? Then the children came.
We are still picky about the way our house looks, but now we have to settle for dreaming about the way it should look all the time, not just for the 2.8 seconds after we are done until it explodes again. We have started training the children to take on more responsibilities and they are doing well, but there is one room not on the children's chore chart. Mine.
I get up in the morning, shower, get dressed and then leave my room, not to see it again until bedtime. In theory, it should always be perfect as we are never in it. Just like the theory of evolution, this "clean room theory" is laughable. Things just seem to appear in my room. Momma's room is the proverbial "dumping ground". The last thing I want to do after a long day of domestic bliss is to fold and put away the load of towels dumped on my bed, so they get thrown on the chair, not to be heard from again until we run out of clean towels and scramble looking for them.
The girls' Barbies and Polly Pockets get skillfully shoved out of the way by my foot to make a path to walk from the door to the bed, lest I get a Barbie shoe pierced into the bottom of my foot. We still have no clue why the girls' toys are in our room half the time as they never really venture in there (unless I tell them to "put this, that or the other thing on Momma's bed" for me to take care of later, like the towels). I suspect Mr. Clean is secretly playing Polly Pockets, but he will not admit it.
Our dressers seem to be the magnet for everything without a home or purpose in the universe and as much as I love every time C'sa hands me a piece of printer paper with nothing but a misshapen "C" on it and says, "I made this for you", I cannot keep them all. But if I am busted throwing one of her masterpieces away, she looks as if I ripped the head off of her favorite doll (which is probably somewhere under my bed anyway).
So now I feel ten years old again and simply run like a mad woman to shut and padlock my door every time my mother comes over. Or I will not be able to play outside. Or pick my nose. Or whatever.
Does this cycle ever end? Will my master suite (sounds fancier, doesn't it?) ever be the enviable retreat that it is supposed to be according to the snobby designers on HGTV? Will Mr. Clean ever paint it? Will Lassie get help in time to save Timmy from peril in the old abandoned mine? Will Timmy ever get spanked for playing in that stupid mine in the first place? Has Angel lost her mind?
All this and more, next time on, "As the Foster Mommy Pulls Out Her Hair"...