Monday, October 17, 2011
The end of the world is coming. I know. I have seen the signs.
Did you see the signs, too? They're all over M1's room. The way his closet's contents have begun to ooze out of the door... the way underwear and socks are peeking out his nightstand drawer that's supposed to contain only magazines... the way his toy bins, half of them completely empty two months ago, have managed fill and overflow to the dresser. And don't even get me started on the full hamper that I asked him to bring me this morning when I did the rest of the laundy.
The signs are there. They are unmistakeable. They all point clearly to the fact that...
MY SON IS NINE. AND HE IS JUST. LIKE. ME.
In 2-3 years, his floor will no longer be a floor. It will be a foot-deep pile of rubbish that occasionally gets picked up but not necessarily vacuumed. Clothes will strew themselves with abandon across all possible surfaces. I'll be incredibly tempted to call the show "Hoarders" to deal with the crap my son leaves when he moves out.
I know this because I did it. I was the messy child. My mess never extended through the rest of the house, but for several years, my room had ONE path through it... and I use the word 'path' with trepidation, because really, it was more like a randomized hopscotch grid. I still don't know how I never lost my homework. My room became like this because I was largely sentenced to it from the age of about 9 until I was about 16, at which time I gained a car and pseudo-independence, and even then I only came out of my uber-cluttered hermitage to go to school, my job(s), and my extracurricular activities.
The problem is, the boy has a sass-mouth just like his mama, too, which is what caused her to be sentenced to her bedroom in the first place. I can still hear the admonition, "... and close the door, and don't come out until you can act like a civilized human being again!" Now? I find myself biting my lip to keep from saying the very same thing, because I swore up and down that if I ever had kids I'd never do that, and I like to think I'm not quite so hypocritical.
But geez it's hard!
As a parent, part of me feels like it's my responsibility to make sure that he keeps his room clean; on the other hand, I can already feel my authority slipping away, and it *is* his room. I guess I'll have to pick my battles. Because I can either nip the sass in the bud (which I will) or I can have him keep his room clean (which I'd like), but I imagine, after remembering my own teenage years, that there's no way I'm getting both.