Katie Wisdom Weinstein: It is summer. How do I know this? I can walk from one room to
another and while I am gone, a hurricane of tween crap suddenly
My daughter and son dwell in caves of dirty socks, comics, single shoes, empty juice bottles, cell phone chargers, discarded clothes, and half-used-up school notebooks. There seems to be a kind of comfort in their mess. Like a well-worn security blanket, they surround themselves in their detritus.
When I cannot find any implements of technology (telephones, iPods, TV remotes, or my cell phone), I wade into their dens of hormonal existence and find the tools among the wreckage. Can one person (albeit a tween) walk by a backpack filled with musty clothes from an overnight 2 weeks ago, over and over again? Can one person (same tween) walk by a crusty, empty lemonade glass next to their computer, over and over again? The answer is "Yes," and the reason is because my children have special goggles. Scuz Goggles.
I promise you, I am not one of those "let them live in filth and they will eventually get tired of it and clean up" kinds of parents. No way. Saturday is chore day. Saturday is my Church of Clean. Amen. Now, go pick up your crap. By midday, it is back. Like a creeping vine, the clutter closes in on me. I yell, beg, reason, and negotiate. My kids look up at me innocently from their Wii marathon. What useless bargaining!
Now that it is summer, I have implemented THE CHALKBOARD. A list of daily chores is now my salvation. "Check the board every morning, before you head out for the day," I say sweetly. Let's see how long this lasts.
I do remember this. I am not a robot mother. I can relate to being so tired I needed to sleep through the morning, busy with my phone calls, catching up on my summer TV, eating cereal a couple of times a day, hanging out in my pajamas 'til noon. I am giving my kids two summer weeks to slob about. Then the filth fest is over. Back to Church of Clean.
|Katie Wisdom Weinstein is a professional modern momma. She lives in Portland, Oregon in a 100 year old house with her husband, Jess, and her two children Ruby, age 10 and Skylar, age 12. Cooking, camping, negotiating with pre-teens and allowing a zoo of animals in her house are her pastimes.|