You know, they say that our differences are what make the world go round. (I’ve never really been sure who THEY are or where they get their information.) One of our main differences is that you are the neat as a pin one and I am, well, not quite that.
You are the one that immediately hangs up your laundry and puts it away in your closet while I “fold” mine and put it in a laundry basket, where it
might will stay until it gets worn and washed again. And yes, if the laundry basket is already taken, I can usually find space on my dresser, on top of the hamper, or in a suitcase that has not been put away from that trip we took last month. (I’m trying to do better.)
Also, you are the one whose vehicle is immaculate inside, while I inevitably have a few sweaters/coats/random clothing items in the backseat and also the remnants of a bottle of water or diet soda from a day (or a week) ago in the cup holder, among other things. (Hey, on the off chance I find myself trapped in my car for a day or so, at least I won’t freeze. Or die of thirst.)
It’s ok. I have other talents. And don’t get too much of a big head. You of course have your faults, too, but this isn’t about that.
Today, we asked the children to clean their rooms. Just that simple. As you know, over the last few years, I have periodically gotten to a point with their rooms that I just took a Saturday and cleaned them up myself. Then they would come home and “ooh” and “ahh” and “Mama, this looks great, I promise I’ll keep it looking like this.” Which of course didn’t happen, but then I didn’t really expect that it would. But when the 9 year-old’s room seemed to go from “there’s a little clutter in here” to “child, I cannot see the floor and it looks like a tornado came straight through here” you and I had both had enough, thus the room-cleaning imperative. And there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.
How many times did they emerge saying, “Ok, it’s clean now,” only to be sent back by one or both of us because clearly, it wasn’t? It was several. (I knew when I overheard him ask her, “Sissy, do you want this paper airplane before I put it in the ATTIC?” that this wasn’t going to go so well. I also got that feeling when I caught him attempting to stuff a balloon from the fair last night, still completely inflated, into a dresser drawer. That’s why I usually end up doing it myself.)
And you will no doubt recall when at one point they headed out to the yard with some boxes and a few McDonald’s toys to “practice for a yard sale.” (I find it amusing that you thought this was an idea that I had sanctioned. It was not. If a McDonald’s toy finds its unfortunate way into my hands, its next destination is the trash can.)
And then of course the tears when first I, then you, told them that whatever wasn’t cleaned up would go in the trash. (By the way, that doesn’t work on him and I don’t get it. Instead of making him get to it, he just launches into that loud, fake, ugly cry. I actually had a discussion with a 6 year-old about how he was totally in control of the situation at that point. I’m losing my edge.)
Sometime this afternoon, the rooms finally passed muster. Or either we just threw in the towel, I can’t remember which.
Anyway, I said all this to say…I’m puzzled.
You know, in our kids, each of us basically has a “mini-me”. She is a miniature version of me, and he is little-bitty you, with a few twists. She, at times, has your analytical wit and he has a little of my “devil may care” (or a lot of it – sorry) without my overly healthy respect for boundaries. (It’s an odd combination, yes, but it has served me well.)
I’m no scientist, but I would have thought we had at least a 50-50 shot at having at least one kid that got your neatness genes. It seems not. It seems that we not only got two without your neatness genes, they both got a double dose of my less-than-pristinely-organized genes topped off with a sidecar of “pack rat” (which also runs in my family – again, sorry). I guess I would have thought “neat” would be a dominant gene and “not so neat” a recessive one, like brown eyes and blue eyes, but maybe it’s the other way around.
I shouldn’t complain, they’re both healthy and beautiful and smart, and I thank you for the part you have played in that, both in nature and nurture. You step up to the plate in so many ways. But I mean, come on honey, couldn’t those genes of yours have fought just a little harder on this front?
I guess not. Knowing you, if you could have controlled that part of the equation, I’m sure you would have. Not to mention, I love their little personalities, just as they are, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Even when they are driving me crazy.
I guess we’ll just have to chalk this one up as another one of those “God knows what he’s doing even if we don’t” things. Funny how full life is of those, huh?
I love you!