Saturday, 20 November 2010

Wallowing in her own filth......

Bern is guest posting for me today. Bern writes at So Now What? Her blog is hilarious and engaging. As is Bern herself. She rocks. Thanks mate........xx


Karma works in funny ways. Sometimes it presents itself my having a bird shit on your pristine white wedding dress on your big day. Other times, it’s just flips you the bird and presents itself as the reincarnation of yourself in your own child. This is my case.

As a child I was messy. As an adult, I am messy. Not so much in a leaving food to fester in my undies drawer kind of messy, but more like the clutterfucked, never have my shit together kind of messy. But as a child, hot damn, I was rank.

And it appears, that as my mother predicted all those years ago, I indeed do have a child who cannot keep her room clean and yes, it does upset me. Clearly Karma is rogering me senseless.

Spending time discovering sealed containers of empty lolly wrappers and shredded paper in sock drawers is not my idea of a fun Saturday. Of course I only got stuck into her room due to my fears. Fears that her friend arriving that afternoon would report home to her mother about the obvious feral state of her friends’ room. Fears that her mother would make assumptions about my inability to keep my house clean and fears that well, fungi might actually start spreading from her shoe cupboard into the corridor.

Of course, Maddie wasn’t home when I decided to start this. She was having a weekend bonanza of sleepovers and was due to be picked up in the afternoon. She wasn’t home to see how much of her beloved homemade lip gloss (i.e. Vaseline and dye) got donated to an unsuspecting charity. She will never realise that her mini My Little Ponies, that she had wedged behind her television have gone on to the great big green pasture in the sky. And clearly she continues to think it was the kitten and not her mother who knocked off and smashed her lava glitter lamp when attempting to roll the desk across the floor.

Am I the only mother with a child who does this? Who rips bits of paper to shreds and then leaves them all over her desk? Fails to drink and then return no less than 7 water bottles a week to the kitchen sink?
What about school socks? Have I the only daughter who decides 3 minutes before we are due to walk out the door in the morning that, even though she’s had over an hour and half to look for them, her socks are AWOL and she’s having an apocalyptic sized freak out because of it? Well, I’m pleased to report that I found 5 socks in my mass clean out. 2 in her shoe cupboard, 2 under her bed. 1 wedged between her books. Why?
Also residing in the dark abyss under her bed was luggage. Luggage that was meant to be cleaned out in August. After she went on school camp. Needless to say, she’s down 5 pairs of undies and one pair of shoes that were just too far gone.

I go on this rampage about once every 3 months or so. Usually there is a tonne of angst that goes along with these mini meltdowns. From her and from me. Along with this, on a daily basis I am requesting that she put her clean clothes away, pick her toys up off the ground and not leave her grotty undies at the entrance to her door. And yet, often I am too stuffed, too harried and possibly, just too lazy to follow her up on these requests. And she knows it.

So much like me 25 years ago, she waits for her mother to lose it, weathers the storm and walks out the other side with a clean room and good intentions. Both last about thirty minutes.

I want to teach her to be tidy now, so she can be a tidy adult. But do you think it is simply ingrained in her nature?

Please tell me she will grow out of it?


  1. FatAngryBlogNovember 20, 2010

    OMG those are the exact fears I have re: our kids!!! Hubs and I were both messy kids and are still disorganized, messy adults! I'm so glad it's not just us who worry about this! LOL!

  2. Thanks for having me Lucy. Sorry for my typo up the top. I am shithouse at self editing xxx

  3. Oh how I love you Lucy!
    You have described to a 'T' the ongoing battle I have with Cpt. V's eldest.

    I'm about to do a total overhaul of her room in the next couple of weeks under the guise of a 'Makeover' but what it will really be will be a major 'toss out'.

    Actually I reckon you could do a great pitch to one of the commercial TV stations for a show dedicated to just this topic. It would be a blend of 'Bedroom Blitz' and 'Grot Busters' - ratings would be through the roof - just remember to swing any royalties my way!

    Enjoy the results of the clean,

    Felicity x

  4. Bern, I simply don't know aht to say. I am a complete anal neat freak who loses it if the pillows on my kids beds aren't lined up straight. I still make their beds and put away their washing even though they are 11 and 8, because, damnit, the room just looks nicer that way. I am raising a daughter who has colour coded her undies and has her hair ties organised in sealed containers. I am wondering if your child is going to have far less neroses when she grows up....

  5. My own daughter is rather tidy, lines items up and colour codes. Hangers have to be facing a certain way and shoes must be paired up. If she gets a little messy she usually chooses to fix it of her own accord. Her brothers need to be reminded.
    To get to this stage however was a logistical operation of mammoth proportions. I used to wait until we were about to leave for one of THEIR functions that they really wanted to go to and say "I will just sit here on the lounge until you have tidied your rooms, when you are done we can go. The party starts in 15 minutes". Should have seen them move.

  6. Oh great idea! Shall be trying that. x

  7. So was that learned behaviour Kylie or was she born with it in her? Because if it's a genetic thing, my daughter, sadly, is screwed. My only saving grace is that Phil is quite anal about cleanliness. Best thing is, if need be, your daughter knows a psychologist!

  8. So was that learned behaviour Kylie or was she born with it in her? Because if it's a genetic thing, my daughter, sadly, is screwed. My only saving grace is that Phil is quite anal about cleanliness. Best thing is, if need be, your daughter knows a psychologist!

  9. That's such an interesting question Bern and can I just say I LOVE how descriptively you write. I do know I am obsessively tidy, or I used to be sans kids. But I can also say my kids are pretty messy despite my best efforts to unmessify them. I'm hoping they grow out of it. Or I guess I'll just send them to Kylie's place for a "clean up" bootcamp ;)

  10. Oh yes. Great Idea. "You're going to Clean yourself up camp at the K. LADD boarding house kids"

  11. What a great post! I am afraid I have no suggestions for you, however I did smile at the idea of it all being slightly karmic!

  12. Oh dear. I fear this is rather inherited. I had a shocking room as I grew up - everything went under the bed - nightmare! I have two boys and their rooms border on uninhabitable at times. When they were little I tried to keep them clean & tidy, but as they have aged, particularly the last 4 years or so, I gave up. I just close the doors and when I can "smell" stuff coming down the hall, I will go through and blitz their rooms. Usually every 4 months or so. I have learned to let go - I don't sleep there or go in there much & they are right down the other end of the house so no one sees them.

  13. The Cuckoo's NestNovember 20, 2010

    Brilliant post! Your daughter is my daughter! We have exactly the same issues, especially with bits of random shredded paper (what the hell is with that?!)
    I, too, suffer from a form of clutter-itis (a term my friend coined - which sounds a little like an STD - to explain the piles of miscellaneous crap in her house - the type of piles that start out as one bill or piece of paper and then morph into mountainous table-filling piles).
    I've got no words of advice as we are still having the meltdowns here!

  14. Great post! I think almost every child is like this to a certain degree. I was like this as a child (oh, those Saturdays never being able to go out until I cleaned my room!) And yes, they do eventually grow out of it, for the most part. I still suffer slightly from C.H.A.O.S. (Can't have anyone over syndrome) and can go from completely anal about the house to "who gives a s**t"

    There is light at the end of the tunnel though - My daughter was a paper shredder too (WTF??) but when she went away to university she finally put in to practice those lessons I had tried to teach her when she was younger, and keeps it up when she's home on breaks.

    Now, if only my 17 year old son would catch on.... :) He's tidy in most parts of the house, but I still find socks left where he's taken them off, and if his room is the one place he can be completely messy, I can always keep the door shut. I've actually designated this weekend as the "clear the crap out from the bedroom" weekend. Maybe I'll find some of the dishes and cutlery I've been missing. Hopefully with no wildlife attached.

  15. JustStopSpeakingNovember 21, 2010

    Yep - that's my place too !

    We're talking Lego everywhere, EVERYWHERE - even in the goddamn shower and who has plumbed the depths of the school bag recently? Its always a delight finding that 4 day old yoghurt tube.....

  16. Farmers WifeyNovember 21, 2010

    Well I have a bad relationship with socks and Lego, and my eldest daughter is like one of those birds, I can't remember what they are called, who collect bits and stuff...and I was exactly the same when I was a child. Bits of paper, sticks, pretty little "things" all collectively thrown together...

  17. I reckon most children and teens are fairly rank... everyone I know has had the 'wallowing' convo with one or both of their parents. We were all festering as youngsters. I think the 'clean' gene doesn't kick in until you start to have your own children... Life is so like that. x

  18. OMG... That is Girl Child except her mess clutters not only her room, but the lounge room and often the fmaily room too.

    Like Patricia, we are a house that seems to be in enternal CHAOS. And Girl Child seems to be responsible for the majority. Boy Child even asks why I bother cleaning up as Girl Child will just trash everything again.

    Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel is a tip truck coming to collect the mess?

  19. lol sounds just like my boys!

  20. Ingrained....sorry! lol

    Great post.

    I have a mini-me that drives me nuts in other ways....*sigh*

  21. Sparkly TiaraDecember 09, 2010

    I fear they may never outgrow it. I'm still a cluttery mess kind a gal.

    I'm working on Z's room today. It's scary. Very scary. Even the cat ran away after kindly assisting me for the first 27 seconds.

    I feel your pain...


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