About two weeks ago, I finally did what I had been threatening to do. I got a broom and entered the boy’s room. Two boys in a small room equals almost total destruction. I had asked repeatedly for the room to be clean because the room was making us late to football practice and it was costing me a lot of money. Let me explain.
Somewhere inside that room is an expensive mouthpiece that should hang from the front bar of the facemask of the helmet. He wore it three or four times and then figured out that if he pulled on the mouthpiece hard enough it would pop off of the little string thing holding it on. So, he popped off and on several times. I warned him not to do it. The end came on a Saturday when he had a game. No mouthpiece. We search and search through the detritus that makes up the floor of their room. Dad takes him to the game and I rush to the mall to purchase another mouthpiece. He got to play.
Next week. No butt pad. They wear the football pants with the snap-in pads. He had all of them except the one that protects his skinny little rear end. We dug and sifted and found many things, but no butt pad. We go early to the game and hope that they have an extra. They do.
Next week. Other boy. No game socks. Anywhere. I have already purchased four pair. This time, he has to borrow.
On the weekend I order the room to be cleaned. They dutifully go into the room and shut the door. I can hear many things through the walls, but I don’t hear the noise of cleaning. I send a large trash can in to them. At the end of the day, they have cleared a very narrow path. The next day I obtain huge buckets and designate them for football stuff only. That helps minimally.
We rock along for a few days, losing more things, and ending up in frustration. I admonish them to clean their room. I am ignored. The battle ensues. I enter the room with a broom and dustpan. I can see that their cleaning efforts was to stuff everything under the bed, the dresser, or in the closet. They begged me not to open the closet door. I started in the corner. Nothing is sacred. I sweep, scoop, and throw away. They are scrambling as fast as they can to save Legos, cars, plastic men, and other keepsakes. One is upset and the other is delighted each time he finds something he hasn’t seen in a while. Like we are at a gift party.
A cry goes out when I open the top drawer. Full of junk. “Where are the clothes?” I scream at him. He shrugs his shoulders and holds out his hands. I dump the drawer and find a few socks, a pile of sticky gunk that was previously gummy something or the others, trash, and a squashed Dr. Pepper box. I pull out the box and before I can say a word, he blurts out, “That is a space station.” I nod and inform him that the momma asteroid has just demolished it. It gets tossed.
We spend over an hour sweeping, crying, and bargaining. My broom has been busy. They are tiptoeing around, trying to pick up as fast as they can and not get swatted on the rear with the broom. We change the sheets and make the beds. Things are looking better. We pick up all the cloths hangars and put them in the closet. We open the windows and light a candle. We sort through the old clothes and make boxes for the Union Mission.
We threw away a lot of trash and broken stuff. We gave away a lot of old clothes and hopefully learned some lessons. . The room still gets messy and still smells like a boy’s room, but they have decided that it is easier to find things if they are in the right place. I agree.
Part of life is learning to sift and sort, figuring out what is important and what is not.
Since the purge, we have been on time to football, school, and church. The socks don’t always match, but, hey, they got on socks.
Next Week. The Teen’s room. Pray for us please!