Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Keeping it simple... and clean...

One of the really, really neat things about raising kids is seeing their evolution. Lots of people love babies. Ok, yes, I love babies. But I really, really love the toddler to young child time. I love when they start interacting. Trying to communicate, developing their own styles of communication, saying funny things. I don’t care for the Terrible Twos and Threes and I have had a lot of that the past two years, but we can just use a partition coefficient here and pretend that doesn’t exist for now. I keep saying it, and I will say it again. It just keeps getting better.

Since Leif was little he always showed a bit of OCD. In fact, I think I have a topic reserved in this blog for Leif’s OCD. The past few months this has spread into a new and interesting area. His bedroom.

If you saw Leif’s bedroom you would assume he is a poor abused child with no toys. While the reality is that the kid has a closet that rivals our Master closet and a toy room. But that’s not all of it… His closet? Skadi spends the vast majority of the time in the closet rifling through stuff, generally destroying the area. And I have about 6 Rubbermaid containers stacked in there as well. I will take storage space wherever I can get it.

Nope, Leif likes things simple. All he really needs are a bookshelf for his books, a place to put his clothes, a place to store his electronics (i.e., charge the DS, keep his headphones handy, etc.), and a few shelves to show off his trophies and his Harry Potter collections and to keep his new locked box. (I bought him a $10 cash box with a key at Target… best thing since sliced bread according to Leif.)

Compare to Skadi’s room that is just unmanageable. Seriously. That child can destroy her room faster than you can blink your eye. Tornado Skadi. And she has toys and loves her toys and wants them all out in her room at all the same times. This is a scary tale for another day. Leif's closet? Well she endured his wrath the other night when she pulled out a box of trucks and didn't put them back.

Back to Leif.

We have “pick up night” every Wednesday evening. The kids’ rooms get picked up along with common areas throughout the house to enable the housecleaner to be able to actually clean.

Leif is a master bedroom cleaner. When he says it is done, you can bet he is not joking. It’s done, it’s perfect and it took him less than 3 minutes. (I have started paying him to help Skadi with her room.) On top of that, Leif has started cleaning his room ahead of time so that he doesn’t have to do it on Wednesday. Because according to him he just has “too much stuff to do on Wednesday with spelling test on Thursday and all”.

Last Tuesday night I finished reading him a book and tossed it on the floor next to the bed. Wow did I unleash the wrath.

Leif: “MOM! I just picked up my room, I don’t want to have to pick it up again tomorrow, would you please put that book back where it belongs?!”

(I could have sworn I have heard this line many times before... only not starting with "mom".)

Leif loves having friends over, but he gets pretty massive anxiety after they leave and his room is a mess. In fact, I have decided that from now on we need to incorporate pick up time into play dates. I did this when I was a kid. I remember storming out of one friend’s house and marching home because we (once again) got into a fight about something. I got home and Jennifer’s mother had called my mom and told her I didn’t help clean up. Dang it. I had to march back up there (tail between legs) to go help her pick up.

Yes, picking up is going to be part of the new play date routine.

I see Leif’s future… a sparsely furnished, stylish (thanks to his interior decorator sister) minimalist loft. Hopefully he can find a woman who will put up with his neat freakiness…

Having Leif jump on me about not putting his book away made me smile.

My mom was somewhere looking down with a big grin on her face.

No comments: