I quite enjoy those articles on how to keep your child’s room so simply organized that your child can do it, too! A blissfully neat picture of toys efficiently tucked away in their color-coded cubbies, clothes efficiently hung in a row, and drawers full of clothes folded just so. Everything has a place and its in it’s place. Oh, the simplicity and order. What an effective lesson to teach your child while you enjoy the pure cleanliniess!
I allow myself to soak in the pretty picture for a few more minutes, my mind naturally adores such order and simplicity.
Wil’s room has color-coded cubbies, his dresser also has assigned drawers; top drawer for t-shirts, the one below for long-sleeved shirts, then pants, and finally, the bottom drawer for shorts. He also has a small dresser where the top drawer is full of undies and socks, the one below it contains pajamas.
Wil picks out his own clothes every morning, makes his own bed, takes off his clothes at night, puts on his pajamas, and any toys left out go back in the cubby.
Independence may be a beautiful thing, but with Wil, it’s not always pretty. But, it can be pretty hilarious.
Deciding what to wear, the drawers immediately become a jumble as he goes through every single t-shirt, then shoves the drawer closed to rifle through the long-sleeved shirts. Pants get the same preferential treatment. He does attempt to re-fold, but it looks nothing like my shiny magazine article.
His bed gets re-made, comforter extra long on one side of the bed, extra short on the other, pillows placed lovingly askew, and at the end of the task, an exuberant “Look at my bed, Mommy!” “Great job, buddy!” I reply, and I mean it.
When Wil squeezes toothpaste on his toothbrush, globs constantly slip off to adorn the side of the sink. Each time he rinses and spits, fine splatters dot the faucet, and the rinse cup leaves a ring to intertwine with the previous day’s ring on the countertop. Because I could write an entire blog on the tactics to get this kid to allow a toothbrush in his mouth, I consider where we are today a roaring success. So, when Wil completes his brushing regiment and blows his sweet breath in my face saying, “Fresh now, mom!” I shine brighter than the sparkling chrome faucet and countertop in my magazine article.
When it’s time to go to bed, Wil picks out his own pajamas with the zest he does his clothes in the morning. His pajama drawer is an immaculate jumble. As he takes off his clothes, he throws them in the air, and it’s been known for his undies to catch the antlers of the deer that hangs on the wall in his room. This causes such laughter, that sometimes, I allow them to hang there all week and we laugh ourselves silly at night over all he undies hanging upon the antlers in his room.
If I’m feeling mischievous reading one of these shiny articles, I daydream of placing Wil right in the middle of that well-laid out room where every detail has been thought out to be seemingly simple to maintain, and then start laughing hysterically as he single-handedly dismantles the room while the perfectionist writer’s neat little bun begins to unravel and frizz. I think it would do her a world of good.
I know it did me, because I was that perfectionist writer at one time. It’s not that I no longer look at the shiny picture in that article and sigh at the idea of it. My mind still loves order and simplicity. Yet, over time, I’ve allowed my hair to frizz out of that neat little bun. Even as well-planned and perfectly laid out you believe you have made your life, life has a way of happening in very unorderly and unexpected ways.
Real life is jumbled drawers and toothpaste globs in the sink. Real life is putting your son to bed and laughing your heads off about the underwear hanging on the wall. Real life is thanking God for placing this incredible little guy in the middle of your shiny, well-laid out picture, to open your mind to how messily perfect real life really is.