Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Let's talk about teen sloth behavior

Everyone knows that having a toddler or a preschooler means that it's almost impossible to keep your house clean. Brightly colored plastic toys do make a home cheerful, don't they? Nothing like a floor covered in Cheerios and Kix, with spilled juice (watered down, of course) on the coffee table. The table that has rubberized corners so the baby won't crack her head open if she drunkenly careens into it when learning to walk. I do love the look of childproof gates on the top and bottom of stairs, too. It just add that certain something to your decor.

However, at some time you get rid of the gates, the socket plugs, the childproof cabinet locks that never work, and all those Lil Tykes toys. You psych yourself up for a house that looks like humans live in it, adult humans. You put the books back on the bookshelves, you put the CD's back in the racks, the tchatkes back on the shelves and end tables, and you even bravely put decorative objects on the coffee table. You've now got kids who are able to understand that things break and that jumping on the couch is verboten unless you're Tom Cruise on Oprah.

There's that sigh of relief when you actually think, "I can keep the house clean for more than 20 minutes. Life is grand." Yeah, well that's just ignorant thinking because those kids are going to grow a bit more and become.... Teenage Sloths! Yes, it's going to happen. I promise you. One day you're going to wake up and there is going to be the biggest fricking mess in your kitchen you could ever imagine because your teen has decided to bake a cake. Batter all over everything, every utensil left to dry and cake on the counters, not a dish rinsed, never mind washed.

Not daunted, you saunter into their teenage sloth bedrooms and whoa! What happened to the floor. There used to be a floor here, but now there's this interesting carpet that looks suspiciously like every single thing they've worn for the past month. Hmmm... didn't they just clean their rooms on Saturday? Why yes, but that doesn't mean that they have to keep it clean, does it? The mind of the teenage sloth is ever finding new ways to beat the system. So after your attack of the vapors, you decide to head down to the living room and sit in a nice calm space. Maybe watch some Oprah or something. But no... every fleece blanket is on the floor, the Xbox controller wires are all over the place, piles of past homework litter the coffee table where one sloth has cleaned out her binder and just left the remnants for someone else to clean up. There are, count'em, 7 glasses of water half empty scattered around the room. None of them were there last night. The sofa cushions are on the floor, the chair and a half is pushed back against the bookcase, the back massager is sitting on the oriental, there's a plate with a fork hanging out on an end table... and it looks like a cyclone struck this room.

How long have they been home from school? Oh, about 2 hours. Pass me the Xanax.
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Blogger neener said...

Ya know, I can't figure it out. My Mom was a neat freak, so periodically she'd dump my drawers on the floor and i'd have to refold everything, put things back in drawer and get my room in order. I hated it, but I knew I had to tow the line. My older son, like my estranged husband, is a total "drop it and leave it guy"...no concept of order or hanging, 'cept the coat tree (IKEA item).
Younger son has a little more sense of place and will pick up and do his own laundry. I feel he's trainable, not totally lost to the chaos Gods. With estranged husband out of town and sloppy son in college, it's amazing how much more together the house looks. I am teaching younger son how to cook, and he's definitely got the TECHNIQUE in his bones, it's the CAYG, clean-as-you-go that's the big lesson.
If I teach him that he's golden.

17/11/05 6:08 PM  
Blogger Free at Last! said...

I know this is not your fault,but I just feel cheated!I opened up an ad you have for increasing our IQ,expecting info on mind stimulation,instead they where trying to sell me music!
Your post reminds me so much of a better time,that I just had to stop and admire it for a few minutes.
Family life is so important,you should,and most likely do,count your self blessed,what I wouldn't have given .......oh well,what's done is done.God Bless.

17/11/05 8:39 PM  
Blogger Cattiva said...

OK, after reading this post and your profile I am wondering if we are not the same person living parallel lives - or perhaps separated at birth?

17/11/05 10:37 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

Thank you for finding me through Michelle's site. I am thrilled that I have years of mess to look forward too. Who is your doctor? I am going to need that Xanax.

18/11/05 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Pearl said...

Clean as You Go. I've *heard of that concept*. I wonder how much is clean-genes and how much is hobbit-habit. When I cook, it looks like a bomb was hidden in the flour bag. What can I say, high entropy is a friend to more than teens. :-)

18/11/05 4:33 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Teens are the same the world over!

I think that I might even photo my teens bedrooms !!!

19/11/05 12:34 PM  

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