Monday, July 12, 2010

Setting The Bar

I'm not Super-Mom.

I'm not even Above-Average-Mom.

I'm a pretty much just Mom.

You could look at as though I'm "keeping it real" for my kids. They need to know that having a family, a home, and a job also means that they have to forgo home-cooked, four-course meals and a spot-free household existence.

It became abundantly clear how far from "spot-free" my home had become based on Stinkle's reaction to cleaning her room yesterday.

Her room was a disaster area. Stuffed animals, barrettes, Barbies, Barbie accessories, baby dolls, McDonald's toys, scraps of at least five sheets of green construction paper, magnets, Littlest Pet Shop stuff, and much more littered her bedroom floor.

It's not a big room - only 11X10 and that might be generous. So it doesn't take much of a mess to make it look much, much smaller.

This poor child also has a massive case of second child syndrome:

  • She has the smallest of the bedrooms with the smallest closet.
  • Her bed is the actually the trundle from under Cupie's Captains bed.
  • The floor lamp used to be Cupie's but it didn't fit the new decor when we moved into our current house so Stinkles inherited it.
  • The dresser was originally Cupie's too, but Cupie got a new one when Stinkles was born so it's technically a hand-me-down too.

Cupie has a walk-in closet that we were able to add storage shelves to. She has 25 feet of space to store games, those doll make-up heads, Pixos, books, Barbie stuff, etc. Stinkles has none.

That's one reason her room is a mess. We'd provided her no means of organizing it nor had we shown her how.

So we were at Home Depot this weekend. And you know as soon as we walked in, the kids had to go to the bathroom.

What's with kids and needing to go to the bathroom at every store we visit?

We were there to get a couple of things that sold at the front of the store. Now, I had to traipse all the way to the back of the store to find the bathrooms. Said Traipsing took me through the Closetmaid storage stuff isle.

Whaaaaaaaaaaah. A magical glow floated over the racks of brackets & wire shelving.

I started guesstimating the size of Stinkles closet.

Holy crap!

It was going to cost us at least $250 to do her closet. The angel choir ceased abruptly.

Now, I know you can do a 34"X47" (we measured when we got home) for less than $250, but I wanted the "track" system so we could screw this stuff into the wall once and still have flexibility to change the height of the shelves later. Trying to cover up the bullet sized holes from wall anchors is a pain in the rump.

We ultimately decided to buy the materials for part of her closet. At least she would get some storage.

Stinkles was pretty excited about getting some shelves in her closet and cleaning up her room. Don't you just love this age? She was excited about cleaning!

So I started moving stuff around in her closet. Like, I stacked the tubs of hand-me-down clothes on one side. I moved the boxes of hand-me-down shoes off the shelf already in the closet to the top of the tubs. Thankfully, the wall was there to prevent the fall of the leaning tower of hand-me-downs.

In the process, I found evidence of good intentions. There were three collapsible canvas cubes to match the colors of her room. Stinkles helped decide what went into each one.

I think I saw that on Oprah or read it in one of those perfect parent type of magazines - let the kids help make the decision and maybe they'll stick with it. I thought if she helped decide what went in the cubes, the likelihood of those items making it back into the cubes would increase.

Stay tuned, we'll see if that worked.

Believe it or not, the shelving went up uneventfully.

How does that happen to me?

I suppose I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. I'll just shut-up and put a check in the success column.

Anywho, Hubby took the kids to Wally-world for a new camera (stay tuned for that saga) and I finished up Stinkle's closet & room cleaning.

When she got home, Stinkles ran to her room. By the time I made my way up, she was at the top of the stairs, jumping up and down with her arms up in the air. She looked like she had just won the lottery.

I got a huge hug and kiss.

I asked her, "Do you like what Mommy did in your room?"

She let go, stepped back, and vigorously nodded her head. Then she said, "Now let's go look at the closet!"

She was that excited about her room being clean - she hadn't even looked at the closet yet!

You know you're doing something wrong when your child thinks that a clean room is cause for celebration.

Or maybe I've done it right by setting the bar pretty darn low.

Silver Lining:
  1. There was no stepping on Barbie boots or any other foot puncturing item when sneaking in for one last kiss before I went to be last night.
  2. The tables have been turned on Cupie. Stinkles informed her that her room is a "daster". And it spurred a mini cleaning spree by Cupie. Mini as in, she made her bed - woo, who!
  3. Stinkles got a small taste of victory. We did something just for her - she was the sole focus of this project and she didn't have to share it with her sister. I'm sure she put an imaginary check in the success column too.

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