Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
I just went into my son’s bedroom to get my laptop. What I saw in there just blew my mind away. It looked like a tornado had blown through that bedroom. Now, I know that my son is not the neatest kid on this earth, but damn! Can a brother clean up his room every now and again without me having to tell him?
I just don’t understand how he can live in that mess. After he finally cleans his room, I inspect it. He gets so mad at me! Its actually funny (at least it is to me, maybe not to him). I go around the room and point out everything that he missed. What gets me is that its sooooo obvious that I’m going to say something. Does he really think that I’m not going to see that all the drawers in the dresser are open with the clothes hanging out? Really? It’s not enough to put the clothes in the dresser, you have to put them in there neatly and actually close the drawers. Does he think that I’m not going to see the clothes on the floor piled up in the corner? Really? Are those clothes clean or dirty? If they’re clean, why are they not in the drawers? Oh, because there’s no room for them? Well, if they’re dirty, why are they not in the hamper? Oh, because there are clean clothes in there? Ok, but why are the clean clothes in the hamper and not in the drawers? They don’t fit? Gee, I wonder why? And the cycle repeats itself with the clothes on the chair, under the bed, on the desk, etc. And, I guess he thinks that I’m not going to see the sneakers in the middle of the room, or the plates and cups that somehow didn’t make it downstairs either.
I was complaining to a co-worker about my son’s messy room one day. He suggested that I explain to my son that one day he would have his own apartment and that he will be bringing girls home. He told me to tell him that girls aren’t impressed with men who have messy apartments, and that some girls may not come back. It actually worked ... for a minute. But when he cleaned his room, I was impressed with how clean and neat it was. I even complimented him. Oooooo, I just knew that this was the start of something good. No more nagging! No more over the top inspections! No more messy rooms! Yeah! It only lasted that one day. Then, everything went back to normal. I just don’t get it. Dude, if you take the time and clean up your room properly, you won’t have to listen to my nagging. Unfortunately, he doesn’t read my blog., so he won’t get this message.
His sister is not that much better. If my son is an 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, she’s about a 6. This girl has clothes piled up in the corner, garbage piled up in the garbage pail, and the bed is rarely made up on the weekdays. Her floor is begging to be swept. But, the difference between the two of them is that when I tell my daughter to clean her room, she will take the time and do it well. Not my son. I feel sorry for my future daughter-in-law. Hopefully, he will get it together.
So, if you think you’re going to have a neat house when you have kids, forget about it, and ...
Consider Yourself Warned!
For you parents out there, how do you get your teenagers to clean their rooms on a regular basis, and to clean it well?
Disappointment. It’s hard enough to face as an adult. Even harder to face as a child. That is what we have been dealing with lately at my house. My son tried out for the varsity basketball team. He played on the junior varsity team for two years so he just knew that he would get one of the four open spots. He knew it. His friends knew it. Even the players on the varsity team knew it. It appears that the only person who didn’t know it was the varsity coach. My son made it all the way to the last round to only have the spot he thought was his get taken by someone who was bigger, and according to my son, less talented than him.
I was in Atlanta at Homecoming when I got the call. I could hear it in his voice. My heart ached for him. He had been playing all summer long with his friends and was really looking forward to being on the team with them. He was the only one who didn’t make the team. I must admit, my first thought was, “Who does that coach think he is? He cut MY son? The nerve of him! Let me call him and give him a piece of my mind and then tell him that he MUST let my son play!” Then, I calmed down. First of all, its not like the coach would listen to me, a ranting mom, but also, its not good for my son. I can’t rush in and solve all his problems. I want to, but is that good for him? I don’t think so. There will be many disappointments in his life. He has to learn how to deal with them. So, I told him. “I know this hurts, but this won’t be the only time you will be disappointed. What really matters is how you handle the disappointment. How you handle this will determine what kind of man you will become. You can either become bitter, or continue to follow your dream. You say you want to play basketball. If you really do, you will find another way to do so. Also, you never know, this could be a blessing in disguise. You can always play on an AAU team. Who knows what opportunities could come out of that?”
You never know if your kids are really listening to what you say. I found out that my son does listen to me. The next day he called me. He told me that he really wanted to play basketball for the girls and to be with his friends. He said that he already had a girlfriend, so that’s covered. And he could still play with his friends in another league (he registered for that league last week). But what really impressed me was that he went and spoke to the varsity coach. The coach told him that if it had been any other year, he would have made the team. My son asked him if he could still practice with the team (nine or so members of the team will graduate this year). The coach thought about it for a few days and agreed to it! Now my son is a practice player. He has been to every practice (even the one at 6:30 am ), practicing with the team. I was proud of him. Who knows? If someone gets injured (not that I’m wishing it on anyone), maybe he will get to play.
I’m proud how my son handled this situation. I am proud that he did not just sit around and mope in the “woe is me” feelings. I am proud that he did not let his anger and disappointment take over his mood. I’m proud that he was able to make a disappointing situation work out to his advantage. I am proud that he is my son.
Parents, watch what you say. Your kids listen and sometimes actually take it to heart.
So … Consider Yourself Warned!
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.