Those of you that have more than one child know that they can be profoundly different. Everyday I marvel at the fact that these little people, these fruits of my loin, these children that came from within in me and have the same father are SO freakin' different.
Jayden..my first born son (who is about to turn 8 on Tuesday...EIGHT!!! oh my GOD, oh my GOD...I'm freaking out) is neat, organized, smart. His introverted, non-competitive, TRUSTWORTHY and did I say neat??? personality has made him a very easy child to raise. He was a sweet, quiet baby, and unbelievably easy toddler and a bright student. There's a downside to this orderly personality. He can be anxious. He's hard on himself and gets frustrated easily. But we'll take that because, most of the time, he really is amazing
This child has always been an organizer. My friend, Julie, likes to point out that when he was nine or ten months old, he used to line up the shoes by the front door. He'd match the shoes and put them in a perfect line. At the age of three he spent a week writing the alphabet over and over until he was satisfied that he was making all the letters correctly. He was quiet, focused, calm and studious. He's a sponge, eager to soak up everything around him. This is a child that CHOOSES to go to bed a half an hour early because he wants to get up at 6:30 to watch a show on TV. AND he sets his own alarm clock so that he'll wake up. SERIOUSLY. He'll be a lawyer or a doctor, I used to say. (actually, he says he wants to be an excavator operator, a dump truck driver and an astronaut....at the same time. At least he has goals)
Yesterday, I was taken aback by my son's room. Now..my son's room always looks like pretty clean. For the most part. Occasionally, there will be toys left out that he wasn't quite finished playing with. OR socks that were kicked off in the middle of the night that haven't yet been put on the dirty laundry pile. Once in a while, a drawer is left partially open in his haste to grab his clothes and get dressed. However, when he wanted to go stay all night at his grandma's, I asked him if his room was picked up. His answer?
"Mom, I already cleaned my room today. I knew you'd ask me if it was clean and I just decided to get it done first thing so I could have the rest of the day to play"
When I went upstairs...this is what I found. I honestly didn't touch anything in his room. He did it all himself.
View from the door. YES..I know my kid has a quilt on his bed. He has a queen sized bed and they just don't make little kid bed sets in QUEEN size. We already had this quilt. It somewhat matches and well..free is better than buying a neutral bedspread. NOTICE the Spongebob and Spiderman pillow cases. We do what we can.
View from the back of the room
The inside of his closet....
Crazy...isn't it. I mean, I feel lucky that this child is so awesome. Being a somewhat neatnick myself, I just love to sit in a clean room. It's relaxing to me. I can't stand clutter, messiness and unorganization. I can feel my skin start to crawl from the mere sight of it. So, I would like to think that this child's cleanliness is a result of great genes and a Mom and Dad that set a good example. I mean, we are the perfect parents..(hahahaha)
Then we had Claire.......same gene pool, same parental example. COMPLETELY different kid. She hates to clean, she dumps out boxes of toys and then mixes them all together...never to return them to their appropriate containers. I often find barbie shoes mixed in with the Littlest Pet Shop stuff. Her idea of cleaning her room is stuffing as much stuff under the bed as she can and then stuffing the rest in her closet. I try to make things easy for her. Only a few places where things go. We could should have stock in Rubbermaid because of all the containers in her room. She frequently tells me that she is too BUSY to clean her room. After asking, telling, begging and finally, threatening...she'll usually concede and go attempt to pick it up.
And here's her effort (THREE hours later, after she played with her ponies, told me that Megan's dog peed on her green and purple matching comforter and that it needed washed, and watched Beverly hills Chihuahua.....her room was NOT that messy. folks. I just helped her properly clean it on Thursday. It should have only taken her 10 or 15 minutes. TOPS)
View from the door.
View from the back of the room..minus one purple and green comforter. Note the paper sheep she just HAD to have and taped to the wall..."so that she can count sheep when she's not sleepy"
The dreadful closet.
So...although, I want to be all frustrated with her lack of organization..I realize that for most people, it's a LEARNED skill and doesn't come natural. I don't understand disorganization. It boggles me and I even have trouble sleeping until I get the offending room in order. Things don't have to be spotless. I can deal with dust or needing to vacuum but I need things to be picked up and put away. It's weird I know. I was so hoping that Claire would get just a little of this from me.
My friends all laugh. At me. Deep, hearty belly laughs. And when they finally stop, the laugh some more. At me.
I am told that, despite my disdain for Claire's messiness, most kids are more like my Claire and that Jayden is really the exception. Claire is the normal one??
hmmmm......poor kid has freaks for a mom and a brother? Who'd of thunk it.