The Situation Files, Blog Post #001

To fully understand what SITUATIONS are in my house, you'll have to read the blog entitled, The Parenting of Teenagers.

Not real pics of my house, but the top picture is how I want my son's room to look. The bottom pic is how it really looks. And the smell........

Disclaimer: My son is amazing. He is intelligent beyond his years, and I’m extremely proud of the young man he is becoming. We butt heads. He wants control, I want control. I am proud of his push for independence. I am excited for his future, and I believe he has a lot to offer to the world, even if he struggles to be tidy and keep a clean room, cannot find a laundry basket or a trash can, but can maintain an "A" average in school. 🌵 I'm also pretty stoked that he provides me with material for this blog.🌴🌴🌴

This situation file is a glimpse into my life as a mom to this boy who is nearly an adult, and has a deep desire to win every argument, no matter how insanely stupid some of the things sound that come out of his mouth “in the moment.” I do not wish for my parenting to be judged. I hope to reach other parents who struggle with the same issues and can make them feel less alone, more normal, and provide an opportunity to laugh. Now, on with the story!

Sadly, this picture is real and there were layers upon layers of laundry, and other items crammed into the backseat and the back end of his SUV.

The Things I Found in his Car

He was away for two weeks with his dad over Christmas break when I decided to start his car up and give her a spin around the block. I never go in his car. I can barely stand to go into his room because of the smell. Let’s just say he doesn’t keep things as tidy as I like them to be. I try not to be overbearing. I really try to make his childhood pleasant, so I don’t push too hard in the tidy department. I mean, just because I love to decorate and keep my house super clean, why should I push that on anyone else? Anyway, I was recently horrified when I opened the back end of his SUV. I found almost every single piece of school uniform that he owns, underwear, dress shoes, a suit and tie, and undershirts crumpled up back there and in his back seat. You might think this is no big deal, but we’ve been through a lot concerning the laundry.

The Struggle To Do Laundry

He’s been doing his own laundry for awhile (a point of parenting pride for me), and the struggle has always been in the removing of clean laundry from the dryer to putting away the clean laundry into his room. My son maintains a high grade point average, but coat hangers have been particularly challenging for him his whole life. 🌵🌵 Lately, I’ve been super proud of him because I glance in his bedroom and don’t see laundry everywhere. He’s finally learned, I’m thinking. 🌴🌴

Obviously, I overestimated his ability to fold and put away. To keep me off his back he solved the problem by transporting everything in the dryer to his car. Not folded up, just thrown in there. In the morning, he gets up to an alarm, goes out to the car, gets what he needs, and brings it in the house to get dressed. This is his process, and it’s been working for him for at least six months now.

The Other Stuff I Found

Mixed in with his laundry I found red curry paste (????), random papers from school, a permission slip for a field trip I didn’t even know about, food trash, empty bottles of various drinks, an old candy bar labeled Prom of 2016, a large piece of driftwood, sand from the beach, deodorant, razors, beard shavings that look like little pieces of dust everywhere, and a saw. Yes, a saw. I was so distracted by the saw in his car that I almost forgot all about the laundry.

How the Situation Went Down

Question: “Why in the hell is there a saw in your car?”

Man-Child response: “Mom, I need to be able to defend myself.” (Why can't he just say it's still there from his recent camping trip?)

Me: “Do you realize how much effort you’d have to put in to saw somebody who may be attacking you?????”

Man-Child response: “Mom, some of the places I drive can be sketchy. I could be at a red light and there could be somebody who tries to attack me.”

Me, full of parental wisdom: “Then, use your vehicle to run them over. Don’t saw them. It’s not smart personal defense.”

Question: “Do you realize that if you got pulled over and a police officer saw a SAW in your car that it could be considered a weapon?”

Man-Child response: “First of all, I won’t get pulled over. And if I did, he’d never look in my backseat for a weapon.”

Me: 🌵🌵🌵🌵🌵 (this means I'm prickly - really getting prickly)

Man-Child response: “I know what you’re going to say, mom – now I’m clairvoyant. I know I’m not clairvoyant. Duhhhhhh.”

Me, full of secret pride for his use of vocabulary: That’s MY line. {speechless} “No, you CERTAINLY are NOT clairvoyant.”

Me, throwing in the towel: “I have failed as a parent in this department. I have failed miserably, and I am no longer going to ask you to clean up after yourself and keep your room and car tidy. I realize this is soon going to be someone else’s problem, and I am looking forward to this.”

Man-Child response: “Oh, the failed parent line. Here we go. You are always saying that I’m a slob. Actually, I would like to improve on this. I want to improve myself. I want to do this for me now, not because you’re asking me to do it. Can you explain to me how to not be a slob?”

Me, growing weary: Deep breath……deep breath. Possibly a gulp of alcohol at this moment. Then, the delivery.

The Lesson and How It Went Down

Well, you can walk into my room at any time you want. Make your room look like mine. This is what you should STRIVE for. Notice how there will be nothing on my bedroom floor and the bed is made. Notice this, son, and learn.

You know those two laundry baskets in your room? When you take off your clothes – whether it be in your room or in the car – put the clothing in one of those hampers. This will keep the clutter off of your floor and out of your car. When you take off your shoes, there is a shoe rack under your dresser. Put both shoes there. There are two trash cans outside by where you park your car, and two inside your bedroom. When you have trash, put the trash in there. If you do these things, you will be well on your way to becoming less of a slob and thus get the personal improvement you desire.

The AP/Honors Version of This Lesson

I know you are really intelligent, so I’m going to challenge you with the AP/Honors version of how to be less slobbish. Listen carefully. Those two laundry baskets – one is blue and one is white. You can put your whites in the white one and your colored clothes in the blue one. This will make doing your laundry easier. I don’t know if you can handle it, but since you are so interested in making personal improvements, and you do take AP and Honors classes at school, I thought you’d appreciate the advanced version of this lesson.

Man-Child response: “That’s all I need to do? That seems easy enough. I need to borrow your car tomorrow. I’ll take really good care of it for you.” 🌵🌵🌵🌵🌵

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