Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cleaning Up

The Child had a friend over after school yesterday, to work on the Constitutional Scavenger Hunt project. I'd asked her to pick up her room but her version of clean and mine are not in sync.

"That's not exactly clean," I said. (One couldn't walk from one end to the other and actually touch the floor).

"It's not like we'll be in there," she replied. (I'd already told her they were working at the dining table so I could be sure they were on task).

"Yes, but don't you want to make a nice impression?"

She shrugged.

"What will you pay me to clean it?" I asked.

She beamed. "50 cents - which is all I have. And a really cute bookmark. It has a kitty on it".

Now, it isn't often someone pays me all they have PLUS a cute kitty bookmark so I donned my HazMet suit and went in.

First layer: dirty laundry and general trash. Clearing that out made a big improvement right away. Then I sorted. A lot of the mess was stuffed animals who sleep with her at night and wind up on the floor by morning. I culled out some things that can be saved but don't really need to be in there. Precious toys, like her Chicago bear, Wisconsin cow and the-dog-on-a-pillow The Boy won for her were placed on shelves. That just left Chicago dog, Aloyisus the teddy bear and the giant frakking Tweety Bird that's the size of a 4 year old (with I loath, btw) for her bed.

Now we were down to the detritus of teenagedom: stray hair clips, lip gloss, CD cases, pens, fan magazines ("Zac and Vanessa - their true love story!"), earrings, nail polish. All these bits have homes and were quickly put away.

As I put away and tucked up, I though about the design scheme we're going to execute this summer. I have told her there'd be one more room makeover, for high school. The plan is dramatic, based on a display we saw at Anthropologie. (They have the coolest art direction department). The walls are going to be painted with black chalkboard paint. We'll put white egg and dart crown molding at the top of the walls and a matching chair rail all around. She wants pink floral bedding. It will look awesome. More to the point, it will look awesome for me, because the second The Child goes off to college, that's becoming my study. Oh. Yes, it is.

But my giddy delight at the prospect is tempered by the knowledge that I'll be a blubbering mess when that day comes.

Hey! There are an awful lot of dishes in here considering she's not supposed to eat in her room....

Almost done. Papers on the desk ( none of them missing assignments) tidied into a folder. iPod stashed in "the garage"...a drawer she keeps just for her small electronics.

Sweep, vacuum, fold down the bedcovers, shove the basket of dirty laundry into the closet...done. I looked around. What a nice room, despite - or maybe because of - the posters of Zac, Corbin and the Jonas Brothers. Yes, this is a cozy room, a room that's transformed from the pink and yellow of toddler years to the purple of grade school time. Now it's destined for a "little black dress and pearls" classicism, which be the background for the highs and lows of high school. And then she'll be all grown up and she'll move out. She'll move out.

I think I can handle her having a messy room for a while longer.

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Blogger Kimberly Ann opined...

I'm with you. Messy is just fine if it means my baby is home with me. Yes, I'm a bit needy and I'm ok with that. The redo sounds lovely, though.

March 13, 2008 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

You're the best mother in the world.

March 13, 2008 11:38 AM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

Wow I wish I had you for a Mom. Maybe I wouldnt have so many clean and neat issues today.

March 13, 2008 11:48 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

It's part of my basic philosophy, KA...whenever I get annoyed with a chore like laundry or whatever I snap myself out of it by remembering that at least it's evidence of life!

JP: Wah, wah.

Sageweb, for 50 cents and a cute kitty bookmark I'll come mess up your place.

March 13, 2008 11:52 AM  
Blogger Buck opined...

Awwww. I love it when you get all mushy like that.

Say, how about Loyola here in Chicago for First Choice College?

March 13, 2008 12:03 PM  
Blogger Grish opined...

You can clean our house..I offer a BLT as payment..:-P

March 13, 2008 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

Like the trailer. Not bad. Sure he did it? Hmmm.

By the by. You ever paint over black? I have. Four coats.



March 13, 2008 12:37 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Loyola? Good call, Buck. Into the hopper it goes.

Make that a BLT per room, Grish, with appropriate breaks for some Wii bowling, and I'm there.

Contain your enthusiasm, Anonyba. And I realize black is a commitment but I figure if I ever do get tired of it, well, that's why God made wallpaper.

March 13, 2008 1:06 PM  
Blogger sfoofie opined...

I'm loving the new ideas for her room. I never got to design my rooms growing up. hmpf.
also: you are the nicest mom

March 13, 2008 2:29 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Yes, Sfoof, I think I am. She would beg to differ but someday she'll realize how terrific I am.

Or you can just tell her.

March 13, 2008 2:41 PM  
Anonymous Syd opined...

Well, one good thing about the "blackboard" paint: it makes temporary decorating easy and cheap. I see a wraparound stained-glass motif featuring Tim Gunn as St. George, Heidi Klum as the Damsel in Designer Distress, and Rami as the Dragon...

How much does a box of pastel chalk cost these days?


March 13, 2008 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Syd opined...

Rami as the Draped Dragon, that is...

March 14, 2008 1:01 AM  
Blogger Anne opined...

Underneath that chalkboard paint you should put a coat of that magnetic paint so you can use magnets to hold up your notes and chalk to write them at the same time.

I've got $50 and 4 boxes of Girl Scout cookies if you'd come clean my daughter's room. And Pie.

March 14, 2008 4:54 AM  
Blogger Doralong opined...

Ah, the growing up room ;) We had a ball doing Miss Thing's new lair a few years back- and the thing about it is- once she had a lovely, well designed space it magically remains quite tidy.

The Hurricane on the other hand is the second coming of Oscar Madison. I'm a terrible mother, I put dealing with that room off until it literally can't be ignored any longer. Good thing he has such a pretty face..

March 14, 2008 6:26 AM  

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