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In which it’s NOT the Vatican


Last October, I started bitching at Daniel about how messy his room was.  Now when I grew up (boy do my kids hate that statement) I had to keep my room immaculate.  I didn’t really mind because I’m a person who hates clutter and I’m a little OCD about things being neat anyways but my little brother was a SLOB so he rarely did as asked, was always in trouble, and basically drove my mom crazy.


I’ll never forget the day before he was to go to college.  His room looked like it had been destroyed by a nuclear device and my mother was hysterical saying “he’ll never get packed” and “how will this work” and other assorted ridiculous statements.  At the time, being 20 myself and completely grown up (hahaha) I told my mom “look mom, if he gets to college and doesn’t have all his stuff that’s HIS problem so why don’t you just chill and not worry about it.”


At any rate, both of them survived his leaving (although my mom has long since passed) and honestly, he’s still a slob.  So I was bitching at Daniel and he was all like “Mom, I have 4 AP courses and college applications and I DON’T HAVE TIME” so I decided that I would step back.


And so I did.  Now however, it’s Christmas break and there is NO SCHOOL and he has FINISHED his college applications and I wanted the place clean.


Me:                  Daniel, clean up your room.

Daniel:            my room is fine

Me:                  your room is a disgrace

Daniel:            I don’t see what the problem is

Me:                  the problem is that Carol (who cleans my house) can’t EVEN vacuum anymore in there because there’s shit all over the floor

Daniel:            no there’s not

Me:                  … and not only that but the desk is covered with stuff and it has a film of dust on it

Daniel:            mom, you’re exaggerating

Me:                  clean up your damn room

Daniel:            it’s MY room.  The door is always closed so who cares?

Me:                  it’s MY house and I care and I don’t give a shit about what you think

Andie:             why do you care mom?

Me:                  Andie, who asked you?

Andie:             I mean why do you care what our room looks like?

Me:                  you’re a slob too but at least you go to college

Andie:             Mom, it’s like the Vatican

Me:                  oh, this should be good

Andie:             I mean, the Vatican is in ITALY but it’s an entirely separate entity

Me:                  that’s some serious bullshit and a stupid analogy

Daniel:            yeah, Andie’s right…it’s just like the Vatican

Me:                  really? Because I’m pretty sure that Italy doesn’t pay for the Vatican’s tuition… and I’m pretty damn sure that Italy doesn’t FEED and CLOTHE the Vatican and I’m pretty sure that the Vatican’s car isn’t OWNED BY ITALY

Andie:             (silence)

Daniel:            (not quite as shrewd and still arguing the Vatican angle) Mom, I don’t see why it matters.

Me:                  IT MATTERS TO ME!  This place is a mess and I can’t take it

Daniel:            Well, it’s stupid

Me:                  Well, if it’s not cleaned by this weekend you CAN’T go out for New Years Eve (I have never grounded a child EVER yet)

Daniel:            You can’t stop me

Me:                  Really? Why don’t you give that a try?

Andie:             Mom, you can never stay mad

Me:                  I’m not mad.  I’m just determined.

Later Daniel asked me why I was so stubborn on all this as I was bitching about all the crap up in the BONUS room where the kids hang out and I explained the following to him.


“When you are the only person here with Dad and I and you leave the occasional thing out, I can just pick up your shoes or your plate or your jacket and put it away.  With ALL three of you home it’s 5 pairs of shoes and 4 jackets and there’s tons of dishes in the sink that NEVER make it to the dishwasher and for WHATEVER reason it DRIVES ME UP THE FUCKING WALL and I don’t like it.  Therefore, PICK UP YOUR SHIT!!!”


Long story short.  After bitching at him he went up stairs and cleaned his room.  It didn’t pass muster.  Then he re-cleaned it.  It didn’t pass muster.  Then his father (who was in a sling from surgery) went up there with him and told him what to do and FINALLY, I let him go out.


I look at my kids and they’re terrific kids who are nice, polite and do well academically but sometimes, SOMETIMES I regret the choice of not making them do more chores when they were growing up.  I tried but between school, homework and extracurricular activities my thoughts were that these kids were working their asses off and deserved some downtime.


However, when I grew up I was made to weed our gardens.  I hated it.  I only did it when forced but when I had my own gardens, I weeded.  BECAUSE I CARED.  BECAUSE THEY WERE MY GARDENS.  So, I think that when they have their own apartments and homes they’ll be a little more vigilant about these things.  If not, who cares.  I mean I won’t live there.


I’m just saying …

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  1. Mayor Gia
    January 10, 2012

    Good for you for standing your ground! I bet when he has his own house, he keeps it clean ;)
    Mayor Gia recently posted..The New Girl at Work and Why I Hate HerMy Profile

    • Lynn
      January 10, 2012

      These kids…like the Zvatican. What bullshit

  2. Laura Lomax
    January 10, 2012

    Lynn, I laughed out loud about the Vatican ploy– Lauten had similar arguments with me, and mostly I just closed the door, but at times I went on a rant and declared him unfit for living with any other human being. I am amazed, now that he has moved out, at how TIDY his own house is (he has two other roommates, so maybe it’s just honeymoon phase.) Emily is more like a binge cleaner, then her room gets almost as bad as his did. But I agree with you about the chores– we let them off too easy!

    • Lynn
      January 10, 2012

      I feel like you’re damned if you do and damned if you dont

  3. alaina
    January 10, 2012

    i can feel your pain. in my house i want things to look a certain way and when they don’t i feel like my head could explode.

    • Lynn
      January 10, 2012

      I know…stupid kids

  4. Jennifer June
    January 10, 2012

    I think our children might be soul mates. I’m just saying…
    Jennifer June recently posted..Because The Only Thing Tough Enough To Kick My Ass Is MeMy Profile

    • Lynn
      January 10, 2012

      Hahahaha…so yours suck too??

      • Jennifer June
        January 10, 2012

        Yesterday with my oldest daughter.

        Me: “Did you bring the dishes from your bedroom and wash them yet?”

        Evil Spawn: “I will”

        Me: “When?”

        ES: “I told you… tomorrow or the next day”

        Me: “Um.. no. This morning you said I will do it today. There is no tomorrow or the next day about the dirty dishes in your bedroom”

        ES: (petting the cat) “Oh, Gus, you’re so cute. What are you thinking about?”

        Me: “He’s thinking about how much he wishes you would wash the dishes in your bedroom”

        ES: Silly mom, cats don’t think about dirty dishes.

        Note: The dishes are still rotting in her cave.

        • Lynn
          January 10, 2012

          Hahahahaha…kids suck

        • Linda M.
          January 10, 2012

          When our teenager did this (when he was in high school) his dad waited until he was asleep and then put all of the kid’s dirty dishes IN HIS BED. Apparently the kid got out of bed (a top bunk of a bunk bed no less), took them downstairs and put them in the dishwasher.

          Now that he’s in college, if we tried this we’d have to do this in the morning when we got up and he was still sleeping. Of course, there’s a high probability he’d throw them onto his desk rather than take them down…

          • Lynn
            January 10, 2012

            Hahaha…that’s unbelievable

  5. Pamela D Hart
    January 10, 2012

    I use this analogy with my boys (because I’m hyper-vigilant and a little nuts): If there is crap lying on the floor, and it’s the middle of the night, and there’s a fire, you COULD trip over it and knock yourself out trying to get out of the house then DIE! I don’t want you to die, so don’t leave crap lying on the floor.

    That seems to work for the most part…they still leave crap on their dressers.
    Pamela D Hart recently posted..Between Hell And HeavenMy Profile

    • Lynn
      January 10, 2012

      That would never work with my kids

  6. Melanie
    January 10, 2012

    I am a totally anal retentive clean freak in my home. My room when I lived with my folks would sometimes have clean laundry in a chair in the corner, that never got hung up. It stayed there so long it got worn, then went back in the dirty laundry. That being said, I ALWAYS kept the common space clean. I never left a mess in the kitchen, living room, or other space I shared with my family. I always thought that was incredibly rude. It’s why I had trouble with roommates. I don’t care if your room is messy, but when I come home from work and want to relax but can’t, because the kitchen and living room are a disaster, that’s when I get peeved.

    My parents gave us chores from the time we could do them, and always made us keep a clean room. I distinctly remember her making me clean when she was having company and saying, “But you’re company will not be seeing my room.” Now I wish I would’ve just realized how much she was doing for me, and cleaned without arguing. But that’s just not what teenagers do.

    • Lynn
      January 10, 2012

      i know…but these girls aren’t teenagers

  7. Julie
    January 10, 2012

    I love how you talk to your kids. Hmm, probably because I use the same lingo with my choreless pain in the ass. Ask her to lift a fucking finger and you’d think I had demanded that she learn to split atoms.

    • Lynn
      January 10, 2012

      hahaha…i know, i talk to my kids terribly….always have

  8. Jacky
    January 10, 2012

    That was still a good conversation Lynn because you win it. LOL. Anyway, you should really stand for it…
    Jacky recently posted..costa del sol bayshoreMy Profile

    • Lynn
      January 10, 2012

      Yep!!! I won…he cleaned up

  9. Liz
    January 11, 2012

    When I was a kid I didn’t have many chores at all, but my best friend did. I would help her with her chores so she could come out and play sooner. Now, I HATE cleaning, except for the chores of hers that I used to do. I like vacuuming and washing the windows. But the kitchen and dusting and mopping – ugh! HATE!

  10. Megan
    January 11, 2012

    Every person has their own relevant and perception, These one is really awesome for sharing a kind of situation..
    Same as, I hate also in commanding me of what must I do.
    Megan recently posted..Pet Cremations-Edmonton and Greater AreaMy Profile

  11. At least he didn’t compare it to a brothel?

  12. flobits
    January 12, 2012

    Having a daughter of 14 who resembles me and inherited my teenage habits :)
    About the weeds, I had to do it as well as a child. Fucking hated it :))
    Still hate it, grateful to my wife though that she tends the garden :))

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