Order & Disorder

I just spent 15 minutes straightening up the bedrooms.  In A’s room I changed her sheets, stuffies aligned, clothes in proper places, etc.  When I walked out and looked in her bathroom, the sigh.  Bath towel on the floor, stuff strewn across the counter, total mess.

OK – I admit it.  I’m a control freak, OCD, things belong in their place kinda person.  I’m not ashamed of it.  If anything, I’m working to turn the dial down so my family doesn’t think I’ll completely loose my head if things aren’t Just So.  A few months ago I decided if A wants her room to be in consistent disarray, I’m OK with that.  It’s her space, her place to show her uniqueness and control in her own way.  Yes, every few weeks I do a sweep and bring out a garbage bag full of teeny tiny pieces of paper, markers that have dried out, old water bottles (no milk thankfully).  She doesn’t mind that.  She often thanks me for straightening up because I made her room look so beautiful.  Side note – it’s also an effective way to remove old toys and clothes for the charity pile.

I digress.  What I’m wondering – will she always be like this?  Will wet towels pile up on her apartment floor until laundry day?  Will there be weekly (daily?) dashes through piles of crap to find a key or a bill or a wallet?  How do I get her to understand why it is important to put toys away?  That I’m not torturing her?  I’ve seen her do it, without complaint, at school when asked by a teacher.  Or at a neighbor’s house during a play date.  So why do I get the full-on dramatic hissy fit about how it’s so terrible and worst day of her life?  Oh get over yourself child!

Trying to think of what my room looked like as a kid, I don’t remember anything before our first house in Jersey.  I kinda remember our place in Ohio, but only the bed.  In Jersey I had lots of space and books and toys and whatever.  I don’t remember it being as messy or disorderly as my daughter.  But maybe it was.  I’ll have to ask my mom about that one.

So – for now – I just hope that I can instill in her the importance and sanity of order, without creating some psychosis we’ll be paying for later.