[While many of the “Perspectives on 2e” essays in this issue look back over the past 15 years, this one offers parents a look to the future, a hopeful look. Contributor Madeline Goodwin wrote it as a post on the GHF Community Discussion Group, and we use it here with her permission.]
I wanted to share a little ray of hope with you parents out there who are pretty sure your child’s room is never going to be clean.
Cleaning my room seemed impossible for me as a kid. There was so much stuff, and it was everywhere, and it was incredibly visually overwhelming, and I couldn’t fathom how all the stuff could ever get put away.
My mom taught me how to “just” look for things that fell into one category. Dirty laundry? Collect it and take it to the laundry room. Books? Put them in stacks according to which room they go in, then put each stack away. Doll clothes? Sort according to hang up or fold, then tackle each pile separately. Dolls? Put them away (or, in my case, obsessively line them up “just so” along the wall according to age and favoritism). Pick up trash and put it in the garbage.
It took me years. My room was a disaster for most of the last two decades. Dirty tissues spent months accumulating on my floor (sinus infections = a lot of dirty tissues). Dirty laundry never quite left my room...or sometimes the bathroom. Books formed stacks and piles and got ruined from being tossed around. Scraps of fabric and yarn, bits of thread and fuzz, and other fiber arts debris all littered my floor. (The sharps at least I was fastidious about putting away...after stepping on a needle.)
But. I have friends coming over tomorrow. I just put away my clean laundry, changed my sheets, dealt with my dirty laundry, shelved my books, put m...
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