Writer | Speaker | Activist

the slob.

I pulled a pair of dirty underwear out of the crease of the couch this morning. You would think that it surprised me, but it didn’t. It’s starting to feel obnoxiously normal these days.

My 12-year-old daughter is a total slob. Last week, she spent hours looking for her favorite pair of shorts only for me to discover a few days later that they had been swallowed by the same chasm the dirty underwear came from. I’m scared to think of what else is in there.

Although she successfully rearranged all of the furniture in her room by herself last month, I haven’t actually seen the carpet since sometime around Christmas when she bought a new rug on Amazon. I have no idea if the rug is even still in there.  

She spent the night at a friend’s house the other night, and when I went into her room to feed her fish, I’m not sure of what I stepped on in the four-foot path from the door to where the tank is. As far as I know, nothing that crunched under my feet was alive at any time. The jury is still out on that one.

After I fed the fish (whom we’ve had for six weeks now and we are both amazed she is still alive), I took a glance around the disaster that is her bedroom and spied a heap of dirty tissues crowding the floor, next to the empty wastebasket. I scooped up the tissues, only to find them intermingled with a few smelly, crusty socks. These socks were only a mere foot away from the laundry hamper, which, instead of being filled with dirty laundry, is filled with an electronics graveyard and some other random things. The dirty laundry is currently hanging out with the pile of clean laundry, still with creases in it, on the floor.

On the other side of the bed a dried-out disc of fluffy slime caught my eye, clearly forgotten in the middle of play. I tossed it in the trash can, thankful that this blob wasn’t stuck in the carpet like the last one and spied a can of Pringles laying under the folds of a blanket. I picked it up, expecting it to be empty and was surprised to find a brand-new can, just cracked with only a few chips missing. I was shocked not to find an army of ants teeming from it.

I could have spent more time in there, but then I might not be here to write this post.

When she got home later in the evening, I told her that her room was disgusting and that she needed to clean it up. Her response was probably the most shocking of the whole ordeal–“It’s really not that dirty.” And then she launched into several examples of why my perception was inaccurate. Her explanation of why the tissues didn’t make it into the basket was because she had forgotten to put a bag in it. So, rather than getting a bag and throwing away her things appropriately, she decided to toss them on the floor. 

This coming from the kid who brought out a coffee mug that was growing a layer of mold with the remnants inside the day prior and now refuses to drink from it again, even though it’s been washed.

I’m not the tidiest of people, I’ll admit, but when I’m offended by her slovenly ways, I think that says something. I’m not exactly sure how to remedy this situation. I mentioned the article I read online the other day about the habits of tidy people, hoping that would instill something in her, but she kind of looked at me with a blank stare and continued on with whatever she was doing.

I’ve considered taking to the public shaming my friend did once last year by posting the photos of her room on social media. Somehow, I think all that will get me is a few comments in support of my dilemma.

I remember just a few years ago, being grateful that I wasn’t the mom of a boy. Boys are gross and disgusting. Boys smell and sweat. And boys of this age leave sticky things laying around that I don’t even want to touch.

Turns out, girls are just as bad.

2 thoughts on “the slob.”

  1. Is her room any cleaner? Love and logic’s way is giving them a choice: “You can either have a clean room or lose your right to electronics.” Or “Would you rather clean your room this morning or this afternoon?” Love an logic says non-threatening choices, offered calmly, give teens a chance to take some control over their lives.

    1. Not consistently. Two weeks ago, I got sick of the smell coming out of there and cleaned the whole thing. I threw out a LOT of stuff. She hasn’t been much better about keeping it from getting that bad again.

      Thank you for giving me the love & logic approach. I think I need to re-take that class. Right now, I’m reading the 5 love languages of teenagers to see if that helps.

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