As you know we have finished the upstairs addition to the house, so the men-children have their own space. We foresaw the upside of this was that their area would be self-contained, and their mess would be out of sight, out of mind. I know I said I wouldn’t care, but actually I do.
Both Father of a Man-Child and I are quite neat – it’s pretty effortless for us to keep the place tidy (to the point that he has been known to put the newspaper in the recycle bin before I’ve even had a chance to read it!). Man-Child I is actually a chip off the old block – he keeps his room quite tidy too, for a boy. But Man-Child II is in complete contrast. What we make up for in neatness he makes up for in complete mess, as the pictures reveal.
Man-Child II will literally wait for it to pile up, until such time as the threat of death or no pocket-money finally motivates him. Yes I know I should just leave it there for him, but quite frankly, I just can’t stand it. It’s even worse for Man-Child I because he lives with it upstairs. The constant stream of dirty dishes, clothes and towels on the bathroom floor drives him nuts too! Although to be fair he does make a good contribution to the growing pile of dishes on occasion.
One day I counted six coat-hangers on the floor of Man-Child II’s bedroom amongst the flotsam and jetsam of clothing, sports gear, bags etc – I think he was looking to open a dry cleaning shop! The gear from his recent cadet trip spent the entire school holidays on the floor before I cracked it recently and forced him to put it away.
So what should I do? Just close the door and let him work it out for himself? Or let Man-Child I continue putting the dirty dishes in Man-Child II’s bedroom – which means listening to arguments every second day? Ah the joys of family life!
Read more about dealing with the messy lives of my men-children here: Pocket Money – Blackmail Works!