Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Living with Man-Child Mess July 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 5:00 pm
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dirty bedroomAs 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.

dirty dishesOne 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!


Mother of a man-child: Space for everyone? June 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mother of a Man-Child @ 4:00 pm
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Like all growing families, we have contemplated the need for more room, to house the needs of a growing family. When our daughter came along, we converted what was an odd-shaped “study” into a quaint little girls bedroom. And in fact it has served her very well, although it’s not large enough to accommodate all her toys, and it’s opposite her brothers bedroom which isn’t ideal when she’s trying to go to bed at night.

Actually to be completely rational, it’s not really about extra space, more about the floor plan that we currently have and the fact it no longer works with teenagers and a 6-year-old girl. In the interests of giving the boys some independence, we have allowed them to take over the formal lounge/study as their own, so they can sit in there with mates on their PS3, play music, chat with friends, watch TV, chat on Facebook (yes all simultaneously) whilst leaving us in peace. It works to a point, but at night when our daughter is trying to go to sleep, the doof doof coming from the room next door is not exactly conducive to slumber.

My husband always used to complain about everyone being in the family room when they were younger. I said yes, that’s the point, family room, where the family congregates. And whilst that’s definitely ideal when they are young, and you want to keep an eye on them, it’s actually less useful as they get older.

So after much deliberation, some thoughts about moving, some depressing attempts to bid on properties we thought were ideal (but clearly beyond our budget) and general agreement that we all love our current location, we’ve decided to go up. Not as many expect with the luxurious parents retreat (however tempting that may be) but actually to put the boys upstairs. Imagine the bliss for them with a large bedroom each upstairs, a shared bathroom and living room, away from the “rents” (that’s parents for those who missed my earlier glossary of terms) and a space they can call their own.

Imagine the bliss for us to have them upstairs, and not have to hear the sounds of their world wrestling antics, doof doof music, or to see the unkempt bedrooms, complete with wet towels on the floor, dirty clothes littering every room, the wet bath mat on the floor permanently (why hang it up?), dirty cups and plates on the floor……

Now I realise we need to consider a few things if the plan is to succeed:

  1. We need to ensure the architect does everything he can to sound proof upstairs
  2. Assuming polished concrete is not possible as a floor substance, then we want the best industrial strength carpet money can buy, in the best colour to hide dirt
  3. I will probably have to pay the cleaners danger money each week to walk upstairs and clean, but that’s better than me doing it
  4. On a quarterly basis we will have the fumigation team in to ensure no bacteria/toxic outbreaks are thriving upstairs
  5. Oh and maybe we should get windows that we can schedule to open on a timer – so a good dose of fresh air regularly rids the area of teenage boy smells…..

If we can achieve all this, I have no doubt both our teenagers and we parents are more likely to survive the next 5 years with our sanity intact. I will draw the line at putting in a hoist that doubles as a laundry chute and food elevator – it’s not a hotel (even though the boys treat it as such often……).

Now to hurry up the council – I want those plans approved so we can all achieve this state of blissful co-habitation as soon as possible.