Neatness Counts

Neatness CountsI’m a neat freak, and I’m raising an 11-year-old slob. Where did I go wrong?

I cringe at the heap that lies on the rug in my son’s room. It includes baseball cards, Lego pieces, balled up underwear, popsicle sticks, and the first 20 pages from a book that was read into oblivion. Add the half-eaten yogurt that’s turned sideways on the desk, and I feel uncomfortable.

More than uncomfortable.

At least the bed is made. Not well, but made. I insist on that. I have to draw the line against sloppiness somewhere.

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12 thoughts on “Neatness Counts

  1. I also worry about my kids growing up to be slobs. So far they’re pretty tidy, but I don’t know what I’d do if they one day have houses that are grimy and cluttered and stinky. Would I have to stay at a hotel when I came to visit?

  2. Thanks so much for this essay over at my place, Larry. And as the mother of two messy sons who seem to have grown up neater than their mother, can I just say… I’m grateful that’s the case?

  3. I confess I am not an exceptionally neat person. Papers pile up. Books are haphazardly stacked here or there around the house. This can go on for weeks then I will be overcome with the need to tidy and clean. And then, after some months, like a whirlwind, usually at 2am, I tear through my house putting books on shelves, papers get filed, floors get washed. That lasts about a week and then slowly the clutter finds it way back into the neatness. Sigh, it’s a pattern.

  4. Hmm, I don’t know. I’m trying to instill a clean-up-when-you’re-finished routine. I used to be better at sticking to it, and then I just kind of got lazy. So, I’m trying to get back into that.
    My son, as of now, seems to like cleaning and like things neat. But I don’t know what will be later on, or what his sister, or future siblings, will be like.

    At any rate, I have my hands full just trying to get the house decently clean, and convincing Yitzchak that putting things in the right place the first time actually saves time and energy later on.

    • It’s definitely not easy to keep the place as clean as we would like. It doesn’t always happen.
      I hope your son continues to like cleaning.

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