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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I’m Raising Messy Marvin

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

I make the bed. Even when I am in a hotel. My wife laughs at me.

I grew up in a small house.  Neatness fell through the cracks. I promised myself that my house would be neat.
My wife clears the dishes within five minutes of a meal ending. She can’t sleep knowing there are dishes in the sink.
My wife’s parents were pack rats. She has gone in the opposite direction.
There you have it  – two neat freaks we are. Well, if you want to be technical she is more organized, and I am more neat. There’s a difference. Trust me. Either way, it’s nice to have something you agree on and appreciate in your spouse.
Sure there are many other things we have in common and view similarly. However, this is a big one. I’ve had sloppy roommates in the past. I could not force them to clean and ultimately could not take when the apartment was left messy. The arguments were not pretty.
My wife and I are on the same page in terms of neatness. Cool.
And now that you know the background, maybe you can answer a question I have. How do I deal with my sloppy son?
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