Tag Archives: teens

I got up the nerve to clean Maura’s room and now I hate everything

3 Jun

Maura, bless her heart, is the world’s messiest kid. You may think you have the messiest kid, but you don’t. It’s Maura. Maura wins the title.

Granted, I’m pretty sure Maura also has hoarding issues. I don’t even joke about that. She loves stuff. Loves getting new stuff. Loves her old stuff.

So basically, cleaning her room is a covert operation that involves shoveling and muttering curse words while saying “Why is this in here? Why am I even asking why this is in here?”

Maura’s lucky that I’m not a Type A person. I don’t need everything in its place. I am not a minimalist. I can live with some clutter. But I also believe in not living with fire hazards and having a path to the door in case of said fire. I also do not want to wade through some room.

Last week, I got a bug up my butt to sort out the master closet. This snowballed, and it went from sorting the master closet (which had become the catch-all for random things) to cleaning out the laundry room and catching up on laundry that had been piled up in there, which turned into sorting out the linen closet because we’d just been shoving stuff in there, which led to piles of clean laundry in the back room – a room that is supposed to be a calm place for adults and where I write. It’s now a giant pile of clean and mostly folded laundry.

Most of that laundry is Maura’s.

And I realized I couldn’t put Maura’s laundry away until I cleaned her room. Because her room was piles of dolls and ponies and laundry and books.

After days of procrastinating and having no where quiet and calm to sit, I went in there today.

After an hour of working in her room, I now hate everything and it doesn’t really look any neater.

And now I have more laundry to do. Because even though I know she didn’t actually wear those sweaters that were thrown on the floor and walked over, I have to wash them again, and find a better place to store her winter clothes. The shelf in the closet isn’t a good place. She can reach it.

Josh suggested I just get rid of some stuff. While I agree with the theory, it’s not something I can do today. Because Maura is here. When I was cleaning out the master closet, she stood next to me, breathing heavy, fingers twitching, wanting to grab the stuff and run with it. Even though it wasn’t her stuff. Because girlfriend has a problem when it comes to stuff. She loves it. She lurrrrrrves it. She must have it all.

The thing is – I won’t ever be able to get rid of enough stuff to make Maura’s room…well…roomy. Because I am aware that Maura is aware of all her stuff. I know which dolls are her friends, her favorites. We have a herd of Build-a-Bear My Little Ponies – and she loves them all. She likes to have sets of dolls. We have a flock of penguins that have lived with us since preschool, flew on the plane to Ireland and back. It’s the dolls that take up the most room, the most space, but they are also the most loved and most played with.

Maura also has a love affair with backpacks. She has, oh, seven? Ten? I don’t really know because she’ll claim other people’s old backpacks as her own. And a couple of my purses. And the camera backpack I bought myself. And some lunchboxes, which are almost never used because she buys lunch. But if we need them, we have them.

She also, being a teenager, loves clothes. Loves. She’s a regular 14 year old clothes horse. A good day for her is going to Target, getting a Starbuck’s, and a new dress. Or new shoes. Or both. She has zero problems stealing clothes from other family members (she has a penchant for Dad’s soccer jerseys.) The staff at school have figured this out so deliberately brought in clothes for Maura – after okaying it with me. She comes home in a new outfit every so often, much to the bus driver’s amusement. And considering Maura can go through three to five outfit changes a day, well, maybe it’s helpful to have so many clothes. Right?

Maura has also started a book collection. She’s discovered graphic novels and we have a comic book store in the mall by our house, so that’s a match made in heaven for Maura. She can get Powerpuff and My Little Pony graphic novels and it’s a good time.

So really, my job is to do the impossible and make as much of her dolls and ponies and backpacks and clothes fit into her room. So she can then get all the dolls and clothes back out again. So I can clean them all up again. So she can get them all out again. And so on, and so forth, world without end, amen.

Okay, so maybe I don’t really hate everything. I just hate having to clean it all up.



Just a smattering of all the ponies



Teenagers, ammirite?

9 May

So…I have that heard of teens and that one who dared to turn 21 this year. Which, in retrospect, is great, because I can send the 21 yr old on a wine run for me.

Never leaving the house for the win!

I love my teens. But I’m no fool. I know not to trust them with anything. I mean, if my grown siblings and I still can’t be trusted together, why should I trust my teens?

Case in point –

Sean (the second eldest, the spare to the heir) was blowing bubbles in the house the other night. Mainly to get the Zoey dog in a lather. Because Zoey is an idiot for bubbles and leaps about biting them all.

Collin (the heir to our kingdom) thought this was hilarious. And then thought “Why not drive the dog crazy by holding her?”

The dog was like “No sir! You will not keep me from killing every bubble!” and leapt from Collin’s arms to do so.



Zoey chasing bubbles outside. See that crazy look on her face? Yeah.


I find out about all this as I walk in the next day with groceries. Because they’re blowing bubbles for the dog to attack. In the living room.

Then Collin produces a balloon. “I can’t believe we still have one left.”

See, Sean decided to cover someone’s bed in balloons on April 1st. Then the balloons were scattered over the living room. I don’t know who enjoyed it more – Maura or Zoey. Between the two of them, they eventually died.

Except one.

Which Zoey was now chasing between snapping at bubbles.

I, of course, ignore all this. Because this is what passes as normal in our house. As I walk away, I hear someone say the words “water balloon”.

“NOT IN THE HOUSE!” I yell back.

And the boys died laughing because they didn’t expect me to hear it.

Fools. My brother¬†and I – as teenagers – had an epic water fight which ended in a truce (he with the hose at the gate, me with a super soaker pointed into the window of his brand new pick up truck) and then having to mop the kitchen floor (it wasn’t me who was using the sprayer from the sink.)

I’m a gypsy raised by wolves, who produced her own carnival. We invented shenanigans, dear offspring of mine. I know all, see all.

And remember, Mother’s Day is coming. Buy me something hard to break.


Life with Maura, day 5077

12 Apr

It is spring break, so my brain is officially mush. The teens can smell the weakness I’m emitting.

But right now, three out of four of the offspring are passed out in their beds. The fourth – who is actually the fourth – has slothed her way to the sofa to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Eventually, though, she got hungry. Maybe it was the smell of my freshly brewed coffee that awoke a hunger in her. But either way, she schluffed from the sofa into the kitchen, pulled out bread and the jar of Nutella, and did her interpretive dance that says “Mom, make me a sammich.”

I didn’t want to make a sammich. I was sitting down, with my laptop and coffee.

“Why don’t you just eat some of the pizza in the fridge?” I suggested. Because cold pizza for breakfast is a family tradition.

Maura seemed to like this idea, and pulled out the pizza box. She tried to walk out of the kitchen with all the leftover pizza.

“Maura, no, just take one piece.”



“Fine.” She put the pizza box on the counter and went back into the fridge to pull out the 2 liter of rootbeer I got to go with said pizza last night.

“No Maura, it is too early for soda.”


I got up and took the 2 liter from her. She balked. “It’s too early.” I stated again, putting it in the fridge.


She lunged for the fridge. I found myself splayed across the fridge doors doing my own “Nooo!” right back. Because this is what my life has become – guarding the refrigerator like the Crown Jewels, begging teens to not eat every damn thing in there.

Maura then went over to the counter and banged the jar of Nutella.

“Want me to just make you a sandwich?” I said with a sigh of defeat.


Maura left the kitchen to return to her couch slothing to TMNT and I made the damn sammich that I should have just made in the first place.

And I’m still trying to drink my coffee.


art credit – Mike Mitchell

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