This weekend. Oh, I had big plans for this past weekend! I was going to be productive! And tackle big cleaning projects! And maybe go to the zoo as a reward! (And possibly also to keep the girls from arguing and throwing a coup and generally driving me nutsy.) And then came along Gracie with her packed social life and rearranged everything. But hey – at least we tackled my biggest project: Decontaminate Bedroom Disaster Zone. I have no idea why my girls skipped past the Keep Our Room Nice and Neat Because We Are Sweet Little Girls phase and headed straight to Bedroom Disaster Zone of Teenagery Doom, but they did.
Saturday actually got off to a great start. The girls let me sleep in and I got to drink my coffee in peace and quiet. That is the holy grail of weekday mornings right there. I told Gracie as I was passing through the living room where she was zonked out in front of Saturday morning cartoons that as soon as I finished my coffee, we would begin cleaning her room. She would help me clean their room, and Bee would help me clean the front room after that. Both were disaster zones. (Hey, now that I think of it, maybe the ‘We’re going to clean!’ proclamation had something to do with my peace and quiet. Hunh.) Gracie indicated that she heard me, and, even better, didn’t even complain when I decided it was time to finally start.
I wasn’t really looking forward to the task either. Because OH MY GOD. Just look at the before picture:
I just wish I had taken a “before” pic of their closet, for that was the messiest area of them all. It even narrowly beat out under the bed, and that’s saying something!
Off to work we went, aimed with dusters, a large trash bag, and endless runs to both the recycling bin and a designated “donate” pile. We sorted through buckets, under-the-bed storage buckets, cleared out the desk, put away 3984809834 books, picked up twice as many beads, emptied out everything from under the bed (hooray for children who still can squeeze under there!) and found 11 socks and bunch of other stuff, and emptied out the closet.
After vacuuming and wiping down every visible surface, even Gracie admitted how good the room looked. I wish I had taken more than one “after” picture (of the closet, natch), but just as we were finishing, Gracie’s friend texted in a moment of divine timing and asked if she could come over to play after lunch. So Gracie changed and scarfed down a sandwich and went off to play with her friends, and Bee descended on her nice, newly cleaned room to play with her dolls. So no pictures for me!
While Bee was playing quietly all afternoon (someone had obviously figured out that if she bugged me, we were going to start cleaning the other room and it would be her turn), and I was having some quality “me” time while Bee was being so good, the girls’ step-sister texted me to say she had tickets to the college basketball game that night, and would it be okay if Gracie went with her? Of course! I answered, pretty sure that Gracie would be over-the-moon excited to go out. How awesome is their step-sister?! Not many 19-year-olds would ask to take their almost-9 year old step-sister out to a college basketball game. And that is how it happened that Gracie came home from one outing, showered, changed, scarfed down another meal, and went right back out again. I had given Gracie some money to buy a snack from concessions for her and her step-sister, explaining that since SS was taking her, it was a nice way to say thank-you. And I reminded her to text me when she was on her way home, thinking to myself it would probably be about 9 p.m.
Of course, 9 p.m. comes and goes and no word. Step-sister texted me at almost 10 p.m. to say that the game was over, but they were getting a quick bite to eat. I was starting to wish I had given Gracie a curfew, but I had no idea I needed to since the game was so early! It wouldn’t have mattered, except Gracie had to get up for church the next morning, and I knew she’d be Ms. Grouchypants if she was up too late. Not to mention that I was dragging, having been on allergy meds all day. Finally, Gracie-book came through the door at 10:30 p.m. and sleep-walked her way through getting pajamafied and climbing into bed.
It was a small preview of the teenagery years to come, I’m sure. Messy rooms, out all hours (well, for her age, at least), flitting from one social group to the next. Let’s just hope she’s as good-natured about the mama-imposed cleaning when the time comes!