I have this saying, “I only die on mountains; I don’t die in parking lots.” Makes sense right? Don’t sweat the small stuff; save all the energy for the serious ish. And for the better part of the last year with Hope I managed to stay the course and only trudge up mountains (or at least some big hills). I would occasionally get mildly injured from bouncing off of a parked car (figuratively of course), only to be righted and find my way to the mountainous battlefield.
Then I read this stupid-tail parenting book. Seriously, that is the last dumb-arse parenting book I will be reading in a good long while. I think I’ll stick to advice from parenting blogs and Marvel comic antagonists. I probably should also pray to the Holy Homeboy more too. Sigh.
The gist of the book was that most power struggles stemmed from parents’ personal anxiety, and that yielding on those parking lot issues reduced the anxiety and helped kids learn personal responsibility. Yeah, ok.
So, I hear that for a lot of parents the filthy teen room is a parking lot issue. Just close the door, they say. It’s their personal space, they say. Not worth fighting over, they say; spend that capital somewhere else.
Ok, Mr. Dumbarse BookMan, I must be really anxious over this room thing. I need to let this go. So, I tried it. I tried to let it go. Yielded. Oh I yielded the hell out of letting my angst of Hope’s room filth go.
And each week, I got more anxious, not less because the room got worse. It got smelly. The trash was strewn around. I think I might have started hyperventilating whenever I crossed the room’s threshold, which consequently became infrequent. #ilikebreathing
I’m not a neat freak, but seeing things I worked hard to provide, seeing my home of 14 years treated so poorly, just…tore me up inside and outside. This was not a parking lot.
So, here it was New Year’s Day. I realized that I could not deny any longer that Hope’s room was one of my mountains.
I typically spend New Year’s Day cleaning. I never noticed before today how important tidying and freshening for the new year was to me. Oh, it’s important. So, knowing that one of my spaces was in disarray sent me into a not-a-slow-boil to the point where I became unhinged with Hope during an epic fight last evening.
I have laryngitis today; it doesn’t even hurt because I just tore into my vocal cords to shreds yelling and pitching an unholy fit. #conniption
Yeah. Completely. Unhinged.
Had to call my agency’s support line to get myself together. I lost all my parenting swagger during the last month or two. Tapped slam out. Mrs. P talked me off the ledge and helped me developed a plan for getting through this foolishness and for getting my swagger back.
Today I had someone take Hope out for several hours. I got that room cleaned up. I purged stuff and I removed other stuff to create a library/check out system. I got some storage hacks and put on some new bedding (after discovering the existing bedding had been damaged by spilled nail polish).
I purged in my room. I got rid of a lot of stuff. Most to trash and some will head to the Goodwill tomorrow.
And finally, I was able to breathe.
I braced myself for Hope’s reaction. A lot of stuff was gone. A lot of stuff wasn’t visible because it was properly stored. Eventually we talked it out. I apologized for not realizing that her room was a mountain for me. I explained my basic expectations, how she could access some things and how she could keep up with things. We hugged it out.
And all was good.
That is until I left the rhind on her ham and brie sandwich, and a new round of bougie girl pouting started. #spoiled #bougie #privilege #girlbye
Whatever chica. You ain’t even know about brie before you moved here. smh