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Friday, February 27, 2009

The Perils of Having a Teenage Daughter


OOPS, overslept my nap.  Ya think that the last 2 days of cleaning Sarah's room wiped me out? Yeah.  Duh.  We have a winner!

Now, just so you all know how I picked this winner - I counted the number of original comments that "were not" replies to other comments.  My comments are made up of 2 layers - the first layer is the original comment, the second layer beneath a comment would mean that a reader replied to a comment.  Goodness, this sounds ridiculous.  Anyway, I counted the number of "original" first layer comments, and that was "15" and got the winner.  And the winner is ... (from first layer comments) ...


CONGRATULATIONS TO Karen in Ohio!  You've won a $200 gift certificate to Tar - zhay - oh, I mean Target!  Yay! 

Karen in Ohio wrote:


Karen in Ohio - email me at [email protected] to claim your prize.  No shipping address required. 

Thank you to everyone who entered!  And, thank you to my wonderful sponsor for this great contest!  More contests to come in the coming weeks!  


I actually thought I would have time to do a post yesterday, but I got caught up in one big mess.  You see, I have a teenage daughter, Sarah, and she is 15 years old.  As responsible as she is with her academics, her room is another story entirely.  I can't quite put my finger on this, but does she actually enjoy having her room, her private space, her personal domain, looking as if someone came in and ransacked it?


So, yesterday morning I decided to tackle this filthy boudoir of hers, and hoped to finish in time to post "this" story, together with a short video in fast action showcasing the process from the minute I walked in to the finished product.  Unfortunately, by 11pm last night, not only was I completely exhausted, but my back felt like someone had taken a sledge hammer to it.  My back is not my friend. 


I've been cleaning out every drawer, and even cleaning the inside of the drawers.  I have been organizing everything in her room and making a home for every item, no matter how big or how small.  I have rearranged things a bit too.  And, hopefully, when I am done, it will look humane.  Better than that - it will be beautiful.  Well, it won't be anything for Architectural Digest, but it will be a nice place for her to reside during her private time.  I not only want Sarah to be proud of her room - I want to be proud of her room!


Despite all the hours and effort I put in to cleaning her room yesterday - approximately 12 hours, I am nowhere near being done.  I got up bright and early this morning to tackle it again - but first I had to take 3 Advil if I was going to prevent having to go to the hospital incapacitated and unable to move.


When Sarah got home from school yesterday, she was shocked.  Happy and grateful, but shocked to say the least.  I don't know how many times I have asked Sarah to clean her room and I have put her on restriction from other activities until it was done.  I'd peek in when she told me it was done and I'd be somewhat satisfied.  Emphasis on "somewhat."  But then, given 24 hours or less, the room looked like it was ransacked again. 


As bad as it is, I don't judge her.  Why?  Because I was 15 once myself, and as many times as my parents hounded me to clean my room, inevitably it would look even worse than it did when they were upset with me the first time!  Oh, let me tell ya, I was clever (or at least I thought I was).  I would stash things where they didn't belong and cram clothing in drawers and under the bed.  I would kick stuff under my dresser and on the top shelf of my closet.  Anything to avoid actually having to "clean" and be "responsible" for my room.  What a joke. 

What amazes me is how many teenagers actually live like this.  Is this a hormonal thing or what?


I can't believe I was so stupid as to think that this was actually an intelligent way to keep my room.  So, it's kind of hard to get upset with my daughter for doing the very same thing that I used to do when I was her age.  Now that I think about it, her room isn't the only thing that scares me.  What about all that other crap that is going thru her brain?  Have you given much thought about what you "thought" and "did" when you were 15?  Does that scare the hell out of you or what?  It does me!!!


Think about it - if you cram things in drawers and stash them anywhere you please with no rhyme or reason, then you are bound to miss it when you really need it.  You won't be able to find it.  Period.  Or, when she gets up to go to school and really wants to wear that special pair of jeans or top that looks really great on her, she probably still won't be able to wear it even if she does find it because it will be dirty and smelly.


Does that sound smart to you?  I didn't think so. I'm hoping that when I am done, she'll see the result and be proud of her room.  Proud enough, mind you, to keep it organized, clean, and a reflection of her sweet personality - not her evil twin the slob.

Wish me luck.  I'm hoping to have a funny video - run in super-fast mode - to entertain you. 

And, to satisfy your own desire to clean your child's room, I am offering a $200 gift certificate to Target to one of my readers, so you can find some great bins and other stuff to organize your child's room!  Just answer the following question in the comments:

What do you do to encourage your child to keep their room clean and organized?

Contest will end at 12pm (Noon) EST tomorrow (Saturday), and a winner will be announced at 6pm EST Saturday evening.

Good Luck!

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