I remember back to when I was pregnant with each of my girls, wondering as all expectant parents do – who will my baby look like? Will he/she have my eyes or my husband’s hair color? Ron and I hoped that our kids would end up with his aptitude for mathematics mixed with my love of reading.
One thing I never really even thought about was whether the kids would inherit my ‘neat, tidy and organized’ gene or the one from Ron that seems to allow him to not even see mess or clutter. Crumbs left all over the countertop? Sorry, didn’t notice them. Clothes strewn around the house? Oh yeah, might’ve picked them up if I’d realized they were there. Maybe.
After years of everything from polite reminders to outright nagging, I have come to the conclusion that this particular trait must also be genetically inherited – and that all 3 of my kids seem to have gotten a full dose. I think every 3rd thing that comes out of my mouth is “pick up your (fill in the blank)!” Whether it’s toys or books scattered wherever or toothpaste mess all over the bathroom counter, I wouldn’t mind as much necessarily – if they’d even acknowledge that they’re aware of the mess before I have to resort to firm and not always so gentle reminders. If I leave the house for an afternoon – or a day (or more)? Not much (if anything) generally gets picked up and put away until after I get home and start the nagging process all over again.
And I can’t blame this one on the “well it’s a guy thing” excuse – because my daughters are most certainly not guys. They are kids however, so I am still holding out at least a very faint amount of hope that this is something they will eventually outgrow. I mean, I certainly don’t feel like I have expectations that are too lofty – it is the house of a family with kids, after all. By no means does it have to be perfect, or even close. But I would like to walk into a room sometimes without feeling like I have to become a drill sergeant (or maid) before I can sit down and relax.
I still vividly remember the moment, as a kid not any older than my girls are now, when I looked around my mess of a room, with clothes piled knee-deep on the floor, and made the very coherent decision that I didn’t like it that way anymore. And that’s stuck with me ever since. Will my girls have an ‘aha’ moment like that of their own? Ron certainly never did.
I suppose only time (and genetics) will tell!