Friday, April 4, 2008

I Clean, Therefore I Feel Better

Yes, to appease the obsessive compulsive side of my personality (and I wonder where Wolf gets it), when life gets a little bit stressful...I clean. And interestingly enough, I clean related to whomever or whatever is at the root of said stress.

So, no surprise, I am doing a gutting of Wolf's room. Why, some may ask, am I not asking the youth to do this task himself? I do, weekly, and he does the best job he can. As part of an "executive function" exercise, to strengthen his "big picture" skills, we work on his room-cleaning. But not in the traditional way of the parent: "Go Clean Your Room!"

Breaking the task down into different segments, I ask Wolf to do one task at a time as part of the overall goal of a semi-tidy space. First clothes, as they seem to be the first thing I stumble over and walk upon when I go into the room. Next, papers, because Wolf is a collector of labels, stamps, envelopes, and catalogs that accumulate dust like black pants to a white cat.

"Cleaning" his room by himself usually takes a full week, so, once a month I go in with my shopvac and take over. Banana peels, candy wrappers, sticky cough drop remnants, and a few Sharpies and other contraband fill my garbage bag. I find the notices for grade reports and PTO meetings in the wastebasket, and rubber bands that were pilfered from my private stash, kept in my possession to prevent any random targeting.

In a way, my monthly purging of the room are for purging the frustration and rough days of the past weeks as well. Wolf's days, and thus ours, are peaks and valleys; having a place to start again makes sense.

Today is cold, windy, and possibly snowy. A good day to tidy up. A good day to reflect and look forward.

1 comment:

dorothy said...

If I stress you will you come clean my room? How about if I only stress you a little and you pack my bags for Korea instead? Please....bug..bug...bug...nag..nag..nag..whine..whine...whine. Getting to you yet?