“Are you a boy or a farm animal?”
“Do you live in a barn?”
“Okay piggies, lemme hear ya snort!”
I’ve actually said those things, I’m ashamed to say. I have wasted no time in instructing my children in the fine art of sarcasm.
I never thought I’d be a neat freak. The only time I ever cared wether or not my room was clean was if I was in the throes of stalling. As in, “yeah, I’ll get right on that Algebra homework after I dust my ceiling fan and wipe down the baseboards.”
My Dad though, he was (and still is) a SERIOUS neat freak. He likes the carpet to show the tell-tale lines from the vacuum cleaner, and the trash cans to be empty at all times. As a kid, I thought he was nuts.
And while I’m still not exactly that fastidious, I do understand the lure of a neat and tidy nest. You can just think better. You can find what you need. You can walk around in the dark of the night, barefooted, without fear of being fatally wounded by a miniature Tyranosauru Rexs. It’s kind of nice.
My kids don’t get this at all. When I start to clean they ask me, “Why are you doing that? Is someone coming over?” I could analyze that, but I know better, so I won’t.
In an attempt to appeal to their inner neat-niks through witty prose and illustration, I bought this clever book, “Pigsty” by Mark Teague. It didn’t work. They thought it would be cool if pigs lived in their rooms.
So, sometimes, I just try to tell myself that mess can be good. I try to let it go, and know that there will come a day when my house will be neat and tidy, and it will not be nearly so full of fun and laughter and beautiful chaos. Heck, even a pig knows that sometimes it is better for your health and well-being to just get a little sloppy.
Plus, I have the satisfaction of knowing that one day, chances are, my boys will be daddies too, and they will wonder how they turned into their sarcastic, “keep your food in the kitchen please” mother. I will smile, and tell them to look to the wisdom of the pig.