Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sharing a Room

My sister and I shared a room until she got married. For part of that time we even shared a bed. Let me tell you a story.

I have never been a tidy person. Is it a part of my DNA? I don't know. I just know that it was very hard for me to remember to put the clothes in the laundry basket, hang up my coat, and to put my toys away when I was done playing with them. Mollie, on the other hand, was usually pretty neat. She made her bed, put away her folded piles of laundry (instead of my tactic: putting them on the end of the bed until they had all been worn or they fell off into the abyss that awaited on the floor below where they would be trampled until they needed to be tossed in the laundry again), and probably even dusted. I wouldn't know. I was busy throwing a fit.

It was called a tantrum, by those who saw it. It was my staple, my bread and water, my first response, my conflict resolution. Someone tried to make me eat lentils? Flail on the floor. You ate out of the bowl that I wanted to use? Screaming, hot face. I wasn't supposed to put the crayons on the baseboard heater, and I knew that, so you scold me? Stomping feet and "You are so MEAN!" But the premium tantrums were saved for, "Emily, you need to go clean your room, please."

"WHAT THE HECK? You want me to do WHAT? Have you SEEN my room? Do you KNOW who made that mess? Are you aware that I can scream like this for longer than it would take you to just do it yourself? I HATE the world! No one understands me! And (my family's favorite) I TRY SO HARD and STILL I have to clean up after myself? NEVER!! I will NEVER!!!"

Mollie quietly set to work while I lay on the bed kicking (literally) and screaming (literally). She cleaned her half of the room while I hyperventilated on the bed. Soon she decided she'd had enough of the mess and began cleaning the whole room. Yes! I thought, She's doing it for me. I knew if I just played this part long enough sooner or later I would get out of this demeaning task.

Not so.

Mollie picked up Samantha, my precious doll that lay haphazardly in the middle of the floor (where she belonged) and lobbed her onto my bed. Next came the pink teddy bear and then a shoe. Soon I was being showered with everything from "my" side of the room.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? WHY ARE YOU MESSING WITH MY STUFF? I LIKE IT THERE!" I screeched, as I suddenly came to the realization that she wasn't really helping me. Mollie didn't say a word, she just kept cleaning the room and putting it all on me. Okay, that's not entirely true. She would say mean stuff, like, crybaby, but so quietly that Mom couldn't hear. I tried tattling. It never worked. Dejected and exhausted from the duration of my standing up for justice, I slowly stopped crying and just lay in my mound of clothes and school papers and hair brushes, hiccuping. Mollie swept my side of the room and scooped the dirt up into the dust pan. She walked patiently over to my bed and dumped it on me. With tingly, stretched out lips, I wailed, "You'll be sorry, Mollie! I'll remember this!!"

And I always have. HA. Jokes on you!

Today, it all came back as I watched my namesake throwing the fit and my second child dutifully cleaning "her" half of the room.

This picture is true blue. It has not been retouched or photo shopped. One side of the room is being vacuumed, the other is nearly as deep as the bed.

Yep. It must be in the DNA. And our Dear Heavenly Father has a sense of humor.


  1. That's kind of how MY bedroom looks when my husband is home. His side--piled bed high with his clothes and books and shoes. My side--completely neat and organized. His half of the closet--a disaster. My half of the closet--organized better than a boutique.

    It's the only good part of him being gone for work now and then. I get to enjoy a fully clean and neat bedroom the whole time.

  2. So great!! Loved reading this and still remembering that super smug feeling as I dumped the dirt on you...what a wicked child I was...I'm still not sorry,Ah, well I guess I have a long way still to go!

    It should be noted, that the dutiful 2nd child is my namesake (:

    Love you crybaby!

  3. No, she's not sorry.

    I've heard this story before. . . and I do believe she was smiling when she told it. Too fun!

    Oh, and how I saw the pile-of-laundry-picture you posted. I apologize for my flabbergasted response to your cleaning behind appliances the other day. You do, indeed, rock!

  4. Hit "publish" twice. Blast these newfangled computers!!

  5. Oh my gawsh... I read this and LAUGHED till I cried. And the tears were real too, for it was hard on you. And me. And Mollie.

    I am glad we all love each other still.

    I happen to know that genetic wiring may make kids who are dramitic and mess inclined, but they also are as creative and joyful as the calm tidy ones.