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2/28/10

Cleaning, De-Cluttering, and Other Adventures in Babysitting



Clutter and disorganization makes me anxious. Dust - not so much.

Let me 'splain.
Like my father, I'm:
introverted, cat oriented, a non-saver of both money and things, and of the clutter free persuasion.
My mother, true to the old maxim, is [was] the opposite:
extrovert, prefers dogs, a saver of both money and things, and a cleaner.

When I was living at home, when I told Mom I'd "cleaned" my room, she'd say "Oh, you mean you rearranged the furniture and threw stuff away."
Co-rrect.
The vacuum was hardly ever near my room. Dust? You mean get rid of the protective coating for my furniture? Oh hell no.
Right now there are dust bunnies the size of rottweilers under my bed and enough cat hair to make a new kitten - but unless I'm looking under there, (why would I do that?),
I don't care.
IT'S TIDY. Dammit.

My junk drawer is organized, thank you very much.
All the instruction/warranty books for my appliances are 3 hole punched and stored in a binder. (Hey, I heard that! No, they are not alphabetized, so shut up. THAT'S anal.).
But there's a layer of dust on all my furniture, the oven probably needs cleaning and I definitely need to vacuum.

All that to say, my mother and I have been at odds since my birth - because we are polar opposites in the clean vs. uncluttered war.

And so Friday, my inner Peter Walsh (I think I love him.) couldn't take it anymore and went over to Mom's to put things away.
I smuggled out 2 bags of crap...err, donations, threw away random pieces of flotsam and jetsam, including a can of pineapple chunks (which she took back out of the trash can, even though she has no way of opening it). Emptied out her dirty clothes hamper; found lots of treasures in there, none of which were dirty clothes.
Also discovered where all her shoes were hiding - in her carry on case. She's been wearing the same navy blue sling backs since December.

During all this she walked around and sighed.

She said she was cold; I suggested a long sleeved sweater and the following ensued for about 20 minutes:
Trying to put long sleeved sweater (LSS) on over the short sleeved sweater (SSS) she had on currently, not getting it over her head and walking around with just her arms in the LSS, shivering.
Trying to fold up the LSS, giving up and throwing it on the floor. Shivering.
Carrying the LSS sweater around and asking me what to do with it.
Trying again to put the LSS on over SSS.
More folding attempts.
Trying to hang up the LSS.
Finally I helped her take off the SSS and put the LSS on. She always gets mad when I do this, but seriously, what's a girl to do?!

One of the things I found in the hamper was a fabric jewelry travel case containing my dad's wedding ring and another ring. She took those out and put them back in over and over. Or she'd take them out, put the rings on the table and put the case away. Oy. Like the LSS, only with rings.

After I'd tortured her enough, we went to eat at Rick's Diner.
She shook a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in her hand and ate it. Then she was playing with the lit candle (they get kinda fancy at night) and acting like she was going to burn my lemon wedge or me.

A couple came in with their cute year old daughter, Mom said she wanted a sippy cup like hers.

Her chef salad came; she tried to eat it with a spoon (again). The utensil confusion is happening more. The other night she tried to cut her steak using two knives.

Guess that's just what happens when you take your five year old mom to dinner.

1 comment:

  1. Kim, thank you for sharing your experiences, I am going to recommend your site to a social service worker friend whom I believe would appreciate and benefit from your perspective.

    On a personal note, I too am more like my father, with a sister who is more compassionate I, and yet mom lives with us. <>.

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