Zebra-stripe curtains, canary-yellow walls and a purple shag rug? Sounds cool, but what else? How about an anole terrarium, an oak trophy case and a multi-colored hydra lamp? Okay, I’m listening. And for the finishing touches, let’s throw in a nail polish stained used-to-be-white carpet, plaster the place with posters of various “Dance Moms” stars and adorable kittens, and since its December, hang twinkle lights and fake garland from corner to corner. Sold! The perfect bedroom for a ten-year-old girl.
It’s also the absolute worst nightmare for a working mom who can’t tolerate clutter, crazy or catastrophic levels of cuteness. And yet every night I’m forced to enter said bedroom to tuck my youngest in to bed. Psychedelic sights, sounds and vaguely-recognizable smells assault my every sense as I cautiously make my way to her, careful not to step on stray pins, discarded Skittles, lip gloss and an everlasting assortment of cowgirl boots, tap shoes and plastic flip-flops.
Frankly it’s a miracle I haven’t seriously injured myself or come down with a nasty bug. I know she’s growing at least three types of fungus in her closet alone. And don’t even get me started about the number of clothes she’s purchased/collected/hoarded. If she’s not spending her chore money at Ulta Beauty Supply, you can be sure she’s buying yet another graphic tee at Delia’s. Plus she has all her big sister’s hand-me-downs and several self-made ensembles. Did I mention there’s a sewing machine and mannequin squeezed into the space between the bathroom door and dresser? Both are hard to see as they are usually covered with bolts of lime-green polka dot fleece and burgundy corduroy. My daughter goes through a “fashion designer” phase about every six months!
Compounding the insanity, the room is only ten by ten. I may be poking fun at my little drama queen, but I can’t argue against her extraordinary gift for maximizing space. Supposedly a desk and chair reside in there too, though I haven’t seen either in about three months. Supposedly she also houses vast collections of Moshi monster toys, make-up and hair accessories amidst the décor, but again, I couldn’t say exactly where.
No matter. My only goals are to ensure she doesn’t set the place on fire and that no dairy products are left to congeal. I’m actually quite proud of my tolerance level concerning her room, which of course is based entirely on the requirement that her door remain closed. And when I must enter, I just make sure to kill the lights first to minimize any adverse physiological reactions on my part. This is, after all, not my place of refuge, but that of a ten-year-old girl.