I just spent a nice afternoon with Lex, helping him clean his room. We put on some music (Guster, The Rolling Stones, Camper Van Beethoven, Clem Snide, and Nirvana) while we worked, and we sang and dusted and threw away a couple bags worth of candy wrappers and empty beef jerky bags. I don’t clean up after the boys, and I am too lazy to do the forced-march clean up, (except for the shared living spaces — that I enforce) so their room gets bad. Really, hugely bad. But, I’ve decided that enough is enough and if they are going to get allowance (which we just started formally at the beginning of June) then they’ve got to keep their room in better shape. Also? Allowance is not paid to smart-ass backtalkers, those who stomp and roll their eyes, or persons who go out of their way to make life harder than it needs to be.
I like hanging out with my kids one on one like that. They’re so different when it’s just me. For all the preteen angst that Lex has going on, we’re still comfortable together. We make each other laugh. We stop cleaning for a moment to crank up the music, dance with handfulls of legos and marbles, and sing along really loud: I found it hard, it’s hard to find, oh well, whatever, nevermind. . . hello hello hello hello. . .