Monday, November 23, 2009

dressing and undressing Barbies all day

Grandma comes Tuesday for a Thanksgiving visit, so most of Sunday was spent trying to whip my daughter's room into shape, where she'll be staying. I tried to combine operation clean-up with a bit of junk-shedding and trash-throwing. We were moderately successful. A few toys and clothes are set aside for donation. But it seemed like the majority of my time was spent helping squeeze Barbie hands through very small arm openings in assorted gowns.

pix from last July's Barbie convention in D.C.

Putting things away, in a specific place, so that you might find them again, is definitely a new concept for my daughter. She was treating some of her dolls in what I felt was a distinctly shabby fashion, so we tried to clean them up and organize all the bits and pieces. Some have been relegated to "display only" until she can prove that she actually remembers to land things back into the drawer that's provided.

Sometimes I feel like a hard-ass, trying to push concepts of responsibility and organization on a kid a few months shy of turning six, but then I think back to my own childhood. My mother always cleaned my room. We were definitely spoiled in that regard. I wasn't a very messy kid, but you'd never have known one way or the other, as she pretty much straightened up after me. I don't have the time or the patience to do it all for my daughter. Plus, if she can learn this concept, I think she'll end up being much more self-sufficient when she ends up living on her own or with others someday. Yikes. Did I even type that?

No, I'm not that nutty - Barbie clothes for sale at last July's Barbie convention in D.C.

When I moved out of my parents' house to the dorm at Parsons the first semester was actually a shock. I quickly realized (as did the savviest and not-so-nicest of my roomates) how sheltered I had been from my very new experiences with basic stuff like sharing kitchen chores, etc. Luckily, I adapt quickly and have a strong inner core, so I was able to navigate my way through the perils of New York City as well as the even scarier aspects of sharing living space with five other young women.

So hopefully, keeping Barbie and her clothes together and separate from stray Legos, a packet of McDonald's apple dippers that were never eaten (ewww), and a thousand crayons and scraps of paper will be a lesson for the future. And not just Mommy saying those dreaded words, "Let's clean your room."

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