When I ask Mr. Messy to clean his room, he picks up a book that's right in front of him, leaving the dirty socks, snotty tissues, pencils, paper airplanes, and Lego pieces littering his floor.
"Hey, thanks for picking up your book, kiddo. How about that puzzle, your hotwheels, the crumpled-up hoodie, the twelve pencils?"
"Oh. I didn't see them."
Huh? Yes. And, after years of living this, I know he's actually being serious. He doesn't notice it. I have to turn heel and run. The mess hurts my head.
My 7-yr-old is orderly, quiet, neat, with a memory that rivals my laptop. He loves playing the piano, dancing, karate, and any production held at a small venue with quiet grown-ups.
So when I ask Mr. Perfect to eat his dinner, he moves his cup ever-so-slightly closer to his plate and adjusts his napkin. Then he begins.
"What if I moved your cup here," I grab his drink and put it on the other side of his plate.
"I'll move it back," he smiles.
"What if I say you can't do that? You have to eat your meal with your cup on the other side?"
"I don't think I can eat if it's on the wrong side," he answers.
Wrong side? Yes. I know. After years with this one, I know that when the cup thing is over, it will be something else. So I let him have his desired cup position.
But I have to draw the line sometimes. I have to fight with my kids. Mr. Messy has to clean his room when things begin moving on their own, you know? And Mr. Perfect has to deal with his day when things aren't exactly the way he needs them to be.
Yes, my little Mr. Men. They drive me batty. They make me worry. But, regardless of how long I can tolerate the mess or the perfection, they make me happy. And, more importantly, with their quirks and ridiculously different personalities, both of my kids are happy. And, if there is only one thing I can say about them that is alike, that is the thing I want to be able to say.
|My little Mr. Men|