My blog title is Messy Mom for a reason. I am messy by nature, so is my mom, and so is my best friend. I have referred to our entire family as The Messies before. That’s what I was used to, until SJ. She’s only four years old and is already very structured and orderly. But can I really label her as fastidious at such a young age? Yes. I can. Let’s back up.
When SJ was one she taught herself to go potty. She dressed herself including buttoning and zipping.
When she was two she started to prepare her own meals. Granted they were a bit eccentric, but I swore if there were ever some kind of apocalyptic situation where the world was in crisis SJ, our deaf toddler, would be one of the last survivors.
At age three she could fold clothes better than most men. I know that’s not saying a lot, but trust me, she is precise.
At four years old SJ is now able to wash her hair, brush it, and pull it back into a pony tail. She also cuts her own finger nails. I don’t like this idea, but after observing her with the baby nail clippers several times, I am convinced that she can handle it (with supervision).
These stories give you just a glimpse of how she has always been very independent and has some serious fine motor skills, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s clean and tidy. Except for the fact that now that she is coming up on 5 years old it is really starting to manifest. SJ is very thorough and detail oriented when it comes to cleaning. She sees something out of place and she is going to fix it. Lately I have been trying to keep things clean around the apartment. This behavior is not to be expected the other 11 months of the year (it’s a new years tradition I guess). Anyway I washed the couch cover and swept/vacuumed and mopped the floors. And while most children wouldn’t notice (and my husband certainly did not) SJ came into the living room after school that day and without a second thought she exclaimed “It’s clean!!” Then she went to her room where I had vacuumed and she said “Carpet is clean!” and stroked it with her hand. It’s embarrassing for me to admit that this was something that was out of the ordinary. The point is, it mattered to her. She noticed and she got really excited.
I won’t tell you all the stories of how she loves to put things away, wipe down counters, scrub little crusted pieces of food off of the table, or help me clean my room, but she does all of that with skill and precision. Yesterday she insisted on vacuuming and let me tell you, when she was done she wound up the cord back into it’s place and then put the vacuum (which was bigger than her) in the closet where it belongs. Why can’t I do that!? I think about unplugging the vacuum, but then what if I decide I want to use it again, then I’d have to get to start all over. That’s my thought process you guys. It’s bad. I am thrilled to have a little helper around the house though.
Unlike her brother. With Z I have to walk him through the whole process step by step. It is like pulling teeth. Of course it would be easier to do it myself, but the chores are for his sake so that he can learn. With SJ, even though she’s so tiny, she really does pack a lot of punch in the cleaning department and it has been beneficial to me. She gets the job done! I’m serious. It’s awesome.
Then there are times that I worry about how her personality will affect our relationship later in life.
Is my laid back, do it later mentality going to drive her insane? Is her slightly obsessive attention to detail going to make me loose my cool? I hope not. My plan at this point is to take the Frozen approach to the whole thing and teach my little queen Elsa how to control her powers and use them for the good of our own personal Arendelle.
Or maybe she will change as she grows up and she won’t turn out like Monica from Friends.
I doubt it though, she’s pretty hard core right now and it’s only grown over the years. Have any of you seen this type of behavior in a child before? Or maybe you were that way as a child? Are you the neat freak type, or are you like me and let’s just say your strengths are in other areas? I think we can all learn and benefit from each others differences. The world needs both type of personalities and apparently my family does too.