I volunteered in Little Man’s class yesterday. This isn’t unusual. I’m in there one morning a month this year, and I’ve volunteered in his class the whole way through elementary school. What I saw yesterday wasn’t unusual, but it struck me that not all kids’ desks look like his desk.
His desk was covered. He had enough open space to work on whatever they are working on (enough room for one 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper). As a somewhat OCD person, it made my twitch just looking at his desk. I have no idea how he operates in what I would consider a cluttered mess.
He’s comfortable though. He has his “stuff” within reach, within sight. He had the books he’s currently reading, his water bottle, the pencil box we made a special trip to Target the second day of school just to purchase, a tape dispenser, and all the paper crafting things he’s working on. His current obsession is Five Nights at Freddy’s and he’s incredibly good at building the characters out of paper, in real life size. One of his smaller plushies sits on his desk as well.
His bedroom looks much the same. His plushies line his bed against the wall. His paper stuff is on the floor by his bed. He has two books, his bedtime oils, and at least three cups of ice water on the shelf above his bed. Some of his Legos lay on the floor amongst the paper stuff, his favorite sets on shelves around the room. He doesn’t hang up his shirts, so those lay on the floor til I get to them (this is a skill we’re working on, but it’s part of that motor planning thing). Dirty clothes may or may not make it into his hamper.
His corner of the family room has his DS, his iPod, a few pair of headphones, and all the chargers for the above. I can hardly look at that corner of the room, and am thankful the sofa and end table hide it from view. Don’t even get me started on the kids’ playroom. I don’t even go back there most of the time as there’s no need, it’s in the back of the house, and I can close the door. If I do go in there, I will generally see the Goldfish box of crackers, one or two water bottles, a few blankets, at least one of his plushies, and more cords and cables than you’d think necessary for one household.
I’ve determined all this is not a “mess” to him, it’s a matter of having what’s important to him right at hand. While he craves order in his day, he doesn’t need nor want order with his stuff. I do reach my limits and make him clean up. About once a month, I go into his bedroom and restore order. If we have guests coming over, he has to clean up his family room corner and the kids’ computer desk. But for the most part, we let it go, because it is his comfort zone.
Lord help the woman who marries this boy someday. She will have to train him (where I’ve completely failed), or learn to tolerate it. Good luck, whoever she is.