I called my parents over on Saturday morning because Lynnette, Madison, and me had a very serious matter to attend to. We (Lynnette and I) built up the courage to clean out Madison’s room.
We last cleaned Madison’s room in the fall, in preparation for the arrival of the twins. We took some of those vacuum bags down from Mad’s closet, tossed out some broken and/or old items, and organized what remained. We did a solid job, all things considered. Once the twins were born, however, I don’t think Lynnette or I gave a second thought to Madison’s room and Mad knew it. She was living the lavish life of a dual type hoarder/slob Pokemon without fear of repercussions. That Era of Good Feelings ended when I asked her to hang a few of her dresses that just came out of the laundry. She dutifully took them and disappeared into her room. She resurfaced a few moments later. A few days afterward, I found that she had simply laid the dresses atop a huge pile of toys. It was the proverbial straw.
Cleaning Madison’s room is an exercise in frustration. It’s super-messy, but the bigger problem – as always – is Madison’s penchant for hoarding her belongings. Genetically, Lynnette and I are to blame. I will use two examples to explain.
Madison possesses Lynnette’s idealism. I’m going to donate this later. I’m going to sell this at the swap meet. I think I’ll be able to sew these into a quilt for when Madison is born. Ideally, any or all of these scenarios playing out would be fantastic. It’s only that they never play out. Life always gets in the way, but Lynnette possesses a rosy optimism that I can’t even fake.
When I came across this literal bag of trash on Saturday I was beside myself. “This is a literal bag of trash!” I shouted. Lynnette gazed inside and offered no opinion. “Why are you keeping a literal bag of trash in here?” I demanded of Madison. “It’s confetti, dad,” she said. I wanted to flip out. I didn’t. “Why do you need this?” I asked. “Just in case we have to celebrate something,” she said. I dropped it into a larger bag of trash as I re-remembered that Lynnette is Jango Fett and Madison is Boba.
But Madison also possesses a deep-seeded and intense appreciation for the past. This predisposition toward nostalgia is all me. When I moved from Aiea to Mililani, the single biggest dilemma came when deciding on keeping a box of old letters, yearbooks, and pictures from grade school and high school. This single event marked a huge swing in the way I viewed choices like these. Up to that point in my life, I kept just about everything. But on the eve of moving in with my new wife, I threw the box away. I regret it, yes, because it would have cost me nothing to keep it. On the other hand, I recognize that my life is no better or worse without that box of things I can’t remember. But still. There are shirts and jerseys (and a kitchen apron from the Na Kolea luau my freshman year) that I will never ever wear again but never ever get thrown away.
Madison is 8 and already tenaciously clings to the past. Case in point: the last vestige of the bar soap. She will never use this soap because using it would mean shrinking it. This piece of soap has no practical use at all. None. And yet when Lynnette tried to place it in the plastic cup on the pictured metal tray, Madison scolded her mother, then ripped the soap and the vessel it lives in away. “You have to put the cup on the soap,” Madison said. Lynnette and I shot each other bewildered looks. “So that it won’t actually tip over and fall out,” Madison continued, as if sensing some skepticism on the part of her parents.
On a sad note, however, we had to say goodbye to the pink bean bag because Cole threw up all over it. The surface of the bean bag is ribbed and so cleaning it was a non-starter.
You may recall this beanbag cost $60 and I bought it because a particular daughter of mine swore that she would use it “everyday, like when I’m reading or using my iPad.” Well, that lasted about as long as the stuffing inside the beanbag did. After that, the beanbag became the most expensive doggie bed in the history of Higakind. She’s going to miss it, as so much of her prime real estate has been usurped by the twins. Abby cuddled up in it each morning, before she started cuddling up in the bouncers (revenge!). Lynnette enjoyed text messaging me photos of Abby enjoying the comforts because she knew that 1) it would drive me crazy to know I wasted $60, and 2) I was staunchly opposed to purchasing Abby a bed since she destroyed and dry-humped her way through her first two. I know what you’re thinking and I want to assuage any doubts or fears you might have. Yes, Lynnette and I keep our relationship fresh by constantly trolling the shit out of each other. I don’t know how or why, but it works for us. But I’ve digressed.
More recently, the beanbag was a favorite napping spot of Cole. At various points in the day, the Sun God would set atop the pink hills of the overpriced beanbag and a peace would fall upon the kingdom. Alas, the sun has set on the beanbag. So.