My parents were pretty strong disciplinarians when I was growing up. Both were teachers and they had high expectations of my behavior. Overall I was a good kid. Sometimes however, this might come to you as a surprise for those of you who know me in real life, I could have an “attitude”. That was my biggest behavior problem. Being the only child, I spent most of my childhood with my parents. In the tweens and teen years, they drove me nuts. Add in some hormones and that was quite a mix.
I know I was a brat and I don’t wish a teenage daughter like me on anyone. One of my mom’s favorite stories to tell about this period of time starts out with me and my room. I was messy. Never gross messy – I didn’t leave dirty dishes or food in my room – but I left clothes everywhere. This drove my mom crazy and her craziness drove my dad crazy.
After one particularly heated discussion about my messy room where “It’s my room and I should be able to keep it the way I want it!” and “I can’t believe you!” were screamed for the millionth time my dad got so mad and marched upstairs to take care of the situation.
Some background information…In the house we lived in at the time my room was one of two rooms that faced the street. Both of these rooms had a sliding glass door out to a balcony which looked over the front yard and driveway.
My dad came into my room as my mom and I were fighting about my piles. He opened up my sliding glass door, scooped up an armful of clothes, walked out to the balcony, and flung them over the side. At first I gasped and then the drama kicked in and I started crying, “Stop it!” Instead, he picked up another armful and threw those over as well.
There were clothes everywhere! Hanging off the balcony, from tree branches, in the planter boxes, draped over rocks, and strewn over the driveway and grass. I don’t know what I was more mortified about at the time – him throwing my clothes or what the neighbors thought. I ran downstairs and tried to scoop them up as quickly as possible. It was so embarrassing.
That incident took care of the messy room issue for a little while. When it reared it’s ugly head again, my mom finally compromised. As long as I kept my door closed and did my own laundry, she agreed not to hound me about my room. Not sure if that was the result my dad had in mind, but at least the arguments about it stopped after that.