Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"One of you is gonna fall and die and I'm not cleaning it up." - Mal, Firefly


Paris Hilton on a diet.

“Well, tell me thank you, then.”

That’s what The Boy said when asked what The Mrs. and I should do after his stellar performance in cleaning his room this weekend.

Let me explain:

There is a point in the life of a child when they cease becoming helpless and become, well, helpful. This weekend was when that switch flipped inside The Boy. Sunday afternoon, I told him, “Go clean up your room.”

The Boy: “I want you to help me.”

Me: “No, I have to clean the kitchen. You go do it. Pick up your toys. Take the trash out. You can do it.”

I expected him to stamp off and then dither about for a few hours while I scrubbed and cleaned. That would be okay. At least I could get something done.

Then I heard a noise. The vacuum.

A little later, The Boy came into the kitchen and said, “Want to take a look at my room?”


My actual anticipation was that The Boy had somehow caught the vacuum into the chords on the blinds on his windows and it was repeatedly gouging holes into the drywall in his ceiling.

My bad.

The Boy’s room actually (for the first time in a long time) looked like a place where an actual human could live. It looked, well, good. I didn’t see festering piles of clothing covered in a variety of bacteria and insects that would make the Centers for Disease Control clamp down a biohazard warning on our house. I didn’t see candy bars slowly melting into the carpet so that the infestation of ants was placated and didn’t try to eat The Boy.

Instead I saw something I hadn’t seen in his room since we’d moved in here: carpet.

Someone apparently snuck in and replaced my little-tiny The Boy and put in a little tiny Young Man.

I decided to test this thesis. I asked him to clean up the pit of despair that was the lair of Pugsley while I fed Pugsley some alphabet soup. The Boy marched off. Fifteen minutes later, he showed back up.


If you’ve never seen the hideous devastation a two-year-old can bring down on a room, well, let’s just say that if you had a crazed hammerhead shark (or Nick Nolte) living in your house, a two-year-old can create more havoc than either of them. Or both of them. Or, even if it was Nick, the hammerhead shark, and the illegitimate offspring of Nick Nolte and the hammerhead shark.

I walked into Pugsley’s room. It looked like, well, a room, rather than looking like Tijuana after a visit from Christian Slater and a horde of Visigoths. The Boy had done a good, quick, thorough job.

The Boy is growing up. He didn’t ask for candy, just asked us to tell him “Thank you.”

So, “Thank you.”

Now take the trash out.

Next: Indiana Jones® Meets The Boy
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