You know how you once thought you would never turn into your parents, and then you realize, “oh fuck, I am totally just like my parents?” Yeah… so do I.
There are many things my mom did to me when I was a kid that I SWORE I would never do. She ate my Halloween candy when I was at school, she also ate my valentine chocolates when I was at school, and then she once bit the head off my Easter bunny when I was at school. OBVIOUSLY I SHOULD HAVE NEVER GONE TO SCHOOL!!!
Along with her penchant for sweets, my mom’s also a compulsive cleaner. If you are eating in her kitchen, she will tidy around you as you try and finish your meal. She will even go as far as to pick up your plate and wipe the table clean mid bite. She is obsessed with order and everything being in the right place – kind of like Martha Stewart on meth.
Because my mom likes things to be neat, she was also always moving our stuff and throwing things out. In her mind it was clutter, but to my brother and me, those He-Man toys were important!!
The way I learned to deal with my mom’s ways was deciding personal possessions are meaningless. One day you could come home, your things would be missing, and you just moved on. Maybe that Godzilla doll did have go, even though now I would never know where its vagina was. These are the questions of my childhood that will remain unanswered.
But it turns out that I am now also a compulsive cleaner. I’m constantly moving Munch’s stuff around and giving away old shitty toys I can’t look at any more. I try to be discerning, and only abandon the objects she discarded, but sometimes my instincts are wrong. There have been moments where she looks at me with rage in her eyes and asks, “Where is that one Barbie shoe that was in that box?! I NEED IT!”
Kids have a lot of fucking shit, and their shit takes over your house like an infestation. In every room there are remnants of plastic toys to step on in the middle of the night. It’s hard to escape, and sometimes you just want to purge and say, “fuck all your stuff.”
In order to deal with the vomit of neon littering the house, I ordered some furniture for Munch’s room so she could better organize her toys. She spent all night putting everything away in just the right place, and we were both happy with the result. But then I went downstairs, looked at the living room, and felt like there was still too much crap. There was a table that was covered with her paraphernalia, and I really wanted it put away.
Okay so here is the thing about Munch. She’s an installation artist. She creates these set ups, and then refuses to play or touch them because she put so much effort into their arrangement. I’m not trying to stifle her vision, but it’s also super annoying because then there are these shrines of her “work” I’m not supposed to touch.
So what did I do?
I cleaned up the fucking table.
What happened when she saw it the next day?
She was fucking pissed!
Munch: AHHHHHHHHH WHAT DID YOU DO???
Toni: I cleaned up in here.
Munch: MY TABLE!!!? WHEN DID YOU DO THIS?
Toni: Last night when you were sleeping.
Munch: WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED ME FIRST!!!?
Toni: I’m sorry. But you wouldn’t let me clean it, and it was driving me nuts.
Munch: I WORKED SO HARD ON THAT!!!
Toni: Yeah, but then you never played with any of those toys again.
Munch: THAT’S BECAUSE I WORKED SO HARD! THAT WAS MY COLLECTION!
Toni: I’m sorry, but it looked really messy.
Munch: I AM SO CROSS WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Toni: Look, you can’t just put your toys everywhere. That’s not fair.
Munch: WHERE IS ALL MY STUFF?
Toni: It’s right here in these bins.
I showed Munch the bins, and to be honest, I did get rid of some of the things that were on the table. Like I don’t know… a pile of rocks she brought in from the driveway. But I also kept a lot more than I wanted to. Munch then started tearing through the bins and throwing things across the room looking for all her nick nacks.
Munch: IT’S NOT ALL HERE! WHERE IS THE LITTLE BUNNY WITH THE MISSING HEAD??!!! I AM SO CROSS WITH YOU RIGHT NOW!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Toni: Dude, that isn’t fair come with me. Lets go on a tour of this house.
I then proceeded to drag her into every room in the house.
Toni: Whose stuff is this here?
Toni: What about here in this room. Whose stuff is this?
Toni: Come upstairs. What about here in the hallway – whose stuff is this?
Toni: Do you see how your stuff is all over? You can’t monopolize every room in the house! You’re not the only one who lives here. We have to compromise okay?
Munch: Fine. I will make my collection again, and if you touch it, I will throw your computer out the window.
Pretty sure I won’t be touching this table for a while…