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bella's room perpetually looks like an orangoutang had a rage-fueled fit in there just minutes earlier. because of this problems exist.

her first problem: it is not just her room. she shares it with one of her brothers. luckily, her brother is the most understanding and reasonable dude i have ever met.

bella's second problem: the room pisses her mother off. i only include marty in that list because marty and i don't agree on the room or what to do about it. i feel a child's room should be their space, the only such space they have in this world. as such, they should be allowed to spread out and live as they would like, governing their tiny pixel of earth as they see fit, short of establishing a meth cook-house of course. marty, surprisingly, holds the more traditional position that it is a room in her house and should be held to a standard more in line with the rest of the home (which in our house simply means, picked up and navigable, injury-free in the night). marty tries to let it go. she totally does. but bella drives situations like thelma and louise drive cars near cliffs and this has a way of not mixing well with someone who is "trying their best" to work with them.

i have consistently stood atop the "it is the childrens' room" argument from day one. my next tactic though is to reference the comical side of the coin. just the other day bella came home from school, stood in the maelstrom that is her room and screamed that anthony was no longer allowed in there when she wasn't home because he messed it up (ancillary evidence). the way i see it, whatever anthony did could have only helped matters. either he removed something and gave her an inch of space to re-destroy or he knocked something over adding to the catastrophe, thus contributing to her overall masterpiece.

as always seems the case in our kismet-driven universe, all the time i've spent smiling through the bella-room indecision is about to end, because in attempt to bring order back to our world we're working towards a big room shift in our upstairs 1. the shift is this. marty and i will finally be moving into our home's master bedroom which has historically been called the ping pong room and a room marty and i have never used for its intended purpose. aleo and anfer will be moving into the next biggest room which used to be where marty and i slept before children but is now shared between alex and bella. and bella will be moving into our home's smallest bedroom but will have the distinction of being the only member of the house with her own room.

the painful part of this story for me is bella is moving into the only "finished" room of our house. by finished i mean it is the only room that doesn't have an outstanding punch-list of needed work attached to it. it means the room has been painted, crown molding is up, fan is in, quarter round is down, and the like. these are collectively things that no other room in our home can fully claim. the issue is she wants to destroy the only show room we have. she has announced her intentions of repainting the walls deep purple and dark green. she will follow this base layer by hand-painting horses and dogs on top of the garish colors. then her ambitious furniture and layout expectations for the small space may make her look like the world's youngest shut-in. that she wants to defile my only finished room makes me completely mental which becomes bella's third rooming problem.

in the end she will win because i will finally come around to the point that this is totally temporary and, before i know it, she'll be gone. after that turn, i'll be left wishing she was again sleeping in her trashed room (and trashing it even more). but she won't be, and when i get the room back i will not longer have the desire or compunction to restore whatever mayhem she may have done to it. it will then seem inconsequential, which if i had my wits about me today is how it should seem now. it will be my eldest child's mark, and when i get the room back she will be off making her mark elsewhere in the world and i'll be fondly looking back on the days when she was driving thumbtacks into my plaster walls because of justin bieber's hangdog bangs.

and she will win in her battle with her mother because marty's position is un-winnable. she will never be able to compete with bella's capacity to do completely bizarre and messy things to her space. she has more time, more vision, and in the end more vinegar than her mother. so, marty and i can simply decide to go easy or to go hard, but we both know we will go and shortly thereafter, bella will go. and bella isn't striking me as one who will be back due to lack of options, opportunities or success.

1 you may or may not recall that nights in our house are a comical game of musical beds where no one ends where they started. first anthony took my spot sending me to a futon in the ping pong room. that was over a year ago. in time alex took up sleeping with me in the ping pong room. a month or two back bella decided she wanted to sleep with alex and took my spot. i moved to her bottom bunk spot 2 for a few months but would often wake up with someone pushed in with me on the small twin. so then i moved to the alex's spot on the top bunk 3 to see if i'm bothered less there. i am. alex has quietly snuck in a few times but sharing space with him is like sleeping with a college sweatshirt you pulled off in the night given how wispy he is.

and typing this up i'm just seeing me getting repeatedly punked for my sleeping spot. this could be viewed either as a sign of great respect and everyone wants what i have or of no respect in that they just like pushing me off whatever pole i choose to lean against.

2 my two favorite things about the bottom bunk is (a) the closed, intimate space which is crazy cozy and (b) the slats of the upper bunk make the best bookmark holder. genius.

3 my favorite thing about the upper bunk is the seeming state of levitating in space. before this i've never slept in an upper bunk and it feels, simply, lordly (and i'm talking about the medieval kind of lord and not the up in the big sky kinda lord).


MAY2011

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