“I’m not wearing them.”

My son had no other clean shorts.

The only other clothes for his lower half were a pair of jeans.

It was forecasted to be 80 degrees.

He runs hot.

Jeans were not an option.

“What is wrong with them? You liked them when we bought them, they look nice on you, so what’s the problem?” I demanded.

“They’re too fancy. They’re church shorts,” he answered.

This coming from the kid who never has to dress up for church. He associates anything other than basketball shorts with “dressing up”. If only he knew what real “dressing up” was, he would not complain.

This is also coming from the kid who usually just grabs whatever from the drawer and throws it on without much thought.

The other two kids had their teeth brushed and backpacks loaded.

Princess Teacup needed to put on her socks and get her hair pulled up.

Bobo was already out the door, waiting for the bus.

The bus was due to come in three minutes.

‘I am willing to go down with this ship,’ I thought.

I had already explained how the shorts he pulled out of the dirty clothes hamper were in there because they were d.i.r.t.y. And if they’d been put in the hamper while they were NOT dirty, then that was too bad ’cause they’d been smushed up against dirty stuff and were now dirty by association. The blue khaki shorts were his only option, but Rex had decided they were a non-contender.

He was now in his bed, refusing to get dressed.

The bus came at 8:18 on the dot. Now it is this time:


Rather than being on my child who is now on the bus, this is where I find important items:


I Am Willing to Die on This Hill

For clarification purposes I should probably let you know that about a week ago I warned my boys that if they didn’t clean up their room by a specific time I would clean it, and all the stuff I cleaned up would go away for a while. I wouldn’t throw it out or donate it, but it would just “go away” for an irritating amount of time.

They cleaned up what their eyes saw, and later on I cleaned up everything that my eyes saw.

Let’s just say there was a lot of stuff in my bag.

Amongst all the toys, there were many articles of clothing in my bag, probably some of the shorts that Rex was now missing.

There are a couple things I would like to get on the record.

  1. I am not an unreasonable person , not a control freak in any way.
  2. I do not have rigorous standards with my children.
  3. It is reasonable for kids to put dirty clothes in the hamper rather than on the floor.

Thanks, I feel better now that you know.

Since I am the person who does the laundry, I don’t appreciate washing clean clothes just because the hamper was the location that required less effort than folding a still-clean shirt and putting it back in the drawer. Am I crazy? Do all the other moms wash clothes even thought they aren’t dirty? Do I have an unfair expectation here?

I say thee Nay!

People of the cloth and soap, we must rise up against the forces that would demand we wash perfectly clean clothes! Think of the wasted time, electricity, water and detergent!


After a brief cooling-off period, I returned to his room and told Rex I had come up with a compromise. If he would just put on the shorts, I would tell him what it was. He put them on, and I started to tell him the compromise, but once he had them on, he immediately realized that they are comfortable shorts.

He has friends who wear similar shorts.

He can still move in the shorts.

He likes the shorts.

I could just pinch him.

The crisis now averted, we loaded up the car and I backed out of the driveway.

He stretched out his ever-growing legs, propped them up on the armrests which are usually protected by his siblings and said,

“Ah, now I can lay out and relax. Maybe I should do this every day.”

The look I gave him in the rearview mirror made him grin and say, “But I won’t.”

Do you have battles with anyone in your family? How do you decide which things to let go? Do you have any tricks to help kids (or adults) keep their rooms clean?