The writer of one of the blogs I used to read regularly has 4 boys who failed to make their beds. It made her apoplectic, and she wrote about it in a very funny way, but at the time I was reading her blog I thought to myself “Lady, do you really want to invest so much emotional energy into whether they make their beds or not? Is this really that important?”
To her it was, I guess. And in modern domestic arrangements, where husbands and wives both work outside the home, a man who has been well-trained by his mother to pick up after himself is a blessing.
I knew this, and so I made sure our boy helped around the house by doing dishes, dusting, and vacuuming, and cleaning the bathroom, but I never cared very much whether he made his bed or kept his room picked up on a day-to-day basis. My attitude was (right or wrong): It was his room, if he wanted to live in a messy room then he could (up to a point).
As it happened, as our son grew older he became a neat-freak in his personal space. He became obsessed with what his room looked like and would spend quite a bit of time every morning making sure his bed looked absolutely perfect, with the covers hanging exactly even and no wrinkles whatsoever — and getting extremely frustrated when blankets and bedspreads did not cooperate — and that everything in his room was arranged just so. Even now his room is perfectly organized. It is the neatest room in the house.
Not too long ago we replaced the old king-sized mattress on the bed and the elastic corners of king-sized fitted sheets we had been using for years were not quite big enough to fit around the new mattress. So we bought new king-sized sheets, which had deeper corners and gave the old sheets to our son to use on his bed. Which was fine except it was creating extra laundry.
So, I decided to convert a king-sized fitted sheet into a regular sheet for his twin bed by squaring the corners and trimming it and putting in a new hem. Yet another in a string of overzealous attempts to save money that sometimes end up costing me more money in wasted time than I could possibly have saved.
It indeed took quite a bit more time to do this than I thought it would –- several hours -- and, naturally, it did not turn out well.
Saturday when he was changing his bed he called me in his room to complain. “This looks awful,” he said. “It is crooked and uneven. You did a really bad job of suturing the sheet.”
I had to agree with him, I did do a bad job of suturing the sheet. I will dig through the linen closet and find him a properly sutured sheet to replace it.