January 25, 2022

Cue the Sound of Music song, perfect backdrop to: MINI'S ISSUES, part 1

Cue the song from the Sound of Music  . . . 

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Mini?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When I'm with her I'm confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She's as flighty as a feather
She's a darling! She's a demon! She's a lamb!

So many layers to Mini, what's not to love? She's smart and funny and kind, but there are times  . . . 

In case you can't tell, that is a
mountain of crap on Mini's bed.
1. The room. You've seen, so you know. We've taken the door off the hinges, refused to let her socialize until she handles it, and begged her to TAKE THE TIME to right the wrong here. Let's not forget - she has a roommate, who prefers a tidy living space. AND, those of us who live here (and her friends) have all lost clothing items and shoes to her great abyss. We fear for her future college roomie. I've gone so far to suggest that she might need to choose a college based on whether or not they offer singles. 

It was beautiful long, but long isn't
 what is 'DONE' for homecoming.
 This is when we ran to get it altered.
We had to meet during the school day and
 Becky had to come over to stay with my tots.
Mini went to the wrong place first. She was
 barely speaking to me. It was NOT fun.
*editing to add:  I spent 3 hours in there Sunday night with both girls organizing and eliminating. THREE. HOURS. Mini tried to get me to agree in advance that I wouldn't get grumpy and that we'd only work till 9 pm. I would not allow that envelope to be pushed, and I would agree to no such thing. Last week, I stuffed EVERYTHING on her bed so that I could vacuum. I cannot say for sure when the last time a vacuum made an appearance in there. I was like THAT'S IT. ENOUGH. 

2. Pay attention.
In the fall, Mini went shopping for a homecoming dress. She
 doesn't get dressed up often. Prefers the messy bun and clothes that she may have slept in the night before. Well, thanks to covid there was a low inventory problem for dresses. Big time. We didn't realize, and if you remember, our fall was a tad nutty. So, getting a dress fell off our radar. 
It was so tight that when she first tried
 it on, we couldn't get it off. No joke,
 there were tears. She didn't want
 them to add fabric along the sides even
 though the seamstress thought it
 would be perfect because we'd taken
 stuff from the bottom. I honestly don't
 recall what they did. Maybe they let it
 out a tiny bit. Her friends
 had to help her get it
off after the dance. 
It's a long story, but Mini went shopping with a friend. With my credit card. She bought two dresses. One was way too revealing, not something she'd be allowed to leave the house wearing. I get it. Very few choices available. She didn't really WANT to wear this dress, but felt like she needed to grab

Eventually I bought a dress on FB marketplace from a friend of a friend. It was too tight across the back, but I told Mini we could have it altered. I had no idea that the alteration place was going to rob me blind, but it was the 11th hour and we were out of options. Mini was barely talking to me. I don't even remember why. 

*If memory serves:  I think she misinterpreted something I said, thinking I was implying that she was needing to follow the crowd - she's well known for NOT following the crowd. That wasn't what I meant. I was just saying WHO CARES IF IT ISN'T A TYPICAL HOCO DRESS, BE OPEN TO OTHER OPTIONS.*

It wasn't like I controlled the lack of inventory. I was TRYING my darndest to help her find a dress. She didn't want to wear the leaves-nothing-to-the-imagination dress. The other dress that she bought was approved to wear, but she felt it was too simple. No pizzazz. She finally agreed to the FB dress. 

It looked great, but
I don't have a photo
 of the back of the
 dress, or a photo
 of her alone.
At the end of this debacle, she forgot to return the TWO OTHER DRESSES. Thanks to the store's return policy and Mini's OOPS, I FORGOT nonsense, we now own those dresses - plus the 'cheap' FB deal that ended up costing me an arm and a leg. It was a frustrating situation, but since life was steeped in frustration at that time, I chose not to dwell on it. I felt bad for Mini. She hadn't been to a dance in forever and this was her senior homecoming. She was excited to dress shop and then it was a bust. The HOURS I spent trolling the internet and calling stores to see if they had ANYTHING . . . well, let's just not go there. 

The 'pay attention' issue:  return the dang dresses on time. 

3. Not the same. I let Mini borrow my piece of luggage with wheels when she flew to look at a college with a friend. The pop up handle now prefers not to pop up. The wheels also essentially refuse to rotate. Coming soon to an airport near you:  an idiot wrestling with a bag. Blowing my cover here, but it'll be me. 

4. "I DON'T KNOW WHERE IT WENT." I read a book over the summer called Catch and Kill. I really didn't like it. I wish I hadn't bothered to finish it, but once I did it was overdue. The high school is across the street from the library. I asked Mini to return the book for me on her way to or from school since I was babysitting and had no plans to leave the house that day. The book NEVER made it to the library and she has no idea where it went. The library wants $17 for the book. Mini is like, can't they just waive it? Um, no. They can't. What on earth? Who even is she? 

There was another 'pay the fee' incident when I wanted her to take something of mine that she borrowed to the dry cleaner on her dime. She fought me on it. I finally asked her if she knew how much it was to dry clean a pair of pants.

Mini:  $50? 

Me:  Think about it, if that was the case, then why wouldn't people just buy new pants?

I blame myself here a bit. I don't really wear dry clean type clothes - hello, baby spit up flows fairly freely in my line o' work. So, I guess that's partly why she didn't know this. That's also why I wanted her to go to the dry cleaners. It's time to figure these things out. 

Riddle me this . . . how is she going to go to college? Maybe you shouldn't answer that until after you read tomorrow's post (or one day soon, depending on how busy tomorrow is). Believe it or not, a few of the most shocking issues are yet to be described. 

Did you or your offspring or a teen you know have trouble being responsible, yet still manage to lead a productive life? I'm looking for a ray of hope here. 


Beth Cotell said...

I think the altered Facebook dress is stunning! Sorry you had to buy two other dresses and pay so much for alterations. Hopefully you can resell the others and at least get some of your money back. Prom is coming up after all....

Colleen said...

Oh my gosh, not returning the dresses or book would drive me NUTS!!! That's the kind of stuff I lose my marbles over, but sounds like Mini is Type B. I have a niece just like her. Drives her parents crazy but she is the sweetest, calmest, happiest kid. She is a senior in college and has a boyfriend and looks like she's gonna do just fine at life, so there's hope! Ha!

Ally Bean said...

If Mini is getting decent grades and is overall happy with her life [as much as a teenager can be] then I say the messy room is not big deal. This is because I was an untidy mess as a teenager and I've evolved into a productive member of society. Going to college and living in a small dorm room did wonders for my desire to be tidier. That's when and where I got on the tidy train.

me said...

Let me sing you the song of my third daughter.
Her room looks like a bomb went off in it all the time. No matter what we tried, it was a disaster. We had to separate her and a sister from sharing a room because they were fighting so much in part due to the mess. She went off to school - rooms still messy - college got a little easier by sophomore year due to singles. But her room looked like she let a herd of toddlers eat snacks and play dress up. We lent her a car for her college internship years - the spills! the trash! the random engineering equipment left inside! So depressing every time she came home.

Now she has a great job, is married to a wonderful guy, and her house doesn't look great. Counters messy, laundry on the floor. But not as bad as it used to be - she has pets so can't leave anything dangerous around. However, she's hard working and kind and determined. So it balances out.
The funny thing is, if you have a dirty job and need to deep clean and organize, she's the best. She doesn't do it for herself. I think she likes seeing all her stuff.
I would suggest to Mini to own less. Much easier to keep track of and even if its' all over the floor, there's less of it.
She looks lovely in the dress (though I like it longer) and hopefully you can resell the dresses. (My one daughter bought a prom dress on sale in jr year for senior year - she lost 35 lbs in the interim and had to frantically buy whatever fit in her senior yr. Even planning ahead doesn't help sometimes.)

PS I have a son who is very messy and his jr high career was spent never turning in homework because he couldn't find it in his locker. His one teacher started having him stay after school everyday so the work wouldn't leave the classroom and get sucked into the black hole of his locker and backpack.

Nicole said...

That dress is gorgeous and it looks great on her!

Jenny in WV said...

My bedroom was always a disaster too. I think it was because I felt guilty about getting rid of stuff, especially gifts. A few months ago I moved my collection of stuffed animals from my parents house to my home with the intention of going through them and giving away some that I'm not particularly attached to. I still feel kind of guilty at the idea of giving away, for example, a small teddy bear my Dad sent for Valentines Day 5+ years ago.

My dorm room was much neater as was the apartment I shared with friends after moving out because I had a more curated collection of stuff in them. So there is hope that Mini can keep her piles of stuff to an acceptable level in college.

KAP said...

Sorry to say ths but ..... My 38 year old daughter (who is probably Mini's older sister from another mother) was maid of honor in a wedding in April Bought 3 dresses, wore one and FORGOT to return the other two until the return date was long past. So sad, too bad. Not my problem, but OMG, some things never change.

Pat Birnie said...

My daughter will be 40 this year. She is bright, kind and was like a wonderful second parent to her 3 younger brothers when I was on my own. She was truly a lifesaver. But her room!! Like a bomb went off plus she always left food and plates etc on the floor. We lived in an older house and sometimes had mouse issues. She once left a partly eaten bag of chips on the floor & turned off her light. Heard a mouse, threw something at it and killed it in the bag. She freaked out for me to deal with it - I, of course said “not my problem”. We laugh about that story all the time. Not sure if it cured her though. She’s now a wonderful mom of 2 boys but sad to say her house is a disaster. I have a really hard time with it but keep my mouth shut. I could also go on about 4 lost library books on MY card but cannot make my comment longer than your post haha.

Anonymous said...

The homecoming dress is really pretty! At least there’s a positive to all of the pain involved in the dress hunting situation.
How exactly does someone break the handle and wheels on a suitcase in one trip? Did she throw it down a hill? Maybe it was the baggage handlers mishandling?
$50 to dry clean pants?! Hahaha… although I have to admit I have no clue either, $7? Maybe? I don’t think I own dry cleanable clothing currently.

Ernie said...

Beth - Yes, I think that dress is really pretty and it worked out . . . it was just a little bit pricey compared to what we would normally do. Especially if you factor in the dresses she didn't return. They are new with tags, so I can try to sell them. They are short so not prom type. Since we've learned our lesson, we have already started shopping for prom dresses. She isn't into bling or anything 'big' and flashy so the prices aren't awful.

Kara said...

My middle daughter is a disaster. Probably close to Mini levels. Every once in awhile I'll go through her room and pull out all of the dirty dishes and half eaten food, so that bugs don't invade. I found out that she spilled a bottle of red nail polish on the floor, and half-assed cleaned it up, making a big pink stain on the carpet. Her car is just as bad. Masks, granola bars, wrappers, bottles, all over the place. I make her take the car to the car wash once a month, just to clean it out. She's lost her license (like lost it, not had it taken away by authorities) three times this year. It's like a black hole exists near her, and things fall into her orbit and just disappear.

Our school just announced Prom as mid March, so my kids better start looking for dresses now. I'm not last minute panic shopping for them!

Ernie said...

Colleen- Yes, that kind of thing boggles my mind. Those two dresses were $75 combined. Curly could maybe wear one someday. We've started the prom dress search - way early intentionally. I'm running the show on this one. I know when things need to be returned. That library book - still a mystery. My bet is it is in her locker in my mudroom. I don't dare try to approach the mud room lockers without another adult home in case they need to send a search party in to save me. I do think she is going to do just fine in life, really - but some things need to be figured out. I'm guessing there might be a few hard lessons ahead, like a missed paper in college or oversleeping for an exam. Time will tell.

Ernie said...

Ally - I'd like to buy her a ticket for this tidy train you speak of. I am NOT a neat freak, by any means. I can handle a lot of chaos and messes don't make me come unglued. Her room is a whole other animal. Fingers crossed that she manages not to lose important stuff while at college as a result of her disorganization.

Ernie said...

me - Your daughter sounds like Mini's long lost twin. I have definitely figured out that less works better for her. I rarely buy her new clothes anymore. She doesn't even know what she has. No need to replace what is stuffed in corners. I agree too - I think Mini likes to see everything at once.

Glad to know that she has done well for herself. I will be fine is Mini's house is a mess someday. I can visit and leave, but a messy house isn't the worst. I live in a messy house. It is the INSANITY level disaster area that blows my mind.

You'd think staying after school would motivate your junior high guy to get it done and turned in - instead of into the great abyss. Yikes.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Thanks, I think we were lucky to find it. It was such a shame that the racks were all cleared off. We even tried to look for dresses in Omaha when we were visiting Tank. I was hoping that they had some inventory - maybe it was just a Chicago situation. Nope, same boat. I really liked the dress - I thought it was so very pretty at the long length, but no one wants to be the only girl in a long dress, apparently.

Ernie said...

Jenny - I have a hard time getting rid of stuff too. I got rid of a shirt when I purged a few years ago and now I wish I still had it because I bought a pair of pants that would look so good with it. I lived with 4 other girls in a huge dorm room in college one year and I was the messiest of the bunch.

I keep trying to get Mini to understand that it only takes a few minutes, put something away.

Ernie said...

KAP - There it is - my biggest fear. Well, at that point it will not be my problem.

Ernie said...

Pat - This made me laugh. That you could go on but don't want your comment longer than my post. Kindred spirits. That mouse story is UNBELIEVABLE. So funny. And cringy at the same time. If I told Mini I suspected mice were living in her room, then I imagine she'd start sleeping in my bed. Mini does have a lot going for her, I just hope this issue doesn't catch up with her.

Ernie said...

AM - It was a relief to find a dress that she could be happy with. We don't usually have teen drama here, so the drama leading up to the dress was miserable. She behaved like I was making her wear that one, and I was like YOU CAN WEAR ONE OF THE ONES YOU GOT. She didn't want to though because there was no pizazz. It was exhausting. So far prom dress shopping has been less stressful - thanks to starting months in advance.

The roller bag - she didn't check it, so it was in her care the whole time. Maybe it was a coincidence?

I do not own very many dry clean things, but the one pair of pants that she borrowed . . . I doubt I will ever wear them again but I was like get them cleaned so they are ready for another dressy occasion. I would think dry cleaning a pair of pants is about $5. I forgot to mention, I ended up washing them and they came out just fine.

Ernie said...

Kara - Yes, these two sound like twins. Mini is like that with the car now that the older boys are in college. They come home and go WHOA, WHAT HAPPENED HERE? How hard is it?

Mini lost her license for like 6 months and never mentioned it. Just drove without it. I happened to find it near the piano one day when I was getting ready for Tank's grad party. It was in a box of discarded books or high school papers from a day she dumped her backpack or something. She was thrilled that I found it and I was like WHEN DID YOU LAST HAVE IT? It had been months. Good grief.

I don't recommend panic shopping. I offered to make her dress if we didn't see something that she liked. We DO have a lot of time. I told her I would use a pattern, not like the time I made her an Irish dancing dress with no pattern. She was NOT on board with that suggestion, which might have made the dresses we saw while shopping more appealing.

Kari said...

My oldest was the same way. Most teenagers, I believe, are like this, and those who aren't are unicorns.

I know she will be just fine when she goes to college. My oldest ended up just fine, and she'll graduate in May. :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

The final dress is gorgeous! Maybe Curley will wear one of the other ones in the future? Or you can sell them.

There is hope. Both of my daughters were slobs when they lived at home. Currently? They are messy. Not as neat as I am, but messy. ALSO, they don't live with me any longer so I don't really care. But they are both living good, productive lives, so there's that.
Lolo lost her brand new cell phone and 20$ for-the-week lunch money on her first day of high school. She used to forget her softball stuff at home all.the.time. Linds used to forget her dance stuff at home. all.the.time.

I think a LONE dorm room will be in her best interest.

I'm dying laughing picturing you with the broken-ass suitcase.

Ernie said...

Kari - I guess I should embrace Curly, who apparently is my unicorn. Ha. I fear that Mini has hoarder potential. The things uncovered in her room. Eek.

She certainly has brains and does well in school. I babysit for her AP teacher and she cannot align home-Mini with school-Mini. Such a discrepancy.

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, I do think Curly will be happy to wear some of the dresses left in Mini's wake. That one dress - let's just say, I did Mini a solid giving her the heads up not to let her father see that one.

My mom is a neat freak. It skipped a generation here - because I am not (although in my old age and my daycare owner status - holy crap do I appreciate some order now and then), and apparently snowballed into whatever the heck you'd call Mini's 'situation.' She is a brainy one so I think she will do fine . . . so long as she hires a personal assistant, a driver, a chef, and a maid. ;)

I've only had that bag for a few years and I felt so normal finally getting off of a plane with a bag on wheels. Now I look like I THINK I have a bag on wheels, but I really don't.