Commentary by Danielle Wilson
How do gray walls, a turquoise comforter and a purple shag sound? I can also include an outdated desktop computer, three shelves of dance trophies and an authentic 1920s over-sized vanity. Need more? What about a nail-polish stained, used-to-be-white carpet and – since it’s the season – twinkle lights, plastic garland and a recycled Christmas tree? Deal? Sold! The perfect bedroom for a 12-year-old girl.
It’s also the absolute worst nightmare for a mom who can’t tolerate clutter, crazy or catastrophic levels of cat commemorations. And yet every night I’m forced to enter said bedroom to tuck my youngest in. Psychedelic sights and vaguely recognizable smells assault my every sense as I cautiously make my way to her, careful not to step on tap shoes, Harry Potter books and an everlasting assortment of lip gloss.
Frankly, it’s a miracle I haven’t seriously harmed myself. I know she’s growing at least three types of fungus in her closet alone. And don’t even get me started about the number of clothes she’s purchased/collected/hoarded. If she’s not spending her chore money at Ulta Beauty Supply, you can be sure she’s buying yet another elephant tee from Ivory Ella.
Compounding the insanity, the room is only 10 by 10. I may be poking fun at my tiny dancer, but I can’t argue against her extraordinary gift for maximizing space. In addition to a desk and a vanity, she’s crammed in a bed, some bookcases and at least three end tables. Purportedly, she also houses vast collections of Moshi monster toys, makeup and school supplies amidst the décor, though I can’t actually say where.
No matter. My only goals are to ensure she doesn’t set the place on fire and that no dairy products are left to congeal. I’m actually quite proud of my tolerance level concerning her room, which of course is based entirely on the requirement that her door remain closed. And when I must enter, I just make sure to kill the lights first to minimize any adverse physiological reactions. This is, after all, not my place of refuge, but that of a 12-year-old girl.