Young Cultivators Merit Badge: Rethink Your Space, Beginner Level

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,962 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—9,905 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! ~MaryJane 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Make It Easy/Rethink Your Space Beginner Level Young Cultivator Merit Badge, I needed to take a deep breath, inhale some calming lavender essential oil, and give myself a pep talk. And this was all before the badge earning began …

You see, this badge was all about a youngster in your life cleaning their room properly.

I chose Andy.

I should have chosen … anyone else.

His room smelled of socks and Axe body spray. His collection of silverware, candy wrappers, and cereal bowls were extensive enough that he could have opened his own diner. His bed was a lumpy pile of unrecognizable laundry and toys, and I was pretty certain the shoe collection was one day away from walking away on their own. Probably to throw themselves off a nearby cliff in shame.

Samuel E. Brown (ca 1860) via Wikimedia Commons

Andy beamed at me through the horrifying mess. “It’s organized chaos, Aunty,” he explained cheerfully. “I know exactly where everything is at all times. You’re not planning on ruining my system, are you?” He narrowed his eyes at me suspiciously.

I would have narrowed mine back, had they not been watering so hard from the odor emitting from his hamper. “You bet your bottom dollar I am, kid,” I said, with no sympathy whatsoever.

I set down my contribution to the project: three large boxes. One was labeled To Keep, one was To Be Recycled, and the last was To Be Thrown Out.

Glancing around, I realized I should have brought boxes of various sizes; the one labeled To Be Thrown Out should be approximately the size of a dump truck.

I told Andy I was merely supervising as he got to do the dirty work, but I’ve never been one to stand around watching other people have all the fun work, and besides that, there was no clean place for me to sit. So, I chipped in.

I longed for gloves to protect my hands from the science experiments growing in the cereal bowls and a clothespin to pinch my nostrils shut from the putrid smell of one dozen unwashed gym socks, but I swallowed my pride (and my horror) and went in guns ablazin’.

photo, Alan Chia via Wikimedia Commons

Note to self: Bring a bow and arrow next time. When Andy’s robotic, realistic tarantula spider walked out of the closet, I would have liked to have protected myself in a less embarrassing way than shrieking like a schoolgirl and running pell-mell into the dresser as I tried to escape.

It took the better part of an entire Saturday. I’m not sure who was more beat at the end, me or Andy, but the shiny, polished results were well worth the fear, trembling, exhaustion, and PTSD symptoms I was sure to have for the rest of my natural life.

“Hey, Aunty,” he said, as we surveyed his little kingdom, “You should really have Nora earn this badge, too. Her room is a pigsty.”

“Pshaw,” I said. “Little girls are made of curls and ribbons and everything nice. Or something like that. I read it in a nursery rhyme.”

Andy snorted. “If you say so.”

Let’s just say he was right, and I was … less right.

Leave a comment 3 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hahahahaha!!!! Next question is how long did Andy’s room stay nice??? How can kids love like pigs? I remember my brothers loved in a room in our basement which they fondly referred as “the hole”! About once a week my Das would venture down to stir things up . Let’s just say all that hollerin he did never changed the game week to week!

  2. Amy Cloud Chambers says:

    I’m laughing myself silly over this story! Oh my, I remember my daughter’s room with horror. But the champ in our family was my brother. When mom would try to make a dent in the mess, he’d accuse her of “disturbing the ecology of my environment!”

  3. Karlyne says:

    I’m thinkin’ these kinds of folks should have their bedrooms outside, like in a tree. With a dumpster underneath…

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