Countdown To College: Baby Einstein Grows Up

Article posted on Thursday, June, 23rd, 2011 at 12:49 pm by Dr. Nancy Berk   (11 comments)

Einstein's Trail

In 72 days, there will be an empty bedroom in our home. Right now it’s anything but empty. Our college-bound baby has a room that is overflowing with CDs (hundreds– maybe thousands), guitars (at least 4 but there could be 2 under the bed), and t-shirts (50% are on the floor). We plan to replace the carpet when he leaves because it will be the first time we’ve seen it since middle school.

I’ve requested, nagged, and threatened, but nothing works. As we go down the kid chain of parenting, some of us lower our standards. All of a sudden, we’re too tired to care or pick up the Mountain Dew cans. And after watching older sibs, younger kids get more skilled and creative at countering parent requests. This week our younger son informed me that his room is a mess because that is how “geniuses live”. Apparently, cleaning is a waste of time when your mind has more important things to address. He assured me that Einstein’s room could have been a scene from Hoarders and that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs parents just looked away.

Yes, having an empty nest will be a little neater, but I’m not perfect. My desk usually looks like a cyclone hit it. Thankfully, I now realize it’s not my fault. I’m just brilliant.


©2011 Nancy Berk


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  • Welcome to the fold, Dr. Nancy!  We may even mess up ours desks even more, just to feel smarter!

  • Mama_snidely

    Then I must be a mother to 3 Einsteins cause you just described all 3 of their rooms.  You will undoubtfully be a super proud mother when your boys are grown up and on their own Naaaaancy!

  • Approve.
    Nancy W. Berk, PhD

    Co-host, Whine At 9

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    Blogging weekly for More Magazine’s Half-Marathon

  • Never a problem for me…

  • True—and even prouder when they clean their own homes.

  • Kelly

    I always knew you were brilliant, so maybe you can answer this: do the number of Mountain Dew cans in a teen’s room relate the student’s SAT score? 

  • Hmmm. If so, I should have let those cans accumulate to about 800…

  • Sounds like your son’s given you a great excuse to let the house be a huge mess. I say BUY HIS REASONING. Why not give yourself a potentially permanent break from cleaning? You have books to write. So your son is absolutely right. Write, and let the rubbish build up and become downright horrific. You’ll be able to blog about it, and “Hoarders” could indeed hold court in your home, which would give you additional publicity. See? Your son is on to something. And I am apparently your wanna’be publicist! 🙂

  • Oh Chad-you may be onto something. He now claims that his slow cleaning methods are giving me photos and material for blogging. I hadn’t thought about the possibility of it getting me a TV show. He MUST be a genius.

  • Anonymous

    Ha! I just wrote “the” check. Bed and furniture leaving soon and I DREAM of my little room and the possibilities… I know I’m rotten for not being more messed up about this. He moved to his dad’s in January and I’ve sort of enjoyed not having 50% of his stuff lying all around LOL

  • Thinking you just might be normal 🙂 You don’t have to miss the clutter and room disasters to miss your kid, right? ~nancy

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