I stand before you today in solidarity with that mom whose otherwise pretty well-behaved daughter lives in a God-forsaken pig sty that she refuses to clean up.
Je suis that mom. All across the First World, there are candlelight vigils/burn barrels full of junk, people are changing their profile pictures to photos of their daughters' disgusting bedrooms, and the Empire State Building is lit up in pink to symbolize the primary color palette of this unmitigated shit show.
One time, I sat on the couch and streamed several episodes of Hoarders back to back. The show features people who call in a team of interventionists that come into their house wearing masks and Tyvek suits to pick through piles of rotten banana peels, old regional newspapers, Taco Bell chicken chalupa wrappers, and other vile detritus. The hoarder wrings her hands and cries as the clean-up crew goes item-by-item, trying to convince her it will be okay to part with a broken tea kettle and half-empty tube of 17 year-old Aquafresh toothpaste.
Je suis that interventionist, except I'm yelling and not speaking in dulcet psychotherapist tones. Je suis SCUH-REAMING at my daughter in disbelief that SHE COULD POSSIBLY LIVE LIKE THIS.
Je suis THREATENING LOUDLY to take every single last gum wrapper, roller skate sneaker, and three-month old math homework worksheet that is on the floor, on her bed, on top of her dresser, under her dresser, under her bed, in a corner, in the hamper, in one of the many storage vessels designed and failing to rectify the situation, and pour gasoline on them, and set them all ablaze in a giant bonfire in the back of our house.
Je suis that mom who gets all kinds of advice for different systems, charts, carrot-and-stick reward strategies, and other verified parenting techniques and self-help books to push the boulder of childhood cleanliness up a mountain of goodwill whose summit is forever out of reach.
Je suis that mom, and I stand in solidarity with her.