My teenagers’ bedrooms are a catastrophe. It’s like there’s been an explosion. How do they sleep in such chaos? Why don’t they like order? Why don’t they care?
I really would like to get in there to change the sheets, it’s just I can’t cross the floor. When I comment about all the clothes strewn across the room they just laugh and say, ‘That’s my floor-drobe’.
My father was over the other day and as he walked down the hall he happened to glance into Arabella’s room. I should have locked the door. He was in complete shock. He handed Arabella $50.00 and said, ‘How about you keep this, but every time I come over and find your bed not made, you give me a dollar.’ She just laughed and handed him back the money. And it’s not as if she couldn’t use an extra $50.00. She must believe that in a deal like that she’ll go out backwards.
When I’ve finally had enough, I’ll have it out with both of them, starting with Archie. ‘Do something about it. I can’t even walk in here.’
‘It’s all good Mum, don’t worry about it’.
‘You left the window open and rain was pouring in. Look at how wet everything is.’
‘Has it been raining?’
‘Only for three weeks.’ And then I’ll see a collection of bath towels. “What have I said about wet towels on the floor? They’ll have to go straight into the wash because they smell.’
‘No they don’t’.
‘Yes, they do.’
‘I can’t smell anything.’
‘Put them in the wash. And I need to vacuum so get everything up off the floor’. And Archie will kick the mess under his bed like that’s the perfect solution.
‘There you go, Mum.’
‘If you think that’s good enough you’ve got serious problems. And any money I find lying around this room that’s not in a wallet I’ll be claiming as mine.’
And after dealing with Archie I then have to tackle Arabella. In Arabella’s world, nothing is her fault.
‘What’s that uniform doing on the floor?’
‘I told you I needed new hangers.’
‘What are you doing with food in here. We don’t keep food in our rooms, we keep it in the kitchen. You’ll have rats in here next.’
‘You gave me the furthest room from the kitchen so I have to keep a supply of food.’
‘Get your schoolbooks up off the floor, the dogs will chew them.’
‘I told you I needed a bigger desk.’
‘What’s that? Is that a stain on the carpet?’
‘It’s fake tan.’
‘How did that happen?’
‘Well I told you I needed a spray tan but you wouldn’t give me the money so I bought fake tan and I left it on the floor and then someone stepped on it.’
‘I don’t know how you can sleep in such a messy bed. Make the bed now.’
‘Cause I’m waiting for you to change the sheets’.
And then I’ll leave the room utterly frustrated having gone nine rounds and got nowhere. But, Arabella will then tidy her room and pick all her clothes up off the floor but it comes back to bite you. She won’t fold her clothes and put them away, she’ll just throw them in to the laundry for the washer-woman to deal with – and we don’t have one of those, we only have me.
At what age do teenagers come right?
Of course, bribery, in the form of baking, is one of my weapons for encouraging a state of cleanliness. Baking a cake like this results in a marginal improvement in room status.
Serves: 10 – 12
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: I made this cake using ingredients I had on hand in my fridge and pantry. This is a very inexpensive wonderful treat.
This recipe is from Delicious, Quick Smart Cook by Valli Little. Valli says everyone should have a carrot cake in their repertoire. This cake is very easy to make and tastes amazing.
- 1 cup sunflower oil
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1 large carrot, finely grated
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 50g unsalted butter
- 250g soft cream cheese
- 2 tbs pure icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180C/375F. Grease an 18cm x 25cm lamington pan and line with baking paper, leaving some overhanging the sides.
Place the oil and sugar in a bowl and combine using a hand whisk. Whisk in the eggs, the sift in the flour and fold together to combine. Stir in the grated carrot, orange zest and 1/2 cup of the walnuts.
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then use the overhanging paper to remove the cake. Cool completely on a rack.
Meanwhile, for the icing, whiz all the ingredients in a food processor or beat using electric beaters until smooth. Spread over the cooled cake, then sprinkle with the remaining chopped walnuts before slicing.