Both of my boys are little collectors in the making. In other words, they are fucking hoarders. They enjoy amassing broken Skylander figures, dilapidated Matchbox cars, crumpled Pokémon cards, rocks, shells, and a plethora of otherwise useless junk.
Much of their prized bounty resides in a “treasure chest” in their shared bedroom.
My fear of encountering this overflowing mound of total crap is my biggest excuse for avoiding my boys’ bedroom. Here are 5 more reasons I’m afraid to step through their door—and why you should be terrified too:
1. Warning Signs
Some boys pin up a homemade “Keep Out” sign and consider their family members duly warned. My boys take it one step further. Their latest sign reads “NOTICE: KEEP OUT! FIRE BREATHING LION AND ACID SPITTING FLESH EATING LION GOT MARRIED AND ARE HAVING A FIRE BREATHING, FLESH EATING, ACID SPITTING TWO HEADED BABY. I’M SERIOUS!” Trust me, whatever the hell is going on in there, you want no part of it. Just assume it’s ten times worse than it sounds.
2. Booby Traps
If you dare to venture past the foreboding warning sign, you’re liable to fall victim to one of their infamous Rube Goldberg inspired booby traps. You know, one of those elaborate contraptions devised from Tinkertoys, plastic cups, paperclips, balls, boots, and the like, all meticulously constructed for the sole purpose of dumping something rather unsavory on your head. Either that or you could trip face first over an “invisible” band of Scotch tape rigged to the bottom of their doorway.
3. The Smell of Faded Fart
If, by the grace of God, you manage to outsmart the booby traps, you’ll be left gasping for air the moment you actually do make it into their room. No, it’s not because you just got maced. That, my friend, is the scent of sweat, dirt and nearly a decade’s worth of faded fart. Otherwise known as eau de boy. Times two.
4. Booger Museum
If you survive your semi-suffocation, you might start to look around with a renewed sense of wonder and curiosity. This is typical after a near death experience. But man are your eyes ever in for a rude awakening when you notice my younger son’s greatest (and only) masterpiece. Affixed to the wall by his bed resides a wide patchwork of dark-brown crusty boogers of varying topography—otherwise known as the Booger Museum. Yes, he has curated something very special indeed. Please do be sure to take it all in.
5. Dirty Underwear
If you aren’t permanently blinded by the booger barrage, you’re bound to notice the dirty underwear lying on the floor. Remember, it’s what’s inside the underwear that will traumatize you. This is why I recommend the two-fingered pincer grab maneuver. Don’t look. Don’t even breathe. Simply pick up the offending underwear using your thumb and forefinger, fling it into the nearest trash can washing machine, sanitize your hands and try like hell to find your happy place.
If you’re still standing after all of this, congratulations, you’ve earned my unwavering respect and admiration.
But you see that collection of sticks under their bookshelf? Go ahead and grab yourself a nice, big one—and a shield for good measure—because they’re nowhere near done with you yet.
This original piece by Jill Ginsberg was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. “Kid holding slingshot” image © Sunny studio via Dollar Photo Club.