We recently had a lost key situation that had me up in the early, early morning hours with my husband, helping him look for the keys he needed to drive to work. He finally gave up and went to work and I kept searching. After work we took up the quest again, braving the cracks in couches and even searching the garbage.
We found my iPod which had been missing for weeks, but not the keys we sought. We looked high and low and finally my husband went upstairs to search the hangout room. He said he remembered twirling the keys around his finger as he walked through the house the night before and he had been upstairs talking to the boys.
That upstairs bonus room is wonderful in the fact that it attracts our children and their friends and if we have a Saturday morning when the floor isn't littered with sleeping bodies, I am shocked. But it is a teenagers kingdom: it's a disaster zone.
Stacks of pop cans, empty bags of chips, jackets and socks of all sizes and half don't belong to us, movies and games, controllers and cords of all design, sticky towels used for clean up and one terrifyingly disgusting blanket that I don't want to wash (I want to burn it), have turned that room into a kingdom of mess.
But I started a simple rule when the kids were young: their rooms were their own responsibility. As long as I could shut the door on it and it didn't spill down the stairs into our living room, I refused to fight over cleanliness. I've been holding the same rule to the bonus room.
The keys were found up there. I might have to change my rule. The bonus room might be their teenage kingdom, but I'm about to put my Queen hat on and tell my princes and princesses to straighten up. I'll even put on my Queenly rubber gloves and help.
Seriously, after what I saw up there, rubber gloves aren't the only thing I need. Possibly a full hazmat suit!