Feb. 16 2010
Rumpled, Crumpled Chaos:
The Art of Bedmaking
My sister and I were fortunate to grow up in our grandparents’ home. From the time we were quite young, I recall their frequent urging to “tidy” our rooms, and that included making up our beds. The cardinal sin was staying overnight at a friend’s and forgetting to make the bed. I never quite agreed with – or even understood – why parents focused so intensely on housekeeping rules. Neither did I appreciate then how crucial these rules would become to my future. After all, what possible difference could it make whether my bed was made or not? I spent most days in school, so why bother? At least that was my sister’s and my opinions. Bed making, after all, seemed like a silly and trifling point of argument back then – even futile, since I most certainly planned to mess it up again before the day was over! After all, was it not MY room? Wrong. I have since discovered life doesn’t actually work that way.
First, let’s consider this question: why is it that our parents make such a big deal about picking up? The answer may appear simple at first glance: no one wants to pick up other people’s messes. Nobody enjoys walking into a room and reveling in the sight of spectacular clutter – or to see a rumpled, crumpled, debris-strewn bedroom. Imagine settling between the sheets only to wonder at the offensive crunch enveloping your body and shortly revealed as potato chip crumbs. Ugh! Now that is disgusting. No more sleepovers at this friend’s house! A closer look at what our parents were trying to teach us reveals that children can learn healthy social behavior as well as essential self-discipline from early bed making, even if the result is initially imperfect. Practice eventually not only makes perfect, it makes permanent. Children benefit from being able to see first hand what being organized feels like, to own responsibility for creating their own...