We made one of the small rooms his actual bedroom, with a bed and a wardrobe so he would have a place to hang clothes.
I giggle when say that because Ben doesn't put anything on a clothes hanger unless threatened.
The other room is his "TV room".
I knew he wouldn't like anything "girly" or (heaven forbid) pretty in his room, so I tried to stick to an ocean theme and didn't add anything Chuck Norris would be opposed to. I added a poster of a scuba diver and a poster of sharks. Very non-girly.I found these cool weathered looking letters at Pier 1. I was just going to spell out "Ben", but my friend Kim came up with the idea to spell "Surf". I so lack that kind of vision when it comes to decorating.
I got this large trunk for Ben to put all his crap....er.....I mean, miscellaneous items in. I didn't know this trunk was multi-functional though - turns out it also can be used as a coaster for your drink!
Then, the best thing I added to Ben's room......a papasan chair. He had been sitting on the floor with his back against the wall when he wanted to watch TV. I knew a comfy chair would be something he would really enjoy and appreciate.
He had no idea I was doing any of this and I had sworn the girls to secrecy.
We picked him up from camp and on the way home I mentioned to him that there was a lot of sand in his shower from the last time we had been to the beach. He said he would clean it up as soon as he could. He also mentioned that he had dibs on the computer since he had no Internet access for the past two weeks.
Two weeks without Facebook is a nightmare for a fifteen year old.
When we got home, Ben made a beeline for the computer. He didn't even take his bags to his room. The girls and I excitedly milled around for a bit waiting for him to go to his room and see his surprise.
Emily finally said, "Ben, you should see how much sand is in your shower! It's really a lot."
"I will," said Ben, not looking away from his email account.
A little later Katie said, "Ben, you really have to see how much sand is in your shower! You won't believe it!"
"Okay, but not right now," Ben said, not looking up from his Facebook account.
I told the girls to go change and get ready for bed, and that I would call them as soon as Ben started heading back to his room.
Thirty minutes after we arrived home, the girls and I marched up to Ben at the computer and I said, "BEN! You should REALLY see HOW much SAND is in your SHOWER!"
Ben looked at us like we were bananas, but he got up and walked back to his shower. He pulled the curtain aside and said, "Wow. Look at the sand." The he gave us the "are you happy now" look that teens throughout history have perfected so well.
"Open your door!" I exclaimed.
He walked into his bedroom, "Wow! Is that a new bedspread?"
"Yes!" I exclaimed. "And look at the poster of the scuba diver I put in here!"
He walked into his other room and noted the papasan and the new trunk.
Then he turned to me and said, "Mom, I promise I will be really excited about this tomorrow. Can I please finish checking my email now!?"
Emily looked at me and said, "Wow. If you had done that for me, I would be jumping up and down screaming."
Hold that thought Emily....................
To be continued......................