Smelly Socks: It's my room

Sept. 5, 2013 at 4:05 a.m.

Charlie and Adam's loft at the "boathouse."

Charlie and Adam's loft at the "boathouse."

OK, I have to admit that when I was a kid/teenager, my room was painted lilac. Not purple and not pink, but lilac.

I had a white canopy bed, and the room was filled with unicorns (I know, please don't judge), candles, perfume bottles and stuffed animals. Posters of the actor John Stamos, (Uncle Jesse on "Full House" for those of you who don't remember him from "General Hospital,") graced three full walls in my room. My parents wondered how I didn't freak out when I went to bed at night with the same face staring at me from every wall.

However, I understood this room because I'm a girl. From my understanding, most girls still have these kinds of rooms, albeit without the unicorns and, of course, John Stamos staring at them from every wall.

So when it was time for my boys to give up their cribs, changing tables and baby-themed rooms, I was able to decorate their rooms to my taste and their interests.

Adam's room is blue and white with a nautical theme. The walls are blue with white wainscoting. An old ship's wheel hangs on the wall and antique models of ships that his grandfather built and ones we've gotten at antique stores sit on shelves alongside his closet doors.

There's also a poster of Johnny Cash and the Three Stooges. That last one was not my choice. There are Legos on the floor and a couple of bins full of cast off toys that he no longer really plays with.

Charlie's room is black, red and cream with cars as the main focus. There are old, 1966 hubcaps on the wall, his old changing table that I repurposed in black that now serves as his dresser and an antique sign from an old garage that hangs on the wall above his bed that says "Chuck's garage."

And he, too, has the Legos strewn about as well as the occasional monster truck and a few stuffed animals. That's about as far as they will let me go with decorating.

Their room at the boathouse in Wisconsin, however, is an entirely different story. The only thing I was able to give my input on was the border, which is a retro fishing scene. Other than that, it's all boys, all a mess, most of the time.

Their beds are housed in a loft, which they love. It opens up to the rest of the house, but has a sloped ceiling, a ladder built into the wall onto which they need to climb to get in and a small window from which to hear coyotes and see the stars at night.

The beds are outfitted in bear and dinosaur bed sheets, and at any given time, there are cars, trucks, Legos and game pieces from Battleship or Monopoly strewn on the floor.

The walls are covered in Muskie Fishing stickers that the boys got free from various fishing expos as well as some car and tractor stickers that they put on the walls a long time ago that now won't come off.

On one wall hang pheasant feathers, an old rusty horseshoe that they found on my dad's land and an old deer head that they just found on our property the last time we were there.

When I try to discourage bringing in the dead animal feathers and bones, they just claim that I can pour bleach on them and let them dry in the sun. Yeah, OK. It is truly a boy's room - not something I was ever privy to until now.

So while I know that their decorating tastes will change as they get older, it's nice to know that I still have a little bit of control over their rooms. Now, if I could just get them to clean up, I'd be a very happy mama.

Anita lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two boys and two dogs one of which is a girl. Email Johanna Bloom or Anita Spisak at



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