There were errant socks strewn about the floor of the Bean’s room. I pointed them out to him and asked him to pick them up. He hesitated.
“But…” he began.
I wasn't in the mood for excuses. I cut him off and demanded that he clean up his room.
“But the muddy hand,” he said.
“The muddy hand is on the floor and I can’t touch it.”
The muddy hand comes from one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books where the Wimpy Kid watches a horror movie about a disembodied hand and spends the rest of the book worried about it. Based on the amount of questions I fielded about the hand after we read the book, it was clear it was an aspect really captured the Bean's imagination.
I looked at the way the socks were laid on the floor. Upon closer inspection, they weren’t thrown haphazardly around the room, they actually created a path from the Bean’s bed, across the floor, to the rug where it was “safe”.
The Bean confirmed that this was why the socks were on the floor. I softened. If you’re going to have an excuse for a messy room, this was a pretty good one.