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Thursday, September 26, 2013

If You Give a Mom a Trash Bag...

I recently cleaned out my children's bedrooms. Not willingly, mind you. But it had gotten to the point that I refused to walk into my son's room because I couldn't see the floor and had no idea what I might be subjecting my tender tootsies to.

I'm not proud I let him live in that room. After mistakenly believing it would disgust him eventually and he'd be compelled to put it to rights, I couldn't take it any longer.

Just one room--The Boy's--wielded a full 50 gallon drum liner of junk, mostly paper. I Shitake mushroom you not. But that's not the worst part--the hardest part was getting under his bed. It's too heavy for me to move on my own and now that I've packed on a few pounds (it would be unwise to comment here), I cannot slide under to reach all the junk. 

Let's just say I came out of that experience with a bump on the noggin and back spasms, and leave it at that.

I took the rest of the night to recoup with the plan to start on the girls' the next day. Surely, it'd be much easier.

I was about to get educated, ya'll.

Somehow, they managed to hide their slovenly ways by shoving stuff in the corners, behind and under the dresser, and in their closet.

And can someone please explain to me why one must empty an entire drawer for one (bleeping) shirt?! And did you break your arms in the process?! PUT THE REST BACK!

*Takes several deep breaths*

After organizing their bookshelf (and spotting several books from the If You Give a series) in an experience that left me with an eye twitch and seizures, I tweeted out that I was going to write a children's book called If You Give a Mom a Trash Bag.

So, I did. But, uh, it's not really kid friendly.



If you give a mom a trash bag, she will race to your bedroom with menace and glee.


Once there, she will step on one of the million pointy Legos littering your floor.


After she drops into the fetal position and blows out both her ears and lungs with her cursing, she will try to snatch you bald. 


You will dart to and fro to save yourself, thus giving her motion sickness and a homicidal determination to catch you.


Blinded by that urge, she will trip over the wheeled spindly leggy thing of your desk chair.


And in the instant before her face makes out with the carpet, she’ll notice the mountains of debris dwelling under your bed.


That will send her into a fresh rage.


She will attack all your possessions with gusto, cackling like a maniacal witch on All Hallow’s Eve, while you rock yourself in a corner and beg her not to torch your favorite collection of hairballs.


But chances are your pleas will drown under the roar of the trash bag as it digests your life's possessions.


So. Moral of the story, kiddies?

Keep trash bags out of mommy’s hands and clean your own (bleeping) room, you slovenly beasts!

I told you it wasn't kid friendly. How do you motivate your kids to clean up after themselves? Threats? Bribes? Tossing?

16 comments:

  1. I'm totally making my kids read this blog.

    :-)

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    1. Here's hoping it saves you hours of cleaning. *clinks coffee mugs*

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  2. Nagging. That's how I get him to do anything. ;) He'll eventually do whatever just to shut me up. I'm a pretty good nagger.

    The funny thing is The Scientist's daughter had never dealt with a nagger until me. She'd gone 12 whole years being manipulated in different ways. I completely threw her for a loop.

    I heard my son tell her "She'll stop nagging if you just do it."

    I've trained him so well. ;)

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    1. The problem with nagging, Ava, is that it requires patience, which is totally not my virtue. I just want these little people to bow to my commands with seconds of me issuing them! Is that too much to ask?! ;)

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    2. LOL. And who would think I have patience? If you train them right, it's the fear of nagging that gets the job done. A lot of work up front, but it pays off huge in the end. ;)

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  3. My daughters shared a room after their brother came along. I used to keep the rooms neat and tidy until I simply got tired of it. Silly me, at one point I thought they were old enough to clean themselves but they always blamed the other for the pigsty. When we managed to give them each a room of their own and everyone had their own space, I soon learned who was the real cause of the mess. The cleanest kid is my son. Though I wouldn't dare eat off of any surface in his room, he does keep it picked up and gets ticked when his friends make a mess. As for the daughters, I just kept the doors closed. When someone saw it and commented negatively I simply let the kid be embarrassed and explain to that person "how they could possibly live in there". And, if the dirty clothes don't make it into the hamper or the laundry room, they didn't get washed by me. Having no clothes does move them into action especially when I refuse to go shopping because they have "nothing to wear".

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    1. This is exactly how I feel, Jane--I'm tired of cleaning up their mess. And why should I? The youngest is 7--definitely old enough to put his stuff away. My middle baby is my neat freak. She is very good about putting her stuff away, but my oldest is a SLOB! And since they share a room, there is a lot of fighting about the mess. *sigh* It's a glamorous life here. ;)

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  4. I'm not to the dirty room phase yet, but do get to experience the joy of a destroyed living room courtesy of a four year old pirate. I shamelessly deal with it by threatening to take away whatever's nearest and dearest to his heart at that exact moment. Usually it's Curious George DVDs. Yesterday it was a plastic shovel and a pile of broken jewelry. (His pirate booty.) My tactics work 100% of the time, but I'm starting to cringe, just waiting for that day when he looks at me and says 'yeah, right.'

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    1. I've thrown stuff into a trash bag before when they wouldn't pick up, but my husband won't let me throw their stuff away! Although...*peeks over shoulder* ... one day, when he was at work, I went on a toy tossing rampage! And there was much weeping. ;)

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  5. I hope someone has good answers, but I'm afraid it probably involves micromanaging kids and I don't have the discipline or energy to do that. Usually the best motivation for my kids is to tell them they can invite a certain friend over if they clean their rooms. But I have no idea how to get them to keep it clean all the time.

    Our dishwasher finally went out yesterday, so last night I had the whole family help clean up after dinner. I made slips of paper and everyone drew to find out what job was theirs. Our teen grumbled, but he did his part then ended up spending the evening in the living room with us. It was an unexpected perk to making him clean, so I'm a little more motivated today. :)

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    1. That is exactly the problem, Samantha--I do not have the time or energy to micromanage my children. I've had my fill of keeping on top of 3 little ones and now that they are old enough to do it on there own, I shouldn't have to stay on top of them. Unfortunately, old enough and motivated are not the same things. :)

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  6. Sadly, nothing worked with my kids. I got so tired of the nagging, threats, etc. and just gave up until they went off to college and then moved out on their own. Then, I threw out stuff, cleaned the place up, painted, etc. Believe me, don’t give yourself a stroke trying to keep up with a kid’s room. It’s not worth it. Just close the door so you don’t see it and go on your merry way. As a matter of fact, take the time to sit down and enjoy reading a good book! Life’s too short to waste it fretting about something that you simply cannot change. :-)

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    1. Connie, I hate to think my... little darlings... will be the same way. But I have only gotten them to keep their rooms clean for a couple weeks at a time, and then it is back to the same old mess. Gack! I may very well have to just shut their doors and pretend it is a forbidden fairy realm that I need to avoidvat all costs.

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  7. LOL Sine I'm kid myself and most definitely don't have any of my own, I clean my own room. But then I do threaten my older sister about going to our mother and telling her how dirty her side of the room is, which our mother would definitely clean and throw away her junks of useless papers and bags.
    My piles of books on the other hand is a whole different story. :)

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    1. Kipha! You have the inside deets on these treacherous kids. Tell me, dear insider, how do I manipulate them do all the things I want them to do? ;)

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  8. Hmm, well, one day, I took all my son's clothes and shoved them in a bag and put them away. By the time he started picking up after himself, he'd outgrown the clothes. :)

    Both my kids had slobbish tendencies from one time or another. But they also have neatness phases. Now they're both married and they both tend to be neat. Who would have ever figured.

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