Clean up, clean up…..or not….

It starts off so innocently. Deciding that, although it’s summer, this mess has to be dealt with before we do one more thing. “Kiiids!” I call in my sweet mother voice, “We’re going to spend some time cleaning up today.” And then, in same sweet voice start singing that good old clean up song: “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere…” What? It seems to work fine in nursery school. My 7 year old instantly drops to the ground crying, holding his head in his hands. My 5 year old smiles sweetly and says, “Sure, I LOVE cleaning. Cleaning is my favorite thing EVER.” My three year old doesn’t need to be asked twice and instantly goes upstairs and cleans her entire room in under five seconds (did I mention she’s a GIRL?). After that here’s how it goes:

-Give 7 year old two options (in sweet, patient voice): Clean room or no Wii.
-Give 5 year old explicit instructions on what to clean, knowing that if you don’t it won’t get done AT ALL.
-15 minutes later. Remind 7 year old, in semi-sweet voice of his two options. Ask 5 year old sort of nicely to please stop playing with toys and actually clean them up. Send 3 year old GIRL downstairs to start working on playroom, since room is done.
-15 minutes later. Try and encourage children for the 1 cm of floor space they have cleaned…but remind them that my patience is wearing out and for heaven’s sake just clean it all.
-5 minutes later: Rush upstairs after hearing “I’m bleeding, something got me!” only to find a small pipe cleaner injury.
-5 minutes later: Reassure 7 year old (who is now the only one cleaning even though his 5 year old brother LOVES cleaning SOOO much) that yes, his brother would have to clean his share of the room as well.
-2 minutes later: Ignore 5 year old who is insisting his finger is broken and is therefore unable to clean. Try to also ignore growing rage inside yourself.
2 minutes later: Tell 3 year old, who has now cleaned her entire room AND playroom, what a stellar child she is. Give out popsicle. Ignore other children’s pleading to be done and have one too.
2 minutes later: Run upstairs after hearing the sound of a frisbee banging against the wall. Unleash rage. Give speel about coming up here with big black garbage bag, how parents aren’t slaves, etc, etc.
-4.7 seconds later: Retreat to room, frantically playing computer games while singing the clean up song in a crazy voice to yourself, wondering why you have ever started this fiasco. Ignore children staring at you in doorway..then eventually slinking away.

And that, my friends, is my explanation on why my house remains half cleaned and also why my Bejewelled score keeps improving. 😉

July 8, 2010 - 10:32 pm

Tanya - This is my line Jennifer. . . “Hurry up!!! I am soooooooooo not kidding!!!!!”

Go Bejewelled Blitz!!!!!!!!!

July 8, 2010 - 11:39 pm

Kerri - Hahahaha! LOVE THIS!

July 9, 2010 - 3:56 pm

Heidi - Too funny! I need to start using that line about how parents are not slaves.

July 10, 2010 - 9:58 pm

Tamara - Ha ha!!! I can so relate to this…I break out the garbage bag speech often. Matt just tells them he’s moving all his guitar stuff in the playroom & moving the toys out. That however just generates a lot of screaming/crying, no actual improvement in cleaning!!

July 12, 2010 - 11:38 am

The Zijlstra's - Tamara, I do the same! There have been some pony’s and barbie’s who had to spend their night in a garbage bag… but I always give it back… which is probably the reason this doesn’t work anymore!
But then again, I’m the worst example they can have… they don’t have toys in their bedrooms, so all the mess there (clothes…) is all my mistake! 😀

July 13, 2010 - 11:49 pm

Lauri Ann - What is up with clean up time anyway? I have tried everything!!! Most times I could just curl up in the fetal position and just cry when I see the mess and no one will help. It is like climbing Mount Everest. I finally gave into buying a bag of candy and pulling out “The Bribe”. IT WORKS! Sometimes a little “sweet motivation” can save you sanity!

July 22, 2010 - 12:49 pm

Anonymous - Okay I just found this blog, Jenn you are a woman after my own heart!!!! This was priceless!
-Taryn

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