I thought Buddy was going to be our neat kid. The one who cleaned up and put things away. As a toddler he was very adamant about things going where they belonged. Unfortunately, his older sister doesn't have a neat bone in her body, and all of her bad habits (being messy, being unable to clean, staying up late) have worn off on her little brother. This next kid better be the one who likes to clean.
Yesterday my kids had out bits and pieces of every toy they owned and you couldn't walk in their room. We spent a good hour before bedtime getting their room clean (but not the playroom, which was still a bit messy at bedtime). This morning I've been starring at the wall, overwhelmed by how much cleaning, etc. I still need to do before the baby comes and the kids have been upstairs playing. I got a burst of energy and decided we needed to do Princess Sparkley's school for the day and went to get her school books from her room and bring them down to the kitchen table where we do her school work. Their room is a DISASTER. Not as bad as last night... but about 65% of last night. And it's only noon. They've only been up there playing for an hour, maybe an hour and a half. AHHHH!
How do I get them to clean? Princess Sparkley's response is to sort of haphazardly clean up until it loses her attention. Buddy just keeps playing while Princess Sparkley yells at me that he's not helping, and at him that he needs to help. The other day I asked her to clean up the family room (they had toys all over) and when I looked downstairs it actually looked clean. I asked her where she'd put everything (knowing her well enough to know that she didn't actually put anything away. Maybe it was stacked on the stairs to go up, who knows.) She said, "I put some under the [coffee] table and the rest I just stuck in spots." So, the toys were all under the table and on the bookshelf, etc. Not really "cleaning" in my book.
The one thing that gets stuff about 80% clean is threatening to vacuum. And I don't pick up their toys before I vacuum, so if it's on the floor, it's getting vacuumed up. This moves them into action really quickly. But still, only 75% of the stuff actually gets sort of put away. The rest gets put on the couch or the table so it's clear of the vacuum.
Last night I threatened to throw all of their toys away. My husband informed me that would be foolish, we should sell them. But I don't want to go through all the work to sell so many individual toys on ebay. And then ship them. It makes me tired to just think about it. BUT, I could list them as a lot. Their heading would be something like this: "Lot of children's toys - interesting to girl age 5, boy age 3- loved." It would be like the lady who sold the Pokemon card box on ebay that one of her kids stuck in her grocery cart while she wasn't looking and she wrote a whole story about her kids and what they'd done and why they didn't get to keep the said Pokemon cards. Now she's a famous blogger, paid writer and probably has a book deal in the works. I could make a fortune... but probably not off the toys.
An avid reader, sometimes writer, wife, mom, homeschooler, baker of yummy treats. I grew up in California, jumped around the United States (Kansas, Virginia, Ohio) and somehow ended up in Beijing China.