Monday, April 21, 2008

Forced Labor

I have been nagging my three oldest kids for at least a couple of months to really clean out their rooms. They were atrocious. Tyler and Cameron are pack rats. They hate to throw away anything. It was making me crazy. There were papers everywhere. You couldn't see any of the surfaces in either of their rooms. I would get so agitated every time I would go in there. When they would "clean" them, it was just shoving things from the middle of the room to the side. They would shoves things under their beds, or into boxes or whatever container they could find. Avery just had a lot of toys out, but it wasn't good in her room either.

I came up with an idea that I thought would motivate them. Both boys hate spending their money. So, I told them that for everyday after that that they didn't clean their room, they had to give me a dollar. They both complained mightily and told me I was mean and being unfair. I thought "ah ha" I've found the trick to get this done. I told them this on Saturday and told them that it would start on Monday. On Sunday night I reminded them of the plan that was going into action the next day. Tyler threw a fit and then walked away. He came back a few minutes later and said "Here, you should just take this now." He held out his hand and had a dollar in change. He told me he just didn't want to and probably wouldn't clean his room and I should just take the money now. I'm sure he didn't realize just how fast he would get tapped out if he just kept giving money rather then clean the stupid room. I told them all no way they were cleaning and not only would I take the money for each day that they didn't do it, but after a few days I would just go and do it myself and they wouldn't like what happened when I did. When they asked what that meant, I told them that meant that I would just start throwing things away. Beloved treasures, childhood memories (as Tyler called every single piece of paper), toys, everything.

Today the project began. I had to help each one of them and I knew that would be the case. At least it got done. They all complained quite a lot and I yelled quite a lot to keep them on task. Three and a half hours and 3 garbage bags full (2 from Tyler) later, we were finally done. Hallelujah. They were all amazed at how much more space they seemed to have. They've been threatened with their very lives, or at least the loss of their butts from being paddled off, that if they let it look that bad again mom will not be happy. I think I'm on a spring cleaning rampage. First our laundry room, now the kids rooms. I guess that means my bedroom will have to be next. Oh, no. (Sorry about the doofy way pictures have been posted as of late. I'm still trying to figure out how all of this works.)