Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Commando Mama

I.  Have.  Had.  It.

We are blessed with a large house.  We also have a lot of kids.

Big house+lot o' kids=big ol' mess

I have griped.  I have moaned.  I have picked up begrudgingly.  I might have even yelled.


My dear hubs has listened to my angst and we have tried a myriad of methods to produce cleanliness.

Actually, I would just settle for sanitary at this point.
(My mom is dying of laughter right now.  She will insist I now confess to you how horrible my bedroom once was!  But I really knew where every single thing resided.  I could go straight to the right pile and find it immediately!  Well, most of the time.  But I digress.)

My hubs and I, we came up with a plan.

We prepped and grinned and joked about how they would respond.  The kids saw me make a sudden trip to Target, alone, and became incredibly curious as to what we were up to.  We let them guess away, not divulging one detail until we had it all worked out.

And it is awesome.

We sat the kids down for a family meeting.  They love family meetings.


Daddy did the talking while I sat quietly, grinning at watching their facial expressions as he spoke.

"From now on, we are not telling you to clean your rooms."  (Insert cheers and clapping here.)  Your room is your domain.  You can keep it as clean or messy as you want.  (More cheers, of course.)  But here's the deal.  The rest of the house, the common areas, will no longer be resting places for your stuff.  If we find one of your belongings anywhere outside of your room, not being played with, it will go in this box.
(Insert gasps here.)

If one of your belongings ends up here, you will have to work to get it back.  One job for one thing. "

Here are examples of the jobs they will have to do:
Produce one large bucket of weeds.
Clean all the gunk from the edges of the tables and chairs.
Windex the sliding glass and screen doors.
Sweep the garage.
Mop the front porch.
Blow off the deck.
Scrub doorknobs, switchplates, etc.
I have a list a full page long.

Oh, sweet crickets.  It was beautiful.  I think I heard a mixture of snickering and wailing from the peanut gallery and I just sat back and thanked God for my wonderful take-charge-of-the-situation man.  They had exactly thirty minutes to gather up their junk stuff and put it in their room.  Gracie, the messiest one of all (she is the artist, of course) happily trashed her room.  I just laughed and shut the door.  Ok, I really grimaced.  But I did shut the door without saying a word.
That took major self control, my friends.

I wish you could see the bin now.  It is full after just 24 hours.  Shoes, books, pillows, toys, dolls, etc.  Their bedrooms are heinous but the entire first floor of the house...where we spend 99% of the day is CLEAN.

Do you hear me?  It is CLEAN!

We picked our battle.  And I have a feeling the messy rooms will be a phase.  After all, the first time a friend comes over and holds their nose, refusing to enter the tornado, might speak louder than a thousand  lectures by moi.

If not, I will just shut the door and go downstairs.

And when they start missing their stuff?  I will calmly and quietly present the list and they will quickly learn the value of their belongings.


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