Monday, May 11, 2009
There are times when I go on complete cleaning binges and sort through an entire room in about 15 minutes. After all, how long can it take to throw everything away? And while I desperately need to have a cleaning frenzy in my basement, I keep putting it off because most people don't see it. My children's rooms however are another story. Last week I invited the girls' friends over for a play-date this week. I told the girls they needed to have their rooms spotless before their friends came over. I may as well have been talking to a brick wall. Not only were their rooms not spotless as of 9:00 this morning (with their friends coming at 10:00), but it threw me into a mad, cleaning rush. You have to understand that I don't just get in the mood for these cleaning frenzies. They sort of 'come on' like a light switch that's been flipped. Generally they start when, in an attempt to HELP the children clean their rooms, I discover their faulty cleaning methods. In a child's mind, throwing everything into the nearest bin, bag or box is a perfectly acceptable way to tidy up. What's left gets shoved under the bed and voila, perfect room. WRONG!!!! It's when I discover these serious cleaning violations that I go into nuclear meltdown. We're talking PMS, World War III and the Apocalypse all rolled into one Monster Mom! No kidding, Hitler has nothing on me in these moments. I fail to understand why my children can't pick up on the fact that doll clothes go in the box marked "doll clothes" and blocks go in the box marked "blocks" and so forth and so on. Instead what I come across shoved under the bed is an assortment of mis-matched dirty socks, the mysterious missing shoe, Polly Pocket dresses, a lone Barbie brush, wadded up handfuls of Bendaroos, eight stuffed animals, a few dusty jelly beans, a pair of jeans, two pencils with the lead broken off, six markers, several checkers, hair bows, broken crayons, bits of string and a partridge in a pear tree. With the exception of the wearable items, most of it goes directly into the trash. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200 dollars. McDonald's Happy Meal toys and Dollar Store items are the worst offenders. Not only do these items add serious clutter, but they're cheap and don't match anything, so they're always the first to go. Parenting magazines are quick to advise mom's to create bins or boxes and label them so children can put their items away. Thanks, are you going to provide the maid too? Because no amount of labeling or organizing can get my kids to put things in the right place. I think it's just one of the curses of allowing kids to have things. One day they might learn to actually take pride in ownership and care for their belongings enough to put them in their proper home. For now though, they seem pretty content to tear through the house like Tasmanian devils leaving carnage in their wake. Thank goodness for television. If they're watching TV they're generally (notice I said generally) not making messes. So sure, they might be mini experts on anything relating to Dora the Explorer and Olivia, but at the very least my house is clean........sort of!