Most of the time, in my life as a Mama, I hear myself saying over and over "Dang! You're so stupid!"
No wait. That doesn't sound right. Let's try again.
Most of the time, in my life as a Mama, I hear a voice in my head SAYING TO MYSELF "Dang! You're so stupid!" As in, you're so stupid it took you so long to figure out that giving Sienna a glass of milk before dinner is a surefire way to make her throw up. Or that the reason Austin is fussy after nursing is because you make enough milk to feed an ant. Or the reason Hannah talks with her hands all the time and rolls her eyes is because you taught it to her. Or that Spence will fall into a coma-like state if the TV is on so turn off the friggin TV!
What I'm saying is that my learning curve is slow. It takes me awhile to figure things out but once I do, it's golden. Sometimes is feels like my brain is literally a step or two behind the rest of the class but I can handle it. I have other skills. Like cooking with garlic.
Was there a point to this? Oh yes, there was and it' a beauty.
During my third week of quarantine with the sickies, I had been through every nook and cranny of this house and cleaned it top to bottom. I saved the biggest job for last because it's the one that makes me want to cover my body in honey and be pecked to death by small birds, which I swear would be less painful.
My children's rooms. Oh, the horror.
In all fairness, true to form, Spence does a pretty good job. He clothes are generally put away, toys are lined up on shelves and bed is basically made. His issue lies in his pack-rattedness. The boy can save! Menus from Red Robin? Check. Cereal box with fun game on the back? Check. Gum wrappers? Check. IT. DRIVES. ME. BATTY. My analness cannot tolerate the germy grossness that I imagine to be living in his room. So I cleaned out all his usual hiding places, under his dresser, behind the bed, in his piano bench and finally breathed a sigh of relief.
Onto the girl's room. Oh. my. shiz. They are the opposite of Spence. They are just dirty trolls. There is no other explanation. Clothes everywhere from the 14 outfit changes they make each day, jewlery, dolls, books, dress-ups, more clothes, tea party sets, crayons and drawings, baby bottles, babies, purses, most of my high-heeled shoes, etc. Trash and grossness everywhere. You can't even walk in their room or find anything in their closet.
I'd like to think they aren't raised this way.
I think I spent three hours in the room of death and destruction before I finally saw the light. I went through their dresser, rotated clothes, labeled bins in the closet, moved 90% of it all to the toy room and finally uncovered a very pretty little girl's room.
Now comes the hard part. How do I get them to keep it that way?
Here's where my brilliance entered in. I got the idea of a "Slack Basket" as in, you're a "slacker" if your stuff ends up in my basket. I took the kids into their rooms and showed them what I expected as far as cleanliness goes. It doesn't have to be as tidy as when I do it, but clothes need to be put away, books on shelves, toys in toy room, etc. Whatever is left on their floor or out of place, goes into my "slack basket" and they have to earn the items back with jobs the following day. So now every night after prayers, they are sent up to their rooms with a few minutes of tidy time before I come through with my basket. If things are thrown in a closet or under a bed, the whole loot comes with me. Brilliant!
I am happy to say that after a week and a half of slack basket rule, their rooms are unbelievably clean. The difference in amazing. And I'm really trying to teach them that it's important for them to take care of their things because they're lucky to have them, and not just because their mom is an evil anal freak. Although I am. And following my quirks is equally important. I think the message is setting in and they are enjoying their space so much more because they can actually move around in them.