Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Cleaning Solution

Well, the summer is moving right along.  In just three and a half short weeks Sonya will be back in school. Yes, it is earlier than most schools, but they did get out before Memorial Day.  It's been a fun time on the one hand.  We've been able to go on little "field trips" to museums, the farm, and amusement parks, since nobody is in school.  It's also been difficult trying to figure out what kind of schedule we have every week between day camps, swim lessons and gymnastics.  There is one thing, however, that has been driving me absolutely crazy, just about every day.  The mess in the house.

I guess I should preface this by admitting that I'm a bit of a clean freak.  It's really my mother's fault. Our house was always immaculate when I was a kid, thanks to her.  When I was old enough, it was because my sisters and I cleaned it that way.  So I'm not really fond of messes and especially clutter.  Something we seem to accumulate easier because of how small our house is.  That and the fact that we've lived here almost nine years. 

Since the three girls are home all day long, the amount of toys that get taken out and played with,  is just about all of them.  Every day.  At the end of the day, I make them clean up their rooms. And that, that my friends is the worst part of all of this.  They seem to view the cleaning up the mess as a fate worse than taking away their ice cream.  You would think I was trying to pull out their toenails, the way they complain.  It's about this time that I start to lose my temper, and make all kind of empty threats like "summer fun will be over for you guys!" or,  "you're going to bed without stories" and my personal favorite, "I will put all of these toys in a trash bag and take them to the poor kids!" I've even pulled out a trash bag a time or two on that one.  I'm not proud that I do it, but I so can't help it.  I can't take the disorder, and I become incredibly frustrated when they start whining about having to clean up the gigantic mess that THEY made in the first place.  

Now I know you're probably wondering "how bad can it really be?"  I am here to tell you, you have NO IDEA.  Every morning they wake up and go into one of their rooms to start the day's destruction.  I'm either still in bed for a bit or doing my morning workout.  At first it was great that they were entertaining themselves and not asking to watch TV.  However, by week two of summer break I realized just how skilled they had become at tearing a room apart.  They will be up for about 45 minutes and I will walk in to find puzzles, books, babies, baby clothes, strollers, barbies and Little People piled up around their small room.  Don't even get me started on the day they decided to play tea party with actual water, cinnamon, and RED SPRINKLES.  

I force encourage them to go outside as much as possible to play, since it is summer and we have a blow up pool.  Eventually, they end up back inside and even more ready to ruin what hasn't been touched yet that day.  It's a no win situation.  I want them to play and I don't mind them taking everything out, as long as it gets put away with minimal problems.  Which is the problem.  That doesn't happen.  

Some of you I'm sure think I should just close the door to their rooms and ignore the eyesore.  Except that when you live in a small house and everything is on the same floor, ignoring the mess is really not much of an option.  And remember, clean freak here.  So I continue to fight them every night to clean up the chaos they made throughout the day.  While some days it's not quite as bad because we're not home, the days we are home, I don't think there is a toy left unturned.  I know some of you out there have had similar problems.  Isn't this an age old issue for all parents? Well,  I'm open to any motivators to getting my kids to clean up that anyone wants to throw at me.  I think I've tried them all, but who knows.  At least when school starts, part of the problem will be taken care of, because there won't be the time to create such destruction.  That's still three and a half weeks away though.  So until then...well, let's just say BevMo needs to have their 5cent wine sales more often.  

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