The impossible meaning: getting my kids to pick up their stinking room. For four days now, I have said, “Please clean up your room. Your friends are coming over. You need to pick up. Your room needs to be clean before breakfast/lunch/dinner/bath/bedtime.” And still I cannot walk across their floor.
It is a small room. Emma and Eleanor share this particular problem space. Ava is getting too old for loads of toys and her room stays mostly clean now that I keep the little ones out of it.
I have had enough. Tonight they were all in that room and when I opened the door, the door had to push things out the way in order to open. I was livid. I said, ”This is RIDICULOUS!!!! Clean this room RIGHT NOW!!!!” I waited 5 minutes and thought about what I was going to do if, as I suspected would be the case, they didn’t clean the room.
I walked back in. I had many many plastic bags in my hands. They were on the floor playing, just as they were when I left them. “Everybody OUT!!!! Get OUT of this room this minute!”
They saw the bags. Screaming and kicking and begging commenced but I was not moved. I forced them out and closed the door. I loaded every single toy on the floor, on the bed, or in the wrong bin into the bags. Needless to say, that left all of two toys in the closet. That’s right. ALMOST EVERY SINGLE TOY THEY HAVE WAS SOMEWHERE ON THAT FLOOR.
I had already decided not to throw them out or give them away. I cannot afford to replace them, nor do I care to entertain them more than I already do because they have no toys. And bored kids cause trouble. No. I put them in Helena’s nursery. I told them that they may have them back, one bag a day as long as they were willing to put all the toys in that bag away once it was returned to them. At that rate it will take them 2 weeks to earn back all of their toys. By that time, I will have put baby gates up in their closets and they are going to have to ask me to get things out and they are going to have to put things away before more things can be had.
Damn it, I am going to win this Toy War one battle at a time.

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