Saturday, August 09, 2008

Like Father Like Son

I had gone upstairs to do our monthly thorough cleaning of the playroom and kids rooms. They have been responsible for doing this themselves and I have to admit I had slacked greatly in doing complete room checks. Thinking they were old enough, they knew what was expected. Just quickly looking around for major problems when we were headed to bed, and would "get it clean tomorrow". So as mess attracts mess, it soon grew out of control and I just couldn't take it any longer. So 3 hours later we had completed the playroom and 1/2 of Makensie's room. The play room wasn't that bad, just some play kitchen food and a couple of books left on the floor...except for 3 large trash bags I found stashed in the closet. What do we have here? Oh wonderful. It's everything that had been on the floor when Gabby had to clean her room last week. This child of mine is a bigger pack rat than me. She has the same, "but I might be able to use that somewhere someday" syndrome. And since she was at Grandma's this week, I was able to purge some items I've seen her digging out of the trash in times before. There were those plastic Easter Eggs you fill, broken crayons (because we don't have enough already?), empty lip gloss containers, every single picture she has colored out of coloring books, about 100 fashion plate dolls on dozen of now crumpled up papers, clean clothes, dirty clothes, shoes, Polly pockets, shells, rocks, her hanging light, part of her wall shelf, (were you redecorating?) empty cups, 3 pair of scissors (and yet you never know where my scissors have gone), notebooks, barbies, some of Brian's Hot Wheels, and about 20 hangers. I love this artistic little thing so much. She would much rather be coloring or creating than cleaning, and who wouldn't?

Makensie's room wasn't so great. In in the words of Brian, "This place is a dump!" Makensie obviously offended says, "That's not very nice." Brian explains, "Well, I have to act like daddy for 7 days so I can get my Griffin Glass stuff back." Nice, and yet I have hopes that my kids will grow to be civil with Allen as their dad? (Prov 10:5-he was lazy with something and was stripped of something that he was proud of). Makensie's vanity was covered in "special things", drawers full of outgrown clothes (am I the only one impressed with the tote in each closet to put clothes and toys in that you no longer want? I thought it was a great idea!) But this like quiet creature had been using underneath her bed as a 5th drawer and the alcoves and bottoms of her closets to acquire her dirty laundry. (Don't worry, we can use that hamper as a vase! Don't we all gather ALL our dirty clothes and All our hangers EVERYDAY?) It's on the room chores schedule and I remind them all and see them all bringing armfuls to the laundry room. Why bring some and not all? Why take a shirt off the hanger and leave it hanging? To get to know the other lonely hangers already left behind?

I just don't understand how they can make as big of messes as they do with the little amount of time they spend upstairs. Our next home will be all one level. From the time they get up they come downstairs. They drag some toys with them and they want to be in the kitchen at the counter, or table...close range of momma. While tiring at times and I've heard myself saying many times over..."Why don't you go play in your rooms? Don't you like your toys? Do you know how lucky you are to have your own room and a playroom?" And off they head for, 20 minutes? Then quilt sinks in for me scurrying them off. We have a nice schedule going so they don't have free time all day long and we have quiet time for them to be alone.

I just have to be more disciplined to check daily as to whether the clean laundry was put away, or dropped on the floor at the foot of the bed, if the clothes were hung up or just put in the closet. I don't like discipline, but enjoy new consequences. I have long said that proverbs has most the answers in the Bible for ways to discipline that are rememberable. So...Pro 13:4, we have a "Buy Back Box". For each chore the kids complete they earn 1-3 rocks. Empty Dishwasher: 3, take out the recycling: 1, etc. Each time I pick up something of theirs, if it is damaged from lack of care, I charge them a rock and toss it. If it is still in good condition, I fine them a rock for me picking it up and they have to buy it from me (with a rock). Know what I found? Most of the items that go into the BBB never leave. They just are worth the rock to get them back, so once the box is full it moves to the yard sale corner. I need to be better at rewarding good character rather than just correcting the poor. So my goal is to take better notes and make sure that our Family Feast is one full of rewards and recognition for what good did come. Also Prov 13:4.

I am so thankful that in spite of all my mistakes, my kids would rather sit playing at my feet to be close than choose to hide out in their rooms by themselves.


Jerri Dalrymple said...

Hmmmm....sounds like my kids rooms. we are on one level, so I guess I don't have an excuse! Uh-oh! LOL So...we getting some more hand-downs soon? LOL By the time you go through all her stuff, she'll have out grown, what?, at least half of them? :0)

Shan said...

Guten Monday Morn Suzanne!
I only have the two children but I think Jamey and I have taught them to leave a trail behind them everywhere they go so I'm trying to change my ways and be more of an example and administrator around here.
I kind of like getting rid of things but if anyone sees me then fagit about it. The other day I put all of G's past belts from Tae kwon do into the trash because they were taking up so much room in my front closet. I forgot to cover them up though because my husband pulled them out of the can and they were sitting at the foot of my bed hours later. He didn't know what he was going to do with them yet but he thought he'd think about it for a while. Sigh. Maybe I need to have a look at Proverbs myself.


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