Yesterday was one of those days. It started out decent enough. We slept in, ate breakfast and got dressed without any major battles. Oh, I forgot, there was one battle. My son flicked about 35 little beads off his bead instead of putting them in the bucket like he was supposed to. When it came time to clean them up, he insisted I help him.
Which I did not.
I saw him flick the first one and mentioned that he would be cleaning up any beads that fell on the ground.
And he continued.
So, I didn’t feel too bad when he cried for my help in cleaning them up.
“Who put the beads on the ground?”
“Who will have to pick them up?”
First he shoved them all under the bed. When I came up to look, I pointed them out to him and he crumbled into tears again.
As a show of support, I moved them from way under the bed into a pile of sorts next to the bed. And then I walked away.
After a half hour battle of wills, he cleaned them up.
The next part of the day was right out of a movie. We went for an oil change and I brought a book to read. What? you ask. Why yes, I brought a book and my children each had an activity and we sat like civilized people in a crowded waiting room and all was right in the world. I actually read a little.
We did a little consignment shopping. (Got some great deals!)
Then we came home and the bottom fell out.
We have had a 10-day struggle going on concerning Maggie’s room and the cleanliness of it, or rather the lack of cleanliness.
I had a post almost ready to publish of my superior mothering abilities (insert tongue in cheek) of how I was going to let her figure out for herself that if things get broken and trashed and lost it’s because they are littered all over the floor. I was prepared to let her learn the lesson at age 7 instead of when she was off in her first apartment or whatever. (I like to torture myself by projecting 12 years into the future.)
Add in the fact that I just bought Maggie a whole freaking new wardrobe and realized she was walking all over the clothes she has worn in the last week, I started to fester a bit.
I would love to have a few new (to us) bags of clothes. Hell, my pajamas don’t even match anymore.
My husband and I have differing opinions on the room cleaning issue. I kept hearing his disgust over my permissibility and I lost the battle going on in my own head.
I gave her an hour to clean her room up.
I checked back when she said she was ready.
And I found a clean-enough room that met my lax inspection. I brought the vacuum in to do away with the beads that were littering her floor. (What idiot bought these children all these beads? Oh, I did? Hpmf.)
And then the wheels fell off. (Not the vacuum wheels. The mothering wheels.)
I lifted the bedskirt to find everything that had previously been on the floor shoved under the bed.
It was not pretty. I was not pretty.
I gathered a laundry basket and started emptying the room. After the second (rather large) laundry basket and lots and lots of 7-year-old tears, the room was considerably, ahem, cleaner.
She will get to earn things back for each day that her room stays clean. And the beads are going away until a time when they don’t make me twitch, if such a time ever exists.
She was beside herself with grief at her losses, but quickly explained to her dad when he got home what had happened and how she would earn things back. She bounced back much more quickly than I did.
I’m still not sure what to do about the room situation. I have my own messy room (my office) and don’t respond well to criticism of its cleanliness. It’s my room. Close the door. Don’t go in there.
So why shouldn’t my 7-year-old have the same luxury?