Boy Refuses to Clean Room, Police Are Called to the Scene  

Posted by Heidi in

I love my kids. I really, really do. I love my kids. I really, really do. Maybe if I repeat the mantra three times, I will even believe it. (I love my kids. I really, really do.)

(Taking a deep breath . . . ) The mistake I made was to ask the kids to clean their rooms. This cleaning of the rooms is a big problem at our house and as I recall, it was a big problem in the house in which I grew up. How to get the kids to undo their mess without resorting to child abuse? Clearly it was done wrong in my house or I would have the magic key (or at the very least a clean room of my own). In light of the fact that there is no magic when it comes to raising kids (darn it!) I would know how to induce my kids to clean their rooms without resorting to physical violence. (They say knowledge is power.) (Is that the same as magic?) (One can only dream.)

True, my Big Guy is patently incapable of cleaning his room. Or his clothes or his hair or his barf. (Cleaning his plate, however, is something he can do. Washing it is another thing altogether. Call us old fashioned but we like our plates in one piece.) And his hands—he has no trouble washing his hands ‘til they squeak. There is an upside to OCD, people! Clean hands is it!

The Middle Child, bless her cotton pickin’ heart, says she is cleaning her room, implies she is cleaning her room, or that she has or that she will, and she spends so much time in there (with the door locked) one kind of assumes all is well. Attempts to get at the actual truth of the matter, however, always ends up in a frustrating battle of wills and wits and usually leaves me feeling pretty much witless and without the will to live. (You think I am over-stating the matter, being just a tad dramatic? Try taking on the Middle Child lest you judge false.)

Until recently, the Little Guy has been my ace in the hole. “Little Guy, time to clean your room,” I say, and off he goes to tidy up the tiny portion of floor space he has been allotted in our teensy-weensy (but cute!) home. He never used to complain or whine or pitch fits or stage rebellions. He just did it and he did it quick. (I know, but we are pretty much over our shock by now.)

Today, however, was a different matter (except, replace the word “today” with “this doggone minute which I am spending writing this rather than doing the “Mom” thing). Instead of the usual “Sure, Mom!” I got yelling, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the Little Guy somehow found a hole to crawl into amongst the dirty clothes, books and stuffed animals, the numbers of which rival the stars (or seem to) and set up a howling that could only leave the neighbors to ask “just what kind of torture is going on in there?” (hhmmm, torture, there’s a thought)

The whole thing has left me somewhat breathless with fear that the Little Guy might take on some of the negative characteristics of his older siblings. How dare the Little Guy get wise to the ways of children and refuse to obey! How dare he get older and develop skills! How dare he be old enough to start first grade in just a few days!

Did I mention, how dare he?!

This entry was posted on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Friday, August 22, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

6 wise, witty and wonderful comments

You take the most amazing pictures! As far a cleaning rooms go.......... I got no help from you. If they can close the door. I guess I don't care what it looks like. When the say they have no clean clothes, not my problem! (except the little girls) If it starts to smell, well then....... grab a gas mask and start pitching! Too bad your most fabulous VT is no longer there to help you :(

August 22, 2008 at 3:39 PM

I know, huh!?! Actually, things had to be cleaned up or tripping and crashing like a log in the forest by the Big Guy was about to commence, big time! All the little forest animals (in this case, mainly the Little Guy) were in jeopardy from falling tree if something wasn't done pronto. So, of course, I did it. I left enough for the Little Guy to feel like he finally got his act together and did it himself. I do like your methods, though!

August 22, 2008 at 4:15 PM

I still don't like to make my bed.

So am not a great example, but I have figured out that bribing works better than yelling or locking them in the rooms, and then you don't need any throat lozenges, afterward.

How did I pass on the hording plastic crap and shoving it under the bed gene to my offspring? Cause I did. I'll bet those scientists at the genome project are stumped over that one.

August 22, 2008 at 4:40 PM

I totally agree about the gene thing. As a kid, I stuffed it in the closet. I solved that problem here by taking the doors off of their closet. It works. But really, I don't care if it is messy--just if it is dangerous. Which it was. Yikes!

August 22, 2008 at 4:56 PM

Hi, Heidi: I've visited your blog a couple of times. I found your link on someone's blog I don't remember who. I didn't leave a comment because I wanted to clear it with Chuck and Holly first :-) I live down the street from them. I was a little freaked out when I realized whose blog it was I stumbled upon. For a split second I thought it was Holly blogging under a pseudonym :-) Anyway, both Chuck and Holly said you won't mind my intrusion. I think you're a very gifted writer and I love this post. Very funny! I can so sympathize. I have 2 teen-agers who are capable of doing anything except clean their rooms.

August 22, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Hey, I have been to your blog, too! Yes, people are often freaked out when they see the one of us they don't know. Of course I don't mind--thank you for your kind comments. By the way, you have probably visited my blog more often than Holly at this point . . .

August 22, 2008 at 10:55 PM

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