Friday, March 05, 2010

Making a deal with the devil..

So it's Friday and kiddos...hanging time. I made a mistake this evening by telling the kids that I would let them stay up late tonight if they helped me clean the house. It was really just the living room and their bedrooms....I would take care of the kitchen. I didn't have to make a deal with them since they created the entire mess. Toys covering every inch of space in each and every room. At some point during the day, someone had gotten the bright idea to rip the paper off of all of the a veritable rainbow of paper shreds covered the floor, as well. I should have been tough...laid down the law. No deals. No bargains. No bribes. Just clean up your mess, as all responsible people should do. But no...I wasn't tough. Instead, I thought...why's Friday night...we can stay up late and watch a movie or something. Stupid mommy. As you can imagine, things did not go as planned. I envisioned a peaceful night of cuddling on the couch watching a movie...familial harmony and bliss. As usual, the kids had a different idea.

My first mistake was assuming the kids could clean the house without a full-scale wartime offensive. Lucas, being the oldest, assumed command of the troops and began ordering Sophie and Nicky around. Nicholas completely ignored Lucas,wandering from room to room humming to himself in a trance-like state. He has mastered the art of NOT cleaning while conveniently flying under the radar. Sophie, on the other hand, never flies under the radar. She immediately voiced her outrage at Lucas' assumption that he was in command of the mission. For a good 15 minutes, Sophie and Lucas fought over who had to clean what. Sophie argued that none of the toys were hers, so she did not feel that she should have to put them away. Of course, none of the toys were hers because she prefers most of the time to play with her brothers' toys. Convenient, huh? Lucas simply yelled. I tried to explain to him that yelling is not the way to galvanize the troops and inspire them to follow his command. I explained that people respond better to encouragement than to criticism. He wasn't buying it, however. I have no idea where he learned to bark commands like that....??

The kids did end up cleaning up the twice the time it would have taken me to do it alone. The entire time, I walked from room to room announcing to the walls (because the children certainly weren't listening) that I was getting pajamas ready. Eventually, after spending WAY more energy than I had planned on the entire "deal", the house was cleaned. It lasted all of about 15 minutes. Almost immediately, the toys found their way back into the middle of the living room floor. And there I was...stuck with my promise to let the kids stay up late....I had made a deal with the devil and my soul was paying the price. I put on a movie...Wall-E...with the hope that they would get sleepy and fall asleep during the movie. No such luck...grandma had visited this afternoon with Hershey's chocolate eggs. "I only gave them one or two", she said. or two, my ass! She pumped them full of enough sugar to keep them awake for days. So here I sit...typing. Trying to ignore the chocolate-induced chaos happening around me. Ahh...Friday night.

P.S. Please excuse any typographical errors in this post. It is difficult to type while Sophie and Nicky are playing "trampoline" on the couch where I am sitting.


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