My son is so weird and quirky. Today I am making him clean his room after a weekend long of not having to do anything in there. (It was Mother's Day weekend and I don't want to waste any minute of it bossing my kids around or cleaning like I do the other 364 days a year.) I actually entered the fort he has under his bed and moved the toy box and to my amazement there were about 50 fruit stickers (think Chiquita banana) on the back of the box! I have to admit at first I was happy to find proof of the missing fruit, as I had started to suspect I was losing my mind, but then I realized he had disposed of the peels and seeds so it could have been a lot worse.
I asked him "Why did you stick these here?" and do you know what his answer was?
"Mom, collections make people interesting."
Trying to muffle a laugh, I told him he had to peel them off and throw them away because they were from "forbidden fruit" and that he could start a new collection in a book from fruit he was allowed to eat. It seems a little cruel after all his hard work snacking and sticking, but I am Mom after all and it's my job to be a kill joy.
He's been really great about cleaning his room ever since I made "The List" which I have taped to the back of his door now. I don't remember who exactly suggested it, but I know it was someone from my Mommy Message Board. I was getting extremely frustrated at the day-long event cleaning his room had become. He'd rather lay in bed all day than clean! It seems that it was actually a case of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start, so a detailed list helped him tremendously!
Here is his list:
1. Throw out the trash. I hate to admit that the kid sips on Capri sun and Roarin Waters throughout the day and is really bad at leaving the empty packets on his floor, but I was sure to include a picture of that specifically on his list lol
2. Stuffed animals. My oldest lucked out because most of the stuffed animals they play with regularly have ended up in the scientists room. She instigates many "vet and pet" games, yet he is left with the mess. I tried to make it easy with a giant net hamper just for those. The two pictured are actually animals he owns. (Monkey M and Bacon)
3. Cars and tracks. This includes Shake and Go, Hot Wheels, Wooden train set, Lincoln Log track set, Match box, Transformers, and any other cars. This is probably 70% of his toys right there.
4. Shelves. He has certain things on display. Mostly things he plays with regularly that would get lost or broken in the toy box. The weird thing pictured with Buzz is an odd toy collection he started after finding one in a big box at a thrift shop. He calls them Googles but I really have no idea what they are. He has one large one and it is ANNOYING! It's the first thing he looks for at garage sales lol
5. clothes- He's almost as bad as the girls as far as leaving clothes on the floor. His usual uniform is a pair of boxer briefs ONLY, so most clothes are worn for a second and tossed on the floor as soon as we come home. I'm trying to work on that habit before school starts. I can just see the notes he'll bring home.
6. He has a ton of tiny toys that he keeps in an old diaper wipes box. He also has a ton of tools so I paired the two together here. Did you know he actually pressed a plastic screwdriver into a screw head so hard that it made the impression and proceeded to take apart his bed when he was about 3yrs old? True story.
7. Legos. Every shape and every size. The toy that is worth every penny.
8. That is actually the toy box he owns. This means everything that doesn't have it's own home needs to be thrown in here. Once a month or so, I dump it out and go through it. I'll spare you details of things I have found. Boys are DISGUSTING!
9. The Fort. His bed is a loft bed and under it he keeps most of his larger toys like the garbage truck pictured and other cars, robots, and a million and one flash lights. They each have their place though. That is actually the picture of his bed when I saw it on Craigslist.
10. Come get a hug. I am big on rewarding good behavior, showing love, and free stuff. Perfect!
Funny, as I am posting this, thinking I may help other moms who struggle in this area, feeling pretty proud of myself as a parent, I turn around to see my son watching Sponge bob in the den, eating my cookies and avoiding his room. Hmm, and then I realize I'm in here typing this while I should be cleaning the kitchen. I guess he doesn't get everything from his fathers side. :P