Today, I had a glorious plan in mind. In it, the boy's rooms would have floors you can SEE, rather than ponder their existence. What color is the carpet in them? If I didn't remember that the builder made me choose the same color carpeting for the entire house, I'd be hard pressed to tell you.
It started at 10am, this wonderful idea of mine. Of course, the boys thought that they'd just *pretend* to be cleaning (Chef Jr) or outright complain that cleaning was boring (Gameboy). They probably figured Mom would tire of telling them that there would be no TV, games or out of the house travails until and unless the rooms were clean. Ha ha ha ha....WRONG!
The stalling tactics, of course, are many. Hunger, bathroom, need to get dressed (like that's ever stopped these two before), hunger again. Round about 11:40, I venture in to see their efforts after Chef Jr has appealed to me several times for some help. If they'd made a dent, I sure couldn't tell.
I start helping Chef Jr, while giving Gameboy guidance from the hallway. See, younger child has this thing about Mom coming and tucking him in and giving him a kiss goodnight, which I have not been able to do in weeks (months?), due to the detrius littering his floor. Gameboy could care less. I start lobbing lego into one bin, cars into another, and making noticeable headway. The mess in his room easily falls into several toy categories, so sorting into various Ikea and Rubbermaid bins is moving along. Ed wakes up and observes that Gameboy really needs more help: Chef Jr is capable at cleaning his room, and has proven this on many occasions.
This so aptly stated, my attention is turned then to Gameboy's room. He has a smaller room, as he is more likely to accumulate STUFF. Random stuff. Unidentifiable stuff. The stuff that archaologists would ponder if our house was left intact for several generations unmolested. Let's take a tour, shall we?
1. Under the bed. Items found: Ritz Cracker sleeve wrappers (4) and box (all empty); Hannaford Hamburger Bun plastic package (empty); the wrappers that once contained Tootsie Roll midgies and Super Bubble Bubble gum (also known as the gum that is harder to chew than I'd imagine a tire would be); various Pokemon cards; the partial remains of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (chapters 1-4 still in binding, rest of the contents MIA); several pages from various gaming strategy guides; and various other unexplained toy parts, some partially chewed.
Archeological interpretation: Carb loading reader of eclectic media with indiscriminating palate. Jaws of steel, as evidenced by gum and toy consumption choices (it should be noted the child does NOT take after his mother on the TMD front). Not a person who is likely to keep anything together, as noted by partial book, card collection and pages from strategy guides.
Continuing onward, Gameboy is asked to collect all possessions from under and behind the nightstand, the floor the right of his bed and from under his dresser. We then find:
Many Lite Brite pieces (which have never been actually used by either child in the aforementioned Lite Brite, but have provided them hours of enjoyment in ways such as: lining them up on the floor in various color combinations, leaving them strewn all over the house, and finally, watching mom and dad step on them and scream in pain); more Pokemon Cards; Magic Wand made at Harry Potter release party; more disemboweled books and game guides; papers from school (last year); various coupons from swag bag from his 5th grade banquet (most now expired); socks; underwear; two more empty sleeves from Ritz Cracker packages and several more unidentified toys.
Interpretation: Child has eaten more Ritz Crackers in one room than mother has eaten in the last three presidential administrations, has a fascination for pointy plastic pieces that are meant to be arranged in a black plastic field that has not been unearthed in this room, and shows propensity for saving objects that have shown no purpose to examiner or anyone other than resident of room. He has an alarmingly large collection of child's meal toys from the early part of the new millenium, especially since parents hardly cave on purchasing the meals for him(note: mother will purchase herself McD's Happy Meals now that they have apple slices and milk as meal choices). Apparetly, child discovers the toys under mother's car seat where she attempts to hide them in vain attempt to save them to use for trick or treaters this Halloween.
SIDE NOTE: Okay, I have to wonder after looking at all of this stuff: what the heck are they thinking with half of these happy meal/kid meal toys, anyway? We had some scary looking chicken/human hybrid (multiples of this thing, even), wearing some weird Hula skirt and posed in a most awkward position that would cause any of us to spend MONTHS in the care of a chiropractor. No idea what marketing tie in THAT was, but whatever it came from, it must have gone direct to video(Do not pass go, do not spend two months at the cheap movie theatre, either.)
Next, we focused our energies on the closet. More of the items listed above, and then some rope; baby toys(what is up with THAT?); various lunchboxes; more dirty clothing; several stray Capsela pieces*; a Phonics bus*; and plush characters from Pokemon and Sea World.
Interpretation: Child does not let go of any toy, especially toys that were purchased by uncle and aunt that are childless and do not understand the concept of "child is more intelligent than the average kid his age" doesn't mean you buy him a toy designed for a kid five years older, because said child will blow a gasket when he can't get the toy to WORK properly because he lacks the emotional maturity of that age, his own age or even a kid five years younger. This means the 80 dollar science toy that would have been perfect for him right about now is )four years after purchase) reduced to several pieces that child chews on.
NOTE: Yes, that is a huge bone of contention for me. The disadvantage to living hundreds of miles from family is that they had no clue of the meltdowns we endured in the name of 'but, he's so SMART'. Nor did they get the concept of 'call to check sizes' before telling one whole side of the family that my kid wears clothing 4 sizes larger than he actually did, though only one person (if you must know, the smart one, Giggles) bothered to check because those sizes didn't *sound* quite right.
Net result of today's exercise? Two kids who spent over six hours in their rooms, three bags of garbage and the discovery of medium gray carpet underneath it all. I later reward one child with time playing the Game Cube, his brother asks to watch.
They later undo any goodwill I might have had for their efforts by doing their best to ignore my call to bed by saying "but he's not able to save right now" I was in the midst of reading an interesting blog and didn't catch the time until I found that an hour had passed and they still 'hadn't reached a saving point' on the blasted game.
When I notice my oversight and go into my room, I find that he'd passed THREE opportunities to save and decided not to, figuring that I wouldn't notice. Ahhh, but I did and called him on it. Not only did they do a chore they despise and spend a good chunk of the day doing it, but they succeeded in lying about whether he'd arrived at a point where the game could be shut off. No games for lying, thanks.