"I will do it on Monday..." (or whatever day isn't today) OR;
"But my hands and my arms and my legs get too tired..." (funny, they didn't get tired making the mess) OR;
"Will you help me?" (which then turns into me cleaning and them watching...or just leaving all together).
So, lately I have been more of a stickler about having them clean the mess, although I always do go and help them - well, really I direct them more than I help them.
Well today I was tired of the fighting. Lily's room looked like an atom bomb went off in it and the basement didn't look much better. After lunch I asked Lily to go and get started on her room and Adam to go and pick up all the "boy" toys (we have a bin for "boy" toys and a bin for "girl toys). Oh, sob, sob, moan, moan..... it was like I was sentencing them to life in a Turkish prison. I told them both that I would come and help each of them, but it was no use. Then it hit me; my moment of genius. Any of you out there who are opposed to Santa Claus (shame on you -but that is a commentary for another day) and the Tooth Fairy, I am warning you now, quit reading you will hate this idea. So back to my moment of genius....I told the kids that if they didn't start cleaning their toys then the Toy Monster would come tonight when they were asleep and eat all the toys left out. Well, they bought this completely and started asking all sorts of interesting questions about this dreaded Toy Monster. He is huge because he eats so many toys, and he is very sneaky, he can come in completely undetected. They asked why he hadn't come up until now. I explained it was because I was a nice mother and hadn't told him yet that there are children living in this house. Well, my little plan worked and I now have at least some order in my house. And quite frankly I thought it was a pretty clever story. Heck, if Lily can have imaginary friends and cousins then I can have an imaginary monster - besides, whatever they don't pick up will start to magically disappear......
Oh, and here are the results; both before and after...
Before (it is almost embarrassing - is that a spatula?)