Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Night in Which I Attempted Our First Real Standoff

Once in a while I reach my toy breaking point.
A couple of nights ago that point was way beyond reached.

We have a toy dumping basket.
It's the equivalent of a "junk drawer". 
The toys that go there aren't junk of course, there's some great stuff in there.
If it just doesn't fit elsewhere it gets tucked away in this basket and my sanity stays intact.
Fiona, however, decided to empty this basket {for no particular reason} all over the floor.
Our hidden collection of small misfit toys was spread out on full display.
My sanity wavered.
This is ridiculous of course, I do realize.
I could clean this in 30 seconds but in this particular moment I was done cleaning up after her.
I reminded Fiona that anything she takes out must be put away by bedtime.
We were an hour and a half away.
Lots of time.
She could get it done, no problem.
This was not how she saw it.
The whiny voice immediately came out with "It's too loooong Mommy, can you help meeee?".
I held firm. "No way Fiona, you took them out, you put them away."
Then the real melodramatics. "I can't dooooo iiiiiit" she said, throwing herself down in a heap of sobbing toddler.
I walked away.

An hour later, still no progress and dangerously close to bedtime, I snapped.
"Fiona, I have given you plenty of time to clean, this is your last warning and anything on the floor at bedtime goes in the garbage!"
Then I thought better, "No, not the garbage, we will give the toys to other children who will appreciate them and treat them well.  We are not treating them well at all right now."
"I don't want to give theeeem."
"Then what needs to happen?"
"Clean them."
"Exactly, it's your choice what happens to the toys."
"But I don't waaaant toooo."
And repeat.
I cringe typing that because it's so mean but it felt so necessary at the time.
There was also a little part of me that really did want to give them all away.
With Christmas fast approaching I feel we need to reevaluate our current belongings.
Thankfully I have a pregnant Sister-in-Law who I hope will happily accept some baby items.
This should fulfill my current need to purge.

You will be happy to know that Daddy came home just in time to save the day.
I was able to keep my word and his arrival and guidance gave Fiona just the shift she needed to get it done and keep her toys safe. 

So I ask you, when did you start really enforcing clean up with your kids?
Maybe it's still too early for me?
Any tips you can offer?

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