Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"If you don't clean it, Mommy cleans it."

Ordinarily, Jennifer is supposed to clean her room herself. Make her bed, put away her toys, put her clothes away. That stuff. But because she takes after me in being a pack rat, she has a lot of papers and a lot of crafts.

Today was another day of no school for her. It was also another day of her being sick. I felt bad for her so I decided I'd clean her room myself today.

The problem is, I realized that Jennifer hasn't really been "cleaning" her room all this time. In fact, I discovered her secret for passing my glance-over when announcing she'd cleaned her room: There was stuff PACKED underneath the crib, on the floor of her closet, behind her toy kitchen set and under her dresser.


So I rolled up my sleeves, got on my knees and set to work giving her room a TOTAL cleaning job. In addition to her hidden messes, she had books on the floor, dirty clothes scattered about and a combination bag of crafts/trash next to the crib. Her desk was COMPLETELY unorganized, her closet was a disaster and she had posters lying around instead of up on the walls.

So I cleaned it all up myself. At one point, she came in and started pouting about how I was touching HER STUFF and moving HER STUFF. But I told her, "If you don't clean it up, Mommy cleans it up. And you'll just have to accept it." She walked out of that room without protest but still pouting. (Heaven forbid anybody touches HER STUFF. But I guess she'd rather let me touch HER STUFF than have to clean it all up herself.)

She had books in her toy box, broken crayons in her pencil box and things she'd made at school in a pile on the floor. Including a card she'd made for me last Christmas! Gah! *clings to it* So I gathered EVERYTHING I'm saving of hers, plus everything that had to go into the trash, and got it all out of there. She still had a Halloween decoration up on her window, so I took that down, too. Organized her desk (and got more pouting) and sorted through her books.

The whole job took HOURS to complete but I am content that ALL of that mess and clutter is no longer invading her room. Now she has a place for everything and everything in its place.

When she came in to see the room after I was done, her jaw dropped. She had a big smile on her face as she walked all around her room, looking at all that I'd done and seeing how everything was organized, tidy and put away now. She kept saying "I love it! I love it!" as she walked around, admiring the result of what happens when Mommy cleans the room.

She gave me a big hug and kiss. I instructed her not to leave papers and books all over the place again. No more shoving things under the crib or under her dresser. Just put everything where it belongs.

She said she'll do all that, but we'll see. Who knows how long it'll be again before Mommy once again has to roll up her sleeves and clean the room herself.


Jana B said...

LOL just be careful... if she learns that you'll do the work for her, she'll never do it herself. But definately good for her to see what an organized room looks like, so she'll only need to maintain it.

Dawn Colclasure said...

Jana, I know what you mean! I started to worry about that later and questioned if I'd done the right thing in taking over the cleaning job. Fortunately, she kept it up on her own for a while, and sometimes I still need to remind her to make her bed or pick up her toys.