Friday, February 1, 2013

Operation Clean-Up-After-Your-Own-Damn-Self

Well, it's February 1st, which marks the beginning of Operation Clean-Up-After-Your-Own-Damn-Self at my house. I feel like a slave to my 3 year-old; it's bad enough I wipe her butt, I don't need to follow her around and pick up her toys, too.

Whitney isn't on board with this plan. She hates cleaning more than I do, and she outright refuses to do it. I threatened to get rid of her toys ("I'll give your train set to a little girl who cleans up after herself"), but Whit was delighted to share them with someone. I tried bribery ("You can have a cookie if you tidy up"), and she responded with "I don't want a cookie". I tried "toy jail" ("I am going to put your toys in this box and they'll never see the light of day again!"), and she said "That's okay, Momma. I have a lot more toys to play with". The kid is IMPOSSIBLE.

I should have been encouraging good housekeeping habits from day 1, but I'm too lazy to enforce a "tidy up" rule when it takes a lot less time and energy to do it myself. The only thing worse than cleaning is arguing with a toddler about cleaning. But the only thing worse than THAT, I have come to discover, is having a bratty, ungrateful preschooler, so it's time to get down to business.

My kid is gonna haaaaate me.

I'm going to stick with the "toy jail" strategy, where you put any items that are not picked up in a big box and forbid your child to play with them until he or she earns them back by doing chores and other good deeds. True, Whitney loves when I stop harassing her to clean and start chucking stuff into the toy jail box, but she won't like it much when every single one of her toys has been shut away.

We'll see if it works. It's the end of day 1 and her "toy jail" is already full. Clearly, I'm going to need a bigger box.


  1. I like your "toy jail" and will have to use that for Isabelle!

    1. I have been meaning to write an "update" entry for that because, oh man, I LOOOOOVE toy jail! Highly recommend.