Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Well THAT Didn't Work!

Occasionally I roll through the blogs of my many blogger friends and I get to feeling overwhelmed and vaguely like I failed at motherhood.  I read these glowing stories about their successes and how their "littles" jump to obey their mother's wishes.

Okay that might be overstating because I KNOW these moms have days they are left cockeyed and bald headed.  They just don't blog those days.  *evil grin*

Not saying either that my son was the wonder kid nor was he a terror of the block.  Actually I was quite impressed with our handiwork creating this beautiful, talented, creative and delightful little fellow.  He was just a normal boy and we had our usual go around about how his bedroom was kept.

He was a boy, need I say more?  The last time his room looked tidy, it looked like this....

We had frequent and intense meetings of will when it came to his bedroom.  Most of the time I both won and lost these meetings.  

He was quite comfortable with his bedroom - the Lego volcano.  

I was not.  

Every grown person knows the lethal capabilities of the those tiny cubes of foot torture.  Legomen watch fervently in the middle of the night from the obscure safety under the toddler's bed.  Believing they protected the little toddler people who loved them, from the frighteningly tall parent-like creatures, they willingly sacrificed themselves by hurtling their rigid selves under the bare foot of adults.  These same adults who then hop and contort around a child's bedroom alternating between the intense desire to curse and the abject fear of awaking little toddler people.

My son's bedroom was one such battle ground.  I did learn after a season that after tucking him into his blankets, to use my feet to sweep a path through volcano Legoland littered with bodies of Batman and Sonic creatures.  Despite these efforts, little toddler boy would crawl out of his bed in the middle of the night to stage additional battles, leaving his "peoples" dying in the middle of my pathway.  For the first 6 years of his life I learned to shuffle through life to save myself from foot-stomping podiatry agony.

I also share with you that the Little Man has supurb negotiation skills.  I would send him to his room to clean his room and he would counter with "how about I clean HALF my room."  *roll my eyes*

One of these early days, we had multiple confrontations about his room.  I had stood my ground and insisted that the Legomen be evicted from the bedroom carpet and resettled into their new home...the toybox.  However insistent I was, Little Man was equally frustrated with me.  He did not want to spend a lovely day, putting his "lovies" into a toybox when he had every intention of pulling them right back out.

Little Man had been saving his pennies, his birthday monies, any tokens give as an allowance.  His goal was saving for the newest Batman set.   I thought I might be able to barter upon his desire.

Sternly I informed him..."You must pick up that room!  If I have to do it instead, I will charge you TEN WHOLE dollars!"

There!  I thought.  That will teach him, he doesn't want let go of his piggy bank.  His little face fell and he slouched his way through the house toward his bedroom.  There was only a bit of a twinge of regret as I watched his bowed little frame.

It was a bit of a stunner when in only a few moments, standing at the kitchen sink I felt a tug at my shirt tail.  Looking down into the bright eyes of my progeny, his smile beaming as he held tight in his fist...a $10 bill.  "Here Momma, YOU clean my bedroom. I PAY you!"



That's not the outcome I intended.  
Yet, I am the one who offered this option.

I cleaned his room.
Outsmarted by a 4 year old.

The moral to my story...don't threaten an action, you aren't 100% certain you WANT to follow through.  And always follow through on your threat.  Consistency is the oxygen of family life.


  1. THAT cracked me up. SO BTDT! Especially with the older two kids...the poor things were seriously my Guinea pigs! I have 4...2 are neat freaks and 2 are not so much!

  2. Bahaha! What a smart little boy! Thanks for a wonderful post that made me smile!