Remember how my girls campaigned hard for months to share a room again? They wanted it bad! They begged and pleaded and bargained and...well, they even said please.
You have to reward the please, right?
So we tidied and we sorted, we painted and we polished. The bunkbeds were put together again and all was right with the world.
It lasted only hours.
We had two conditions for putting them together:
First, they would actually SLEEP and not keep each other up.
Second, they would work together to keep the room tidy.
Both were broken within hours.
We toughed it out. We reminded them of the deal. I nagged and threatened, because that's what I do when I start losing my cool (then I feel horrible and swear I'm going to stay calm next time). Lather, rinse, repeat.
Finally, after the grandparents had left and the room looked like a disaster zone, we declared the trial a complete failure.
It was time to break up the band.
Except that you couldn't take two steps in their room without tripping over something. Not conducive to taking beds apart.
We gave them the weekend to tidy and then we told them that the Princess was returning to her old room, with or without a bed.
Yeah, that worked.
She enjoyed the experience of creating her own bed for a couple of days, and then we dropped the hammer.
The evil parent hammer. The one my mom used on me and I swore I would never, ever, EVER use on my kids.
We got out the garbage bag.
It had bigger impact because I started with the mess that had spilled over to the hallway. By the time they noticed me, just inside the door of the room, I had already filled it about a quarter of the way--with Webkinz.
The screaming! The panic! The scramble!
Here is the confession that probably ensures an unpleasant abode in the next life: it felt good.
Really, really good.
Like SERIOUS good. I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing with the glee. It was a crazy parenting high that seems so wrong but felt so right.
And I gave an inch. I set down the bag, looked them in the eye, and informed them that I was setting the kitchen timer and coming back in 20 minutes.
Which is exactly what I did.
And in 20 minutes that nasty room was spotless. That nasty, ankle-deep, monstrous mess, the mess they claimed it was impossible to clean, the mess I'd been begging, nagging and yelling about for over a week, THAT mess--was gone.
I'm keeping the garbage bag, and the kitchen timer. We're going to make weekly timed clean-ups a family tradition. For Mom too!
I only wish I'd used that particular tool in the box sooner.
I'm still feeling guilty about wanting to laugh though. Tell me a not-so-proud parenting moment, please, so I can feel in good company.