Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Do this, don't do that, can't you read the signs?!

So I snapped yesterday. I couldn't help it. Because of the fact that we're remodeling the kitchen, I've been in rooms that I usually don't visit, such as the basement, the kids' rooms, the kids' bathroom. Consequently, I have more opportunities to see the sweet little messes they leave...everywhere. Add to this the fact that the house is just a mess - dust and crap everywhere. And so several times yesterday I wanted to yell at them. I was really, really pissed off, but of course they were gone - this is probably a good thing. So what did I do instead? I created a sign that reads (in 28 point type, no less) Pick up after yourself! Put things away! Put away your clothes! Turn off the lights! If it needs doing, THEN DO IT!! Even if it's not yours!!! Don't be selfish - do your part. Look for ways to help! I made 10 copies of this on bright yellow paper and posted it in the kids' rooms, bathroom and basement to the computer. Yeah, it's pretty anal and whiny and goody-two-shoes, but I wasn't sure what else to do short of throwing their crap out on our front lawn.

Did it work? Well, put it this way - absolutely nobody mentioned it. Not the kids or my husband. (It was really meant for the kids, but if it sparked any ideas in my hubby, hey - bonus!) On the other hand, my daughter specifically told me that she picked up something after my son and his girlfriend and I praised her lavishly.

I feel like I'm at my wit's end. I really don't think I'm being unreasonable and this seemed to me to be a creative attempt at some results. Sadly, it's done nothing. My son still leaves absolutely everything that he touches where he used it, whether it's guitar picks, cream cheese, CDs. My daughter, who I know has the potential to be a relatively neat person, simply chooses not to and goes by the idea of out of sight, out of mind.

I'd give up, but it really matters to me because for some strange reason, God programmed me in such a way that I get really crabby when the house is messy. I understand this and I accept it and so I know that often, I will be the only one that cares about putting things away. OK, maybe I don't accept it because here I am whining about it. I guess the problem is that I take it personally. I feel like if the kids cared at all about me (and I think I have really thoughtful kids, in general), then they'd at least try.

But alas, it's an age-old problem. What I can't tell the kids is that I was also a slob as a child, at least I remember being that way. Now I just have lots of pride and get embarassed when the house is a mess. So maybe there's hope for them too.

Perhaps they'll see a sign that will inspire them....


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