Oct 18, 2005

I am my mother

Last Thursday, my house got really, really quiet. That either means that (A) the girls have strangled each other until they've simultaneously passed out, or (B) they've done something very, very wrong. Now enter scenario C: They know that they have done something for which mom will have cardiac arrest, seize, die, then get back up and spank their asses. I tentatively crept towards the playroom and cracked open the door.
[Stage directions: After viewing playroom, grab heart, stagger backwards, and choke.]
The playroom was a disaster. Every toy, from every cubby, was dumped into a large pile in the middle of the room. It was a cacauphony of My Little Ponies, Weebles, stuffed animals, and Dora the Explorer. The talking Elmo was engaged in conversation with The Little People, and the basket 'o monkeys was emptied and tossed in the corner. Playroom, indeed. I caught my breath, and after finding the kids under a pile of discarded "Learn Spanish with Dora!" cards, cried out, "What in the name of Jesus H. Christ happened in here?!"

"Nothing?! Look at this mess! Everything is in the middle of the floor!"
"Oh...that? Yeah, those are all my toys."
"I see that. Why are they on the floor?"
"Hmmm...I don't remember--but look! I found my little Simba!"

As excited as I was about the rediscovery of "little Simba," I gave the chicks an ultimatum: One hour to clean the room, or all the toys go in the garbage. Honestly, you know I'm not going to throw away their toys--I mean, cripes, that's 75% of my take-home salary sitting in that room. Regardless, I told them I was going to toss the toys if they didn't pick up. One hour later, I waltz into the room, and the only thing that has changed, that I could see, was that one of the monkeys was shoved into the shopping cart and was dressed for an outing of some sort. I walked out to the garage and grabbed a "contractor-sized" garbage bag--useful for tossing sheetrock pieces, metal scraps, roofing materials, and a plethora of toys for children of ages of 1-5. Really people, I have to commend those crafters of contractor bags at Hefty--that bag held 85% of the toys in their room, and even stretched to accomodate an entire My Little Pony Paradise Park--without breaking. Now THAT'S quality.

The screams that ensued when I appeared in their doorway--arms on hips, contractor bag lying at my feet, backlit by the nightlight--was earth-shattering. Funny, the kids don't play with 85% of their toys, but as soon as I pick up a random nothing off of the floor, it has become their "favorite" and Oh-my-God-I-must-have-that-toy.

It's been over a week, and the bag of toys is still in the garage. We walk by it every day, and every day, they ask for their toys. I tell them that they can have them back when they start acting more well-behaved. Shit. Those toys are going to be in my garage forever.


Sara said...

Kudos to you, Steph!! HAHAHA!! I've threatened to "give thier toys to a little boy/girl who would be so happy to have them they'd pick them up...yadda yadda" but I've never actually done it (or you know, packed them in a trash bag for the garage...same thing..lol.) Bet you have a clean toyroom now, huh?

Monique said...

I love it! I am SO going to try that trick with my kids!

Lisa said...

HA! I can so relate to the never played with toy that the moment you touch it, it becomes the most loved toy on the planet.

Mike ( ex scientia, veritas ) said...

I've heard this works really well. Drives hope that choices have consequences lesson for later in life.

Very clever!

Nan said...

You can turn into Dad and tell the girls if they want thier toys back, they will have to buy them from you........lol....oh the memories.

MammaG said...

I miss you.

LosingSanity said...

I tried that trick with my oldest when he was about 9 (he's almost 21 now). Last week, I found a box of confiscated toys in the garage. I'd forgotten all about them, and I guess the kid just assumed they were gone forever, 'coz he sure never cleaned up his room until he moved out! Good luck...