And well it was a bit of the desperation that brought about the following moment of genius.
You see with Ryder eating, pooping and spitting up all of the time, I have been a bit busy. So the kids have had a lot of
Never heard of dumpster? Well neither had I until one night we discovered that they had used their shopping cart to "throw away" all of their toys in the dump. And where was this dump? Well the hallway of course.
When it was almost time for bed and Eric saw the mess upstairs he was a
After several minutes the kids were doing more complaining then cleaning and Eric had enough.
He went downstairs got a garbage bag and quickly started putting things in it. "No, don't throw it away!!" "I want that" that kids screamed as he quickly kept shoveling things up.
He finished getting everything off the floor, closed up the garbage bag, took it into Ryder's room threw it in the closet and shut the door.
He then waited for the kids to settle down and explained the new cleaning system.
The bag of toys he just gathered up was going to stay in Ryder's closet. The following night and from then on every night, when it was cleaning time the timer would be set for ten minutes. If there were toys still on the floor when the timer rang, those toys would join their friends in the closet. If they got done cleaning before the timer rang, then for every minute early that they were finished they could pick that amount of toys from the bag. So if they were finished two minutes early they could each get two toys.
"Okay, we'll do it!" they promised through tears. We explained then that if they did follow the new rule and there was nothing to clean up then they would each get to get out ten things, so good incentive to clean up during the day.
Lucas then took this time to explain a few things to his sister. "Okay Alex. Tomorrow if you are playing and you get something else out, I will tell you that you need to put it away first so we can get ten toys." I wondered who was going to tell Lucas this when he forgot the next day, but I was pleased that he understood how it was going to work.
We have used this new system for a couple of weeks now. They haven't done perfectly, a few toys have been added to the bag but mostly they have been able to get a few more things out. It also helps ensure that they can't drag-out cleaning time and the bedtime routine, ten minutes is what they get.
So those moments when you feel like you are going to lose it and if you don't actually lose it; well they might result in some of your most brilliant parenting moments ever.