Jun 4, 2007

The Wall of Shame

This mom has finally snapped. I went into the older two boys' 'clean' room that they claimed they had just cleaned to put something away and could not fathom the amount of garbage I saw in their closet. Less than 2 weeks ago they had been told to clean their closet, so I know that had used that time to stuff more crap in their.

Here is a brief description of the items I saw in the closet that led up to my breakdown.... candy wrappers, school assignments, toothpaste sans lid, the remote control to my TV I have been looking for for months sans battery cover, my watch, a baby shoe, dirty underwear, my movies sans case, I think you get the point.

Rather than scream and yell and have the kids surface clean again without making a dent in the problem and having Austin do 10x the work of Christopher, I thought back to an article I had just read in Mothering Magazine about a mom who uses "fun ways" to motivate her kids and one of the games was "everything in the center of the room" where the mom and kids took everything that did not belong, move it to the center of the room and then put it away. Well, let me tell you... there was no singing or dancing and no kid cooperation moving stuff and no mom cooperation cleaning.

Without a word I started moving the bookshelf and using my euromop for the only thing it has ever been useful for.... raking crap. Next step was to take anything piled up on top of the dresser or sticking out of drawers to the growing heap I dubbed Mount Trashmore, next was the closet, where I keep plastic bins for every type of toy.... Lego's, Cars, Action Figures, Science Toys, etc, and if the toys were not put away, they went in the pile... would you believe that 100% of everything in their closet was not put away right, or even CLOSE to it? (I am not talking a few Lego's mixed in with action figures, I am talking a box designated for Action Figures with Lego's, candy wrappers, dirty socks, broken toys, Pokemon cards, and scraps of paper with a lid on it and "put away"). Can you imagine the satisfaction of hearing thousands of Lego's falling to the floor?? I could just feel my blood pressure dropping as each piece of trash was added to the pile.

I just wish I had taken some before pictures of their closet so you could see what I meant, but all that is included before are after pictures of what I did, as well as my little Shamelings as they hear the rules of the "game". Here are the rules I laid forth... They have 48 hours until trash day...anything left in Mount Trashmore will make it to the curb. They will not sleep in their room until they can get to their bed, we have a very large front room and sleeping bags that will work nicely for a camp-out. Anything broken, or from a fast food restaurant goes into the garbage, anything they don't play with gets packed up and donated, anything to be kept will be put in its designated basket. I will supervise the whole endeavor, I will not raise my voice, I will not punish, and I will not spank. Bathroom and drink/snack breaks will be earned. Nothing goes into the closet until I approve it to go in. And of course pictures go up on the internet, bad and eventually good.

[Click to Enlarge, Opens in a New Window]
This is Austin standing next to Mount Trashmore, notice how high it comes up to him.

Another picture of Austin next to Mount Trashmore.

The Shamelings, Austin and Christopher.

Mount Trashmore.

Mount Trashmore.

Mount Trashmore and their bed.

The bookshelf AFTER picture, as in After Mom removed the junk. That is the Euromop and their plastic storage tubs you see.

And that is the closet AFTER picture... after Mom removed all the crap.

Stay tuned for updates... we are on hour one and the boys have removed one large garbage bag of trash, one laundry basket full of clothes, one armful of books have been put away, one load of things that do not belong to them/in their room have been removed and they have almost earned their first break. Daddy came home briefly at lunch to view the mess, back me up, and help me move my laptop to "the Guard Tower" aka, the hallway directly outside their room so I can supervise 100% of the action while playing on Pogo.com.


Jennifer said...

I love it! I wish you nerves of steel!

Marisa said...

Been there too many times. If you have any luck keeping Mt. Trashmore from reappearing, please let me know. My youngest is 10 but there are grandkids now thanks to my original Mt. Trashmore inhabitants. :)

eve said...

my mother used to do that, only she didnt call it anything LOL she just freaked out and emptied EVERYTHING on the floor and stormed off LOL

alli said...

I remember my mom doing that when we were little. And I know that day will come sooner rather than later with Fuller.

Mandi said...

Haha!! You are my mom hero of the day! Ooh, I can't wait till the day I can do this to my kids ;-) *rubs hands together while laughing*
lol, good luck with the whole thing!