Mar 26, 2009

What I did for my spring break vacation

A Thank-You letter to Cindy from

Dear Cindy,
I want to thank you for your email thread with the subject line "Spring Cleaning Challenge #3: The Kid's Rooms". You sufficiently helped me traumatize my children for life, and almost made my 12 year old son cry.

Let me back up a bit... I am a mother of four, two preteens, a preschooler, and a prima donna, I mean a baby. My sons are 12, 11, and 4, and my daughter is 9 months old. I also have three cats, and two dogs who are over 85 lbs. Things got even crazier this February when my husband left for a year in Iraq as a military contractor. I would like to say my house normally just looks "lived in", but truth be told there are times when it looks like World War III was just fought and a nuclear disaster was contained in my 1800 square foot home.

Your email could not have been read at a better time. Today we had a surprise blizzard here in Colorado, and because it is spring break, I have been hearing how bored my children are, or have had to pull them out of their Gameboys just to get them to clear their dishes from the table. What a brilliant day to play the "Clean your room or mom will kill you" game!! So I excitedly posted the link to the the spreadsheet in my Facebook status and printed out a copy. My four year old took quite a delight in running up to the printer to grab the game sheet and I handed them to my oldest son. His displeasure was easy to read; his face was red, his answers were curt and he looked like he could start crying at any minute.

To prove to him what a wuss he was being, I printed out a second sheet and told him I was going to do the same to my room. I even took the four year old up to "help" me and instructed the 11 year old that if he stopped working that he would would be grounded until the end of time.

Truth be told, the four year old was a lot of help. He made an awesome little "gofer" and had no problems fitting under the bed to push out CDs and books that found themselves held hostage under the bed by rogue dust bunnies. The children needed no prompting to get back to work or stay busy. They did need some reminding that Yu-Gi-Oh cards do not belong under dressers and that "clean dresser tops" does not mean to pile the junk right back on them as soon as you have dusted the tops off, however I think they earned an A-!

I soon found the cleaning was contagious though, because soon it spread and I found myself "accidentally" cleaning my bathroom mirror, which was not part of your list. The virus kept mutating and soon I was accidentally putting away pill bottles and mouthwash, tooth paste and mousse. Hair clips and nail clippers soon seemed to crawl into their drawers to escape the wrath. Next thing I know I am thinking how wonderful my cucumber melon all purpose would make the room smell and the counter, sink and toilet soon sparkled.

Before I knew it, my cluttered bedroom soon resembled a spa-like sanctuary. I now have a peaceful place to retreat to at the end of the day, and won't have to worry about books and CDs crawling out from under the bed while I am sleeping and tying me up like in Gulliver's Travels.

THANK YOU for giving me my sanity back and helping me to find a small slice of peace again. I LOVE my gorgeous bedroom and bathroom, I am really hoping having my rooms clean will inspire me to break out the gallons of paint I have had sitting out in the garage for weeks now and finish my redecoration project I have been putting off since I bought this house back in 2004.


1 comment:

Lizzie said...

I love it! I did the same thing on a smaller scale (and over a longer period of time) it is so nice!!