It finally happened.... yep... I lost my mind. Somewhere in the sea of toys and 'stuff' it disappeared. And with that loss came a revelation. I can't take it anymore. And I think I'm not the only one. After going all crazy ranting raving fishwife on my kids this past weekend (as in CLEAN UP YOUR TOYS!!! Just put them AWAY!!! - I think the neighbours down the street heard my wail) I realized something.
They are as overwhelmed by it all as I am. My boys are very very lucky. They are the only grandchildren on one side and the only ones living nearby on the other. My mother, particularly, loves to spoil them with toys and tidbits. I admit to a passion for shopping, and, well, it adds up to a lot of stuff.
On the weekends, they still get up early and the rule is they play in their room until we get up. Because Mommy and Daddy get to sleep in until the amazing hour of 7 (and sometimes even 8!) this gives them time to get into stuff. This weekend the result was the disappearance of their bedroom floor. And since they'd asked so nicely to go to the playroom, well, you can imagine what happened there before we got up.
After Daddy was amazing and spent two days organizing and cleaning, they'd managed to make it look like we'd been bombed in just over an hour. And the resultant cleanup - it never happened. That's when I lost my marbles. I'd taken six bins of toys to sell at the local kid's stuff swapmeet, so you'd think that would have thinned out the rooms. Apparently I was wrong.
Yesterday I dropped one off at school and the other at Nanna's and got busy. Big rubbermaids, ziploc bags for sorting, my beloved lined post it notes and sharpie at the ready - and I started to pack up the toys. Into the box went the big trucks, the zhu zhu hamster track, the Rescue Heroes, the doctor's bags, the veterinarian kit... I filled up four big tubs of stuff, plus removed a few large items and rounded it out with a bin of stuff for the garage sale.
I left the boys with their Lego/Kinects (I told myself it was because it was educational, but really, it was too big a job to pack it up), cars/trucks, colouring books, their batman set, puzzles, the Leapster and their wooden firehouse. We've got a few games out and we've blocked in a Friday Night Games night on our calendar to make sure we use them. I wanted to pack up more, but it took me all day just to sort out and bag all that up.
And so far, it's working.
They've been playing with their Lego/Kinects stuff for the past two nights and putting it away. Their room looks fabulous, they want to read before bed - and already I can see they aren't as distracted as they were before. I'd planned to leave them with a few cars, colouring books and Lego, but Daddy said that was me going overboard. I'm happy to leave it as is, as long as they keep it up. If not, I'm not worried - the new rule is anything left out at night is gone by morning. They can earn back things (they have to request the item) through good behaviour and respecting their toys that are out, and they have to put something into storage to take something out.
I'm almost done with the sorting/putting away and I'll share pics when I'm done. The befores are scary, that's all I say.
So Mommy went CRAZY - and finally change happened. Next is my office - after all, if I can't model it, then I can't expect it, right?