Friday, October 23, 2015

What Happens When I Put My Foot Down, 7QT

As the school year has gone one, my children have gotten lazier and lazier when it comes to picking up after themselves.

I made the mistake of giving the high school kids some slack, seeing as how soccer takes up so much of their time. I didn't get on their cases for leaving their bags on the floor of the mud room. I didn't grumble too badly when they left their dirty socks on the floor of the bathroom. But as time went on, they got worse. And worse and worse. And then the non-high school kids started following in their footsteps. It got to a point that I couldn't walk through the mud room, as the floor was completely covered with things that didn't belong there. Even school uniforms were on the floor!

The bathroom was trashed. Their bedrooms were trashed.

I had told them all to pick up after themselves.

They ignored me.

I pointed out the disaster that was the bathroom. They kept trashing it.

Enough was enough.

It was time for the foot to come down. Hard.

************ 1 ************

I called all of the kids to the kitchen for a chat. I told them that they had gone past lazy and sloppy into gross negligence, and it was going to end.

I told them they were not going to be watching any football, playing any video games, texting any friends, or eating any junk food until I saw improvement in their ability to pick up after their darn selves. I went through each room, telling them exactly what irritated me about each. I reiterated the expectations they already knew but had been ignoring.

I told them that privileges would be reinstated on an individual basis. I'd keep a close eye on who was doing what, whose things were still being left out, and as I saw a person trying to keep things tidy, I'd reward him with a football game and some homemade cookies.

**************** 2 ************

Within hours, signs started showing up around the house.


On the bathroom door:

On the big boys' bedroom door...

And on the closet door...

Just his way of helping me keep track of the fact he was picking up after himself.

***************** 3 ************

Apparently, a little boy saw the signs and thought it was a great idea.

On the kitchen table...

Translation: He put his markers away.

On the dining room table...

Next to the piles of folded laundry...

Basically, he went around the house finding things out of place, put something away, then spent 5 minutes making a sign before putting the next thing away.

*************** 4 *************

Then I got to this one on the kitchen counter...

Whose money? How much? And where did he put it?

******************* 5 ***********

As you can see from the photos, Cuckoo was getting some lessons on letter sounds as well as instructions on how to correctly print letters while making his signs. Bonus!

*************** 6 ***************

The next day, I found one more sign on the kitchen counter.

Oh how these kids make me laugh.

******************** 7 ******************

So, the mess of the signs aside, did my foot-putting-down work?

After two days...

Not perfect, but the big boys are definitely putting in some effort. Football watching has been reinstated. And I baked some chocolate cookies for dessert tonight.

I'm linking this up with Kelly's Link-tober 7 Quick Takes celebration. I've been wanting to link up all month, but, you know how that goes.

Have a lovely day!


  1. The first photo of your boot room is an example of what my son's room looks like when he comes to stay - and he's way, way, way older than your kids. I hope your foot-putting-down works, because believe me they don't get any better as they get older :(

    Love that last sign from Phoenix, it made me laugh too :)

    1. Congrats! :)

      That is not something I want to hear!! :) I guess the only consolation is they will eventually move out and mess up their own places instead of mine. :) I'm sure I'll miss them, even if it means the messes, when they're gone, though.

      That boy is hilarious.

  2. Every time I read something you post about your family I think that you're the type of mom I would have liked to have been. You do such great things with the kids but also teach and remind them of their responsibilities. Awesome mom! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, Donna, thank you. You are so sweet. I have no doubt you and I would parent the same way.

  3. I've gotta say, that bedroom and bathroom look immaculate compared to what Emma has done to hers.
    Phoenix's sign looks exactly like something Kyle would write.

    1. You may have noticed that I never mentioned Miss Buttercup. Her room is still trashed, and her part of the mud room isn't in the photo. I almost put a photo of her room in here, but she'd probably kill me.

      We have such funny kids. :)

  4. I love the notes and especially how they all need to validate their efforts...I also love your approach and tactics...both James and Amelia are good about chores James more but Amelia tries she just needs reminders. Every once in a while she asks why can't she walk and feed the dog and I tell her when she remembers to water my plants on Sunday without me reminding her. LOL! Great post! :)

    1. Ha! Sounds like Amelia is a lot like Turken. He has good intentions to do his chores, but he frequently gets off course. One of his chores is to feed the dogs, but only because I can see the dog bowls from the kitchen window. I can see if he forgot to do it or not. :)

  5. I like your style, they did a good job and seem pretty pleased about what they accomplished. Cuckoo's notes just cracked me up.

    1. I'm thinking you and I have similar styles. :)

      I laughed at all 15 of his notes. :)

  6. This whole post cracked me up...but #4 particularly had me guffawing out loud. I am so with you on that bathroom floor situation. Maybe I'll try your method!! Boys are so lovable, but.......

    1. I do love it when I can get a laugh out of someone. :)

      Oh, the bathroom floor... maddening, isn't it? They are lovable, though. I'll give them that. :)

  7. This is such fun. A great story to have written down when they are older.

    1. I always think that I'll remember the funny things the kids have done, but I rarely do. It's why I started blogging to begin with.

  8. I love their notes! That is so funny. I love your line about how "he put put something away and then spent 5 minutes writing a note," Too funny!

    I hope you find the money he put away. ; )

    1. They do crack me up sometimes. :) I'm not joking, he spent a full 5 minutes writing the note after spending 15 seconds putting one object away.

      I think it was only a dollar, but I haven't gotten proof of it yet. :)

  9. This things guys will do for football! I have a deal with my husband that he can watch as much football as he wants, as long as he takes care of the baby while he does it. :)

    Thanks for linking up!

    1. That is a great deal! If I were you, I'd almost hope football didn't end until the baby got older. :)

  10. Awesome. Did you solve the money mystery???

    1. Not yet, but if I remember correctly, it was only a dollar on the counter. I forgot to ask him.


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