Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mommy Clean

Sometimes, Moms can ask really dumb questions.

Like- "Is your room clean?"

It's a dumb quesiton because we know they'll answer "YES," regardless of what the room looks like. And, the longer they hesitate before they actually stammer out "yes," is an indication of how messy it really is.

The kids aren't lying, they just have different standards. Some kids think if they put their favorite toys away, the room is clean. Somt think shoving everything under the bed qualifies as clean. Some kids just need to see a swath wide enough to remind them  the color of their carpeting to call it clean. Most kids see the items they have put away,  most Moms see the things that weren't put away.

One of my children was brilliant enough to invent the diplomatic answer, "Well, it's kinda-clean-and-kinda-messy."  While learning to understand the two different types of clean, "kid clean" and "Mommy clean," I mastered that age-old pigsty rant.  My mom would be so proud of me.  One kid had the audacity to interrupt me and ask what a pigsty was.  But, I was already on to the line about disobedience and helpfulness and their future success depending on their diligence.

Usually, each item  on the floor can be identified as something they were sent to "put away."  If I'm really wound up, I throw in the lecture on how come there are only dirty clothes on the floor and no dirty undies, how come the socks are rolled inside out into little balls and how come every apple in the garbage only has a few bites out of it?

Yea, we Moms can go on and on, can't we?

This is the mess that Mommy made.

My kids learned in a hurry that I can't tolerate "kid clean."  I pull out stuff shoved under their beds, inside boxes, purses and suitcases, behind the dresser, under the dresser, under the pillows, inside the closet, behind the door and on top of the dresser, make a pile in the middle of the room, and we begin again. They complain rigorously about "Mom messing up my room," but we attack the room until it is "Mommy clean."

We sort the offending items into piles and put things back where they belong. After all, how fun is it to play dolls, if you only have one dress and the blanket with the silly putty still embedded in the lace edge? How fun it is to play Legos when all the "good" pieces are still under the bed, under the couch cushions, and inside the vacuum cleaner bag? While cleaning, we always include a bag or box for the thrift store and one for garbage. When the kids are a bit overwhelmed by the mess, they are more willing to part with unnecessary things.

Although they take years to master the ability to Mommy clean a room, it takes even longer to cultivate the desire to WANT to clean my way. Yet, as much as they whine about me messing up their clean rooms, they love the feeling of a "Mommy clean" room.

I also have another ulterior motive in helping them clean their rooms - rescuing all my kidnapped items. My scissors, my tape, my fingernail clippers,

 my missing vacuum cleaner attachment,

my hot glue gun, my sox, anything that is missing and doesn't show up, usually shows up in one of the offspring's room.

So, I learned early on not to ask the dumb, obvious question without a follow-up question.

"Is your room clean?



  1. I believe I'm just entering this phase. I tell the kids to go clean thier room and 10 minutes later hear them playing quietly, distracted by thier toys. And I'm so happy for a little peace and quiet I don't have the heart to go make them get back to cleaning!

  2. Girl you better get a heart-if you don't- the older they get in the habit of not complying- will increase to the point of you losing your sanity- and they will walk around looking at you as though you need to deal with your insanity and that you should ignore their filthiness- they want you to get a grip on reality-but all you really need is to get a grip on the paddle. so the peace and quit you seek is only temporary, if not handled now you will get all the peace and quit you need on the psych ward. sitting looking out of the window thinking about the old days of how all you wanted was a little piece and quiet, and that you didn't think you would have to pay it back 10 times over-with things shoved, pushed, piled, hidden, dirty clothes put back in dresses or hung up etc., you get the picture. JUST KEEP YOUR HEAD UP LOOKING AT THE PRIZE AND PROMISES THE LORD HAS LEFT YOU AS A STEWART TO ASSIST HIM IN RAISING HIS CHILDREN

  3. Micah, I can totally relate, because I still long for quiet and my kids still get distracted. It's almost like reverse psychology, if we tell them to go play quietly, they wouldn't, but if we tell them to clean, they play quietly.

    Romance, thanks for the admonition to be consistent in training. You are right, we will pay back ten times when we allow them not to obey. Thank you, too, for the reminder to look to the Lord in all these things.

    One compromise I have come up with is to have Beka will pretend she's a maid, a nanny, or a mom, then she will fuss and fuss at how messy the children are, as she puts away her own toys. It is adorable. That girl can go on.

    Any other ideas for solving this dilemna?

  4. Oh I've got it all wrong I should not be the one pretending I'm the maid, nanny, big sister, mom's little helper, broom, mop or anything to do with cleaning up after my kids. though I wonder how my daughter Alijey will take this role reversal news, being that she already thinks I'm cinderella and she is the queen. Maybe one day I will get my throne back. That's what happens if you are not consistent, you get dethroned. lol

    Love always your chocolate sister in Christ Jesus


Thank you so much for dropping by my blog. Your encouraging comments are much appreciated. I love hearing from others.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.