Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I'm raising slobs.

That's right. My kids would never consider actually picking up after themselves unless I threaten to remove all pleasure from their daily lives. I'm raising slobs, and it's all my fault.

See, I like things to be picked up. Don't check the backside of my ceiling fans or anything because cleaning is not exactly my strong point, but I can't stand it when there is crap everywhere (or the plural "craps" as my friend C would say). How do I make my life better?  I pick up the craps and put them away.

Every mom in the great green world knows that no matter what it is (cleaning included), it's easier just to do it yourself than to beg, plead, threaten, and beg again for the kids to do it. In addition, if I pick up the craps they will be put where they belong rather than under the bed, in the closet, in the dog's kennel or any other place where they can't be seen anymore.

Sidenote: Contrary to popular belief, just because something is out of sight does not mean it is "put away."

Alas, my kids are slobs because the husband and I pick up after them all of the time.  But the times they are a'changin.

It's summer, and my goal this summer is to teach my kids to voluntarily pick up their own craps. I know what you're thinking, sounds crazy, right?  Only in a perfect family utopia would kids actually get toys out, play with them, and then put them away, right?  Well, friends, we're on our way to that utopia right here in the Hickman house.

We haven't actually left the station yet, but I've started to believe it can be done, and that's probably half the battle, right?

I've decided I have to attack each child's sloppiness in a unique way. First, let's talk about Tucker because he's the easiest to intimidate. He knows rules and he follows them, much like his dad, so he's my first target. 

Tucker's life activities involve only baseball. He's either at baseball practice, tossing a ball in the air, watching baseball games, or analyzing the MLB draft (sometimes all at once).  You would think that playing baseball wouldn't be messy, needing only a glove and ball, but you'd be wrong. I don't think Tucker can so much as touch a ball without getting out his glove, his dad's glove, two bats, home plate, catcher's gear, a jersey for the team he wants to pretend to be on that day, and ten or twelve million wiffle balls.

My plan for Tucker is a Gale Greeson special.  I'm going to tell him once to pick up his stuff, and then I'm going to start loading it in a trash bag.  This genius plan operates under the assumption that if he leaves it out, it must be trash because of course he would put away things that are important to him, right?  If I'm firm and stick with the plan, I think I can have him on the utopia train in about a week.

Then if I can just convince him to pick up the "crust" of his pop tarts when he's done with them, we'll be in great shape. You may be thinking "aren't pop tarts all crust?"  Yes, they are, however, Tucker only eats the part that has filling in the middle and leaves the outside edges all over the place for someone else to come pick up. I wish I was kidding.

Keaton, on the other hand, is going to be a little more difficult. If I were to load up his stuff in a trash bag, he would cross his arms, set a scowl on his face, and announce "I don't care.  I don't like that stuff anyway." I know this from experience.

I have to find a way to bribe him. Money? Candy? Grapefruit? (he loves grapefruit)  If you have any ideas, please post a comment and enlighten me.

I can see the picked-up home utopia on the horizon, and I am determined to make it there before the fall. I am determined!


Lisa said...

oh my gosh. i know i have said this 100 times, but can we PLEASE introduce Keaton to Davis. They are like long lost twins. I busted out laughing when you said he would cross his arms and say I don't care...I don't want them anyway. So funny.

I believe in birth order rules more and more after reading your blog.

Please post an update with whether or not this all works. I want to know before I tackle the sitution.

Oh, and there is poptart "crust" sitting on my dining room table right this very minute!

StormyHickman said...

Lisa - we SO live parallel lives! I can't believe you have pop tart crust issues, too. How funny!

randi said...

Stormy -
What if you made up a token board of sorts? Every time Keaton picks something up, he gets a sticker? 5 stickers = grapefruit or whatever works for him. And it's not a sticker per item, it's a sticker per instance.
Dunno, Guess it's worth a shot?