Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The joy of toys

The majority of this morning was spent "not cleaning the family room." I think it's a new game that the girls have invented. A while back I bought the girls a dollhouse at a consignment store and it came with 50+ pieces!!! And since then I've bought even more pieces to add to the collection. They LOVE this dollhouse so all those pieces are worth it. It's just sometimes pieces of anything drive me crazy. This morning the family room needed some attention and it took a bunch of convincing for the girls to pick it up.

More than several months ago, I realized I liked sleeping in, and the girls woke up excited to start their day before I did. This was not working, so I came up with a PLAN. I bought a Teach Me Time Toddler Clock. It turns green when it's time to wake up. So the plan was to teach the girls that when the clock turned green, they could go in the family room and play with their dollhouse while Momma (that's me) could peel her eyelids open at a more leisurely rate. The family room is outside of my room so I could hear them playing but for the most part I could tune them out and catch an extra 15 minutes of sleep. This plan actually works really well most days.

But back to those pieces. The dollhouse gets played with pretty much every day. There are only 3 toys in the family room. Books, the dollhouse and a set of duplo big legos. When implementing my PLAN I did not implement "clean up dollhouse toys before we go downstairs." This has backfired. They do not like it when I tell them family room is getting ridiculous and it needs to be cleaned. Today I told them we had a new rule and that they had to clean up from now on. This was met with much resistance. It took close to two hours but the family room did get cleaned. (All the books were on the floor, the legos were spread across the entire room and all those pieces... they must have given birth and multiplied... they were EVERYWHERE.

But I'm happy to report the family room is all shiny and clean right now. You could even hold a dance across the floor. The problem is tomorrow morning when that clock turns green and I hear the CRASH of those pieces hitting the floor, I have to keep my blood pressure normalized. How else are they going to play? They've got to get to the pieces! And then even though, I just want to go downstairs and start the day, I'm going to have to take a deep breath and we are going to clean up the dollhouse.

See, now there is a second part of my PLAN. It's called moving the downstairs toy room to the upstairs family room. The nightmare is having 90% of their toys upstairs. If we do not create a new cleaning system this could be horrific. Like I said, they have 3 toys up there right now and it gets to looking like a hurricane hit it, I can only imagine what it's going to look like if all their toys are up there.

By the way, they do remarkably good at playing with one toy at a time and cleaning up after themselves downstairs where I keep a closer eye on them. But they are growing up and things change. Wasn't it just yesterday we had gates up all around our house?? I was terrified of removing the gate thinking that the toys would be everywhere! But we adapted and life goes on. I both love and hate change!

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