Don’t Play Dumb with Me

I have a pretty high tolerance for messiness.

Well, you all saw the post about my basement. It has been that way for, well since the last time Jeff picked it up in an effort to butter me up for some sexy time.

But after stepping on three toys and almost twisting my ankle while walking down the stairs to get a gallon of milk from the fridge that is down there, my tolerance for that mess was over.

I was done and I wanted it cleaned up.

I called the kids and told them what my plan was, “Boys and girls, we are going to go downstairs and pick up the mess.”

They all looked at me like I had suddenly grown three heads. The little kids began to protest when Hayden spoke up, “Come on guys. I am tired of stepping on toys when I get up in the night to go to the bathroom,”

Now it was my turn to look at him like he had three heads because he was a contributor to the mess. But on the other hand, it did make sense since his bedroom is down there. I suppose stepping on a toy during a midnight walk to the bathroom is not very pleasant either.

The space needed to be cleaned up.

I ushered the kids down the stairs and then told them the plan, “Just grab a toy and put it in a bin.”

I wasn’t looking for things to be organized. I just wanted all the toys put away and off the floor. The clutter needed to go away before I lost my mind.

I began to pick toys up off the floor but the kids just stood there.

“Come on, grab a toy and put it in the bin. Hayden, you do the Legos. Jake, find all the cars. Quinn, you pick up the puzzle and Claire pick up the baby stuff.” I said.

Still no one moved.

“Pick up a toy and put it in a bin,” I said again. “Hayden put the Legos away in your room.”

I grabbed another handful of toys as the little kids just stood there. It was like they lost all ability to move and had forgotten how to pick up. Hayden was at least moving but when I watched him for a minute, I realized that he was picking up each Lego from their current bin and walking them one by one to his room where he was placing them in a pile.

What in the world was wrong with these children? Its not like I was asking them to fly a rocket. I just wanted the room picked up.

“Oh for heaven’s sake,” I said. “Ok, everyone watch this.”

I grabbed Claire’s hand, bent her over and had her grab a toy that was right in front of her and helped her put it in the bin. “There that is picking up. Now, everyone do it,” I said as I let her go.

But still they all just stood there.

“Fine. If you don’t know how to pick up, I guess what they say is true and the TV really is rotting your brain. I will just have to throw out the TV and only read books to you.” I said sternly as I walked towards the TV.

As I walked, I heard little people begin to move around and toys being frantically placed in bins. Finally, everyone understood what I wanted and began to pick up.

Play dumb with me, will they. I’ll show them, I know all the tricks.

Well, most of the tricks.

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  1. Oh very clever, Buried Mom. Now come over to my place….it’s like a bomb went off over here.
    Not Winning Mom of the Year´s last blog post ..Guilt

  2. LOL! Works everytime!

  3. Very clever! But really, do our kids honestly think they can pull these tricks on us? Pssh! Like we didn’t try this junk when we were younger!
    Kimberly´s last blog post ..VlogTalk- My Crib

  4. Will you be posting the “after” picture? I can’t wait to see it! :)
    Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog post ..Why it’s good to live near teenaged boys

  5. Laughing my head off here!

    That is the BEST warning EVER. Well done.
    Crazy Sister´s last blog post ..Supreme Tantrum

  6. I usually get out a trash bag when I want my kids to clean up- I tell them to start cleaning or the toys go in the trash bag. That has worked for me.

  7. Ha Ha Love it…think I might need to use this one on my 4 year old!
    Shelly´s last blog post ..COLLAGE FUN – II

  8. Threatening to take TV away works every time!
    Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation´s last blog post ..The Only Travel Checklist You’ll Ever Need

  9. Hehehehe! Good one :)
    My mom would just threaten to throw all of our toys away…
    and she DID end up putting all of my barbies in a trash bag and put out in the garage… Our neighbor came over the next day, and was being helpful.. put my bag of barbies out for the trash man to pick it up later that day…. *sigh*
    KSK´s last blog post ..How DARE They!

  10. I have the same problem. I usually take away the toys that I pick up, but the TV may be the way to go.
    Amy´s last blog post ..stupid lights

  11. David takes the ginormous trash can into the living room and declares, “You pick it up or I pick it up.” And that normally works. If it doesn’t get them moving he starts chunking toys in the trash. Then it is a mad race around the living room with them carrying like ten things so he won’t throw them away, but them being too scared to leave the room to put the stuff away out of fear that he will chunk something while they are gone. It’s fun to watch.
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..He wore a dark blue suit

  12. Ha ha ha…. evil laugh here! I love it. Funny you mention no t.v., computers, ds games etc. to kids and suddenly they have ears and listen. I also am totally in awe of counting.. I do not know why it works but somehow it does. Something about numbers getting higher scares the heck outta em!
    Anne Province´s last blog post ..Leaping Lizards!

  13. I was always afraid of those threats… the TV being gone, my favorite things being thrown out, etc. Parents are so mean when they want things cleaned up! HA!
    Julie´s last blog post ..Something old to something new…

  14. Yep…that is one of my all time favorite threats; that and taking away the DS! Once my oldest called me on it…um really! I don’t think so….ha ha

    It’s amazing how well it works! :)
    MOMmetime´s last blog post ..Monday Morning Funny

  15. Michelle says:

    Love it! Threats is my favorite kind of parenting. The hard part is following through on the outlandish threats you make when you are pissed!

  16. Amazing how everything can suddenly make sense sometimes :)
    Emmy´s last blog post ..Friday Confessinoals- Facebook- Anger and Food

  17. lol. Nice threat. 😉

    I gave up on my husband and daughter picking up our basement, so I spent the last afternoon of my maternity leave (today) doing it. *sighs*
    Kelly Deneen´s last blog post ..Photostory Friday- Lost Opportunity

  18. Catch the Kids says:

    That’s gorgeous. I’ll have to try it…
    Catch the Kids´s last blog post ..Old Dogs and Happy Hearts – The Sequel

  19. mom taxi julie says:

    Works good until they realize you aren’t really going to throw the TV away lol.
    mom taxi julie´s last blog post ..FREE BOOK FRIDAY!! The Lost Mother by Mary McGarry Morris

  20. Today was clean our toy room day too! except my son is too young to realize I put 2 buckets on the back deck to be tossed later. I’m sick of having so much mess, so less toys it is.

    I will remember the tv thing though. Gold.
    Kristin R´s last blog post ..Thank you Bissell

  21. jen {at} take2mommy says:

    I have to resort to threats and bribes to get my kids to do anything. Dunno which is worse: a threat (no DS for a week) or a bribe (I’ll pay you a dollar to clean your room)? Probably the threat is a better tactic, or else I’ll go broke with the bribes!
    jen {at} take2mommy´s last blog post ..The donuts and the pinky finger

  22. “Bait’, ‘treat’ or ‘threat’ techniques always work (on kids, husbands and pets). My latest proof is teaching my 3-year old dog to pick up all her toys at the end of the day and put them back in her toy box. Well, not out of love for me, but for the big bone reward. So, nothing wrong with being creative 😀

  23. Rachael says:

    Ha! Genius. It’s amazing how smart they can be when they want to. I will have to start using the TV trick. Usually I just threaten to throw away the toys which consists of me putting them in a trash bag which then disappears for a couple of months. That doesn’t always work. Probably because they are secretly thinking, “Oh well, we always have the TV!”
    Rachael´s last blog post ..7 Quick Takes Friday- Blogger- Tiny Plants &amp Bookclub in Amazing Technicolor

  24. Chunky Mama says:

    My almost 4 yr old is the same way. He’ll pick up 2 or 3 toys, put them in a bin, take the bin to his room and says he’s done. Even though you still won’t be able to see the living room floor. And then he looks at me like he doesn’t understand that we are picking up ALL the toys. Yeah right.

  25. lol :) children… they have more tricks than adults. and beleive me – i know! im a kindergarten teacher.
    sapir´s last blog post ..How to look good in pictures


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