Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Give That Photo A Name - We Have A Winner!

Michael Phelps - You are so going DOWN!!

Congratulations to Debbie for winning this close close contest that had so many entries (a whopping 17) that it was hard to choose! Honestly, all the entries were good and made me smile, but Debbie's nod to the recently departed Olympic Games had that extra layer of humor that could not be denied. Besides, everyone else who commented was MY FRIEND and how do I pick among friends, I ask you?

The prize the Debbie won was the answer to anything she wanted to know. When I offered that, I made the assumption that she would ask something that I actually knew - i.e. something about me. But no, Debbie has higher aspirations than knowing my most embarrassing moment or the worst thing I ever did in High School or how many hickies I've ever been given in my life. Instead, Debbie asked a parenting question, which launches the answer into the realms of opinion and therefore relieves me of any actual personal sharing, which is a big relief, in a way.

Debbie's Question:

"If we can get a somewhat accurate representation of our country's people running for national office, if we can figure out how to evacuate huge numbers of people out of a storm's way, and we can begin to get most everyone talking about energy conservation, then how do I get my kids to clean their room together without killing each other?"

My Answer:

I have no idea.

I kid, I kid. I do have an idea. Several, in fact.

  • Why make them clean their room? Embrace the chaos; you'll all be happier.
  • Give each kid his/her own room. Then they can commit suicide instead of murder. At least no one goes to jail that way.
  • Make it a game: Give each child a list of the things they must pick up - age appropriate, of course. Put on a favorite upbeat song and promise a reward (candy, extra TV time, etc) if they can both get their list done before the song is over.
  • Stand there and threaten grounding and/or bodily harm if they don't stop fighting and just do it already! Oh - you've already tried this? Well, never mind, then.
  • Model the desired behavior. IOW - is YOUR room clean, mom?
  • Wait ten years until they're all out of the house. You'll be old and lonely, but by gum the bedrooms will be clean!
Okay so some most of those are tongue in cheek, smart-alec-off-the-top-of-my-head answers because I really don't know the answer, okay? Maybe some of the other folks who check in here will have better ideas than me.

But still, congratulations. Your kids' rooms may be messy, but you're a winner!


  1. Okay I am still stuck on the questions she didn't ask. How MANY hickies you've been givein in your life? HELLO!!! We need another contest. I HAVE TO WIN!!! Darn that Debbie. "How do I get my kids to clean their rooms" HA!

  2. Honestly, for me your last solution is ending up to be so true... it's pretty scary how alike all kids are... huh? I never really did figure this out, in 23 year of kid raising... but even though Son1 didn't learn the desired skill of cleaning a bedroom without beating his youth brother into doing most of the work in his youth... he managed to clean an apartment with a companion on his mission... And I am assured by DIL that he's not the sloppiest hubby out there... So I am going to call that a success...

    Daughter is a neat freak so we won't go there... some kids are just like that, and you have to be grateful...

    These days, I am too tired to make Son2 clean his room anymore... I kind of figure it's my penance for his having to do most of the work when he was sharing a room with his older brother... and he helps keep the rest of the house clean, so we call it a trade...

    besides he tells me it's not really "unclean", it's just too small for all his "stuff"... he is my "saver" kid...

  3. I'm all about embracing the chaos! As long as there's a clear path to the bed if someone needs assistance in the night, I'm good to go.

  4. OK. Big winner here. First of all, "everyone else who commented was MY FRIEND" - kinda makes me feel all warm inside knowing I'm the only non-friend around. Second - I have four kids which means we had a lot more fun than we had money or sense so somebody has to double up. And third, you ask if I model the behavior. Uh, yeah, where do you think they learned to fight? Give me a little credit. Plus, I would have never entered if I had known there were no cash prizes. (And for your friends that don't know me either - this is all tongue in cheek as well.)
    It's great to be a winner!

  5. Great Caption!
    Gotta love a kitty that will take on Michal Phelps!
    Had to leave a comment...didn't want you to plunge into a deep blue funk or something...just found you.
    Blessings, EJT

  6. Our friendship is over.

    When's the next context?

  7. And I'm only a friend!!!!

    Girl, you have to be careful what you say on a blog..........

  8. The only thing that worked when my boys were sharing a room was to pick things to clean up out of a bowl and then give them seperate cleaning times, they also picked 1st and 2nd out of the bowl. 10-20 min each with a reward of a dollar movie or trip somewhere they want to go or friends. I think doing something you hate makes you crabby and want to fight with your brother.
    Now happily we converted 1/2 the garage into a bedroom and those boys no longer share.

    I will also share my very best parenting tip: Kid of the Day. The kid gets all kid bonuses, open door, get mail, tv remote, ect and all responsibilities, let dog out ect. There is no figting over whoes turn it is to do things, if I know what day it is I know who gets to do stuff. What peace!!

  9. I'm with amidey. Let's hear about those hickeys.

    (With apologies to dukdub.:)

  10. dionne, thanks for your concern. My daughter can reveale all her transgressions and there will be no new ones that I don't know about.

    I am not supposed to let the cat out of the bag! But let me tell you that I have a perfect daughter!

    You have to remember, this is all tounge-in-cheek, (or is that hickey on neck?)

  11. What the heck?! Dad. You're killing me here!

  12. The key word here is "together." Impossible. Make them take turns each day/week.

  13. We like to break into teams and race each other. I try to have the team jobs similar in projected time and of course, are age appropriate. This was an idea my mom used and it is one of the fondest memories of my childhood because we would get laughing so hard that it was hard to work. When I was little mom and dad jumped in the mix too and my dad was super fun to clean with. It works for my kids so maybe it will work for yours as well. :)