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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Laugh Last, Laugh Best

I think I have the most lazy children on the face of the planet. Seriously, if there is some sort of contest I would win it hands down.

Every day when the children come inside from playing in the snow I say the same exact thing. Take off your wet stuff and put it in the dryer, line your boots up neatly, and put your gloves flat on the counter. Every. single. winter. day. It isn't like these demands, requests, pleas come as a surprise.

And yet every day I go into our mudroom and there in the middle of the floor is a huge pile of wet outerwear, mixed with boots, boot liners, scarves, gloves, socks, and other randomly discarded articles of clothing. I just don't get it. They literally disrobe with the dryer two feet away from them on one side and the closet two feet away on the other side, but they just leave their things on the floor.

This morning I was in the laundry room/mudroom trying to fold clothes and put them into laundry baskets when my aggravation peaked. I opened up the closet door, picked stuff up off of the floor, and began to throw things in the closet, one item at a time. I paused very dramatically for effect between items, announcing what the item was for all the world to hear.

"Oh look, a BOOT!" as I threw it in and it bounced off the back wall of the closet.

"And here a crumpled up pair of soaking wet snowpants. Those will be nice to put on later!" as I held them up in the air for everyone to examine and feel filled with remorse.

This went on for quite a while. Even though my children, like most human children, only have two hands, there were at least twenty pair of wet gloves in the mix, as well as several more hats than they have heads.

When I finished I slammed the closet door. Six pair of eyes were looking at me. I yelled, in a way that I am sure will be the source of much ridicule for years and years to come, "There, how do you like them apples." Six children dissolved into laughter.

For some reason my tantrums never have the desired effect. I never have contrite, apologetic children. Instead they mock me.

But that's okay. They can laugh all they want. Next time I am throwing the clothes outside into the snow. We'll see how funny that is when they are getting dressed outdoors and freezing their apples off.

I'll be laughing last. And them's the best apples of all.


Anonymous Cheryl said...

I'm sure laughing!!!!!!!!! :)

2:27 PM  
Blogger B.E.C.K. said...

Ah, yes, the mind-like-a-sieve syndrome. I know it well. Maybe it would help if you posted a chart or something? For the nonreaders, maybe pictures? I've occasionally done this with my son. I drew a getting-ready chart, and although it seriously challenged my practically nonexistent artistic ability, it has saved me a lot of yelling. Not that I haven't found other things to yell about, of course... ;^)

2:40 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

LOL, at least you're using your tantrums for good, to amuse us. Throwing the things back outside to freeze is a good idea, I might steal that plan.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whenever I get envious of all your snow, I remember how annoying the wet gloves and jeans are in the pile in the foyer

and that is with one or two snows per year

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

I will bet you always break down like my wife would and eventually dry it and pick it up for them.

I don't, but I am very sympathetic the next day and will sit and listen when they are upset. Then I remind them it is there job to pick it up and that they were told repeatedly.

The little ones I will help with, but the older ones need to learn that it is a big world out there.

Of coursse, I should add this is not much of a problem now, cause I started doing it in September...


3:23 PM  
Blogger The Grouchy Old Yorkie Lady said...

Beg to differ -- I'd win. I have a 15 year old girl. A few examples:

Living room strewn with blankets, sleeping bags, laptop, empty glasses. "Hey, can you come in here and clean up your stuff, please?" An hour later, I walk into the kitchen to find everything -- blankets included -- on the kitchen table.

Or on the stairs in entry way, supposedly so she can take it all upstairs with her "next time I go upstairs" -- only she keeps "forgetting" to do it, so my front hallway looks like a white trash yard.

Or tossed into her bathroom, where it covers every single horizontal surface.

I've taken to bagging things up for Goodwill on the sly. She doesn't seem to notice.

3:25 PM  
Blogger TBG said...

They are as lazy as the rest of the worlds children! We tortured our mother the same way.

Would be quite a shock for them to have all their wet clothes and boots outside!

3:55 PM  
Blogger speckledpup said...

you have my children!

my lazy unapologetic children!

keep them...please.

4:12 PM  
Blogger This Pastor's Wife said...

Been there done that, but I gotta admit you had my serious attention up until, "There, how do you like them apples."

Then I laughed. Couldn't help it. Sorry, but that is where you lost 'em. Better luck tomorrow ;o)

4:36 PM  
Blogger Mom2the5rs said...

Chris, If you want them to take your tantrums seriously, you must, must, must cry afterward! It works everytime! It doesn't, however, make them any smarter for the next go around. It just feels nice to have their sympathy and appologies for the time being.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Oh, man. The rage I feel when my kids laugh at me after I've thrown a dramatic tantrum. If that feeling could be bottled and sold, this world would be a scary, scary place.

9:42 PM  
Blogger owlhaven said...

I have this same interaction with my children regarding the virtues of toilet-flushing! I have three non-flushers using the same bathroom, and man, it gets to reeking in there. Disgustorama!! For awhile I made all three kids, whether guilty or not, wipe down the toilet each time I saw it wasn't flushed. It worked-- til I kind of forgot about the issue and stopped enforcing the consequences. It is SOO tough to be consistent. Your post reminded me I need to work on that.... Mary

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do this. Sometimes it even works.


11:43 PM  
Blogger owlhaven said...

I thought of a solution!


2:01 AM  
Blogger judi said...

ah yes, there are many days when we have backpacks, flip-flops, shoes, socks, hats, gloves, bike helmets, even an occasional briefcase ( when my husband becomes the 6th child) on the front lawn. it is fairly effective- especially since we have dogs and you never know where your possesions may land.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Susan said...

You are hilarious. I love your site and can relate. Thanks for sharing.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

Man, you sound JUST like my mom. :) I can only assume that this is what I'll be saying in a few years to Sophia unless she inherits the neat gene from Brent.

8:16 AM  
Blogger nabbalicious said...

Ha! My mom used to say, "Well, tough bananas!" which would cause my brother and I to collapse in hysterics.

9:13 AM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

I think they are a little young to get the meaning, I suppose.

I appreciated the drama, Chris, don't worry.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

You are quite the poetic comedian! I've visited your blog a few times, now I'm afraid I'll have to be checking it daily. I love how you write out your daily struggles and triumphs... very well written, very well indeed.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Chilihead2 said...

"...freezing their apples off." LOL and LOL again. Ain't it the truth?


5:10 PM  
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