Last night Russ and I went out on a dinner date.
We had gotten the kids pizza before going out and had left them with strict instructions to clean up the table, put the recycling outside, push in the chairs and turn off the lights, and get the little ones in their pajamas.
We knew we were going to be home from our date early because one of us had to drive David to his job at 11pm, so we didn’t give any further instructions beyond that and, “Enjoy yourselves. Watch a movie, play a game, or something.”
We went out and had a relaxing evening at one of our favorite locally owned restaurants where we discussed our child’s therapy and progress (or lack of), Will’s new medication and our need to have a Modern Family discussion (post to come on this one).
It was great to get out, have awesome drinks, and share an absolutely delicious dessert plate.
It was bliss.
I felt like a real, genuine adult
we came home.
We walked in the door to discover that nothing had been done.
Or, let me rephrase,
Now, I will be the first to admit, I have trouble not expecting perfection out of my kids, so I often have to take a step back, relax, and think before I speak.
Last night was not an exception.
I took a few moments, walked through the house and sadly, it didn’t get any better.
The rooms that had been cleaned, mainly the kitchen and living room, were no longer even sort-of cleaned.
The few things that were asked of the kids were not done, except for Will being changed (and his clothes and pull-up left on the living room floor) and the trash from dinner having been carried from the dining room and left in the kitchen.
Rather than lose my mind, I told the kids that I was taking Will up to bed, told Emma and Keith to brush their teeth and go to bed, and then told the bigger kids that I expected them to clean up the mess in the kitchen and living room before they went to bed.
And I went to bed.
And Russ drove David to work and then he went to bed.
At 6 am, I woke to go pick up David from work and as I came down the stairs, my tension rose.
It was still a mess.
I grabbed my purse after taking the dogs out and left to get David.
An hour later, I was home, put on some coffee, and cleaned up the house.
It was HOURS before the kids were awake and after their zombie-like state had worn off, I informed them that if they want to continue to treat my living room, kitchen, and dining room like they treat their bedrooms that they no longer have privileges in those rooms if myself or Russ aren’t present.
The reaction was what I expected:
you know, all that good stuff that comes with the hormones of teenagers.
I then told them if they can prove to me that they can keep their rooms clean then I will allow them to use my rooms.
I was then asked,” Do we have to keep them clean according to you or to us?”
And I said,”Me.”
More grumbling and then my daughter Gabi piped up with,” Well then, I guess I will never be able to leave my room. Your standards are too high.”
Which then begs the question, how clean is too clean?
All I ask is that clean clothes at least remain folded (put away is a bonus), dirty clothes are in the laundry room and not on bedroom floors, no food is left in the bedrooms and there is no trash on the floors.
Is that asking to much?
Would love input.