Saturday, March 23, 2013

Less = More. Trying to Teach the Sons in Hidden Messages

I have two kids.  They are different than night and day.  They shared a room for about 5 1/2 years until one day, in their infinite wisdom decided, together, that they wanted their own rooms.  Since we had the third bedroom, I said, "Sure".

Son #1 is generally more orderly than Son #2.  If he's playing with Legos - he's playing with Legos.  He typically cleans stuff up or if he's asked to do it, he does without too much complaining.  Son #2 loves crap.  He loves playing with all sorts of crap - and when he's in his room - it looks like a bomb went off because he merges Army guys with Matchbox cars and Batman guys swoop down to attack them all.  Son #2 hates putting stuff away.

Why does Son #2 hate to put stuff away?  It's not because he's lazy (well maybe a little - and stubborn).  He does clean up at school with no complaints - but his school is neat and orderly.  His room becomes such a cluster of crap, that even I am overwhelmed by it.  So when it's cleaning day - I always head straight for Son #1s room because it's easier to clean because he has less crap in there.  And it's not so much that it's less crap - it's more organized crap.  Son #2 has a plethora of crap that has "no home".  McDonald toys, random Christmas crap that he wanted so much to keep in his room, goodie bag treasures, etc. etc.  Also - because I know Son #2's room is always a bomb, I typically throw all the crap I find around the house in there.  Who's going to notice?

I can pump out a good clean in Son #1s room in about 30 minutes.  Son #2's room takes a good 2-3 hours.  So obviously, I am more enthusiastic to clean Son #1s room.  It's quick, it's easy, I feel a sense of accomplishment.  Cleaning Son #2s room feels like being locked in a prison.

So we've been tackling Son #2s room.  Throwing away broken or "stupid" things.  Putting some stuff in a Tag Sale bin.  I'm using this "cleanse" to tell & teach the kids that their rooms are more functional and peaceful if they have less stuff.  There will be more room to play with less stuff in their.  You'll want to play in there even more if it's not always crazy.  I'll clean it more if there is less stuff because it's not so intimidating for me.  It sunk in a little - when I told them the more floor space they have, the bigger wrestling rink they'll have.  The promise of more fulfilling wrestling matches between the two sounded pretty darn good to both of them.

Hopefully some of the "less is more" crap will sink into their little heads, but then again, maybe the only thing they'll get out of it is, "Mommy's gone off the deep end again".  Either way, at least maybe I'll have a grasp on Son #2s room here soon and be able to keep it that way for a while.

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