I am hesitant to stop my children from playing nicely together, even when the living room looks like this. They are all playing with Legos and making some kind of alien world, and speaking to each other so sweetly. But. Really, children. This is a silly amount of stuff for you to spread on the floor and then not clean up.

What do you do? Maybe some of you decide to not pick up the house if everyone is happy, but I’m not really happy with this amount of paper.

(And p.s. does anyone have an awesome craft using paint color cards?)

Comments (10)

  1. Darshana May 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I am not about to disturb my kids when they are playing nicely and not bugging me over other minute “What do I do now?”. However, when they do decide that they want to move onto another activity that requires me getting it for them (iPad, computer, a yummy snack)I make them clean up first. This usually involves me helping them as well.

  2. Julie May 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    That’s sort of more or less what I do, Darshana. Kind of. They wanted to go play at a friend’s house, so I made them clean up the playroom (which was even worse than the living room).

    And let’s be honest here: I’m easily distracted too, and not exactly Mrs. Hard-Nosed Cleaner Lady.

  3. Julie Hedlund May 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Wait! How did you break into my house to take a picture of my kids’ playroom???

  4. Julie May 29, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Yeah, that’s right. My house is so ridiculously bad that it seemed to make more sense to break into the Other Julie’s house and do a photo shoot there.

  5. Julie May 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Things I can now see in this photo that I was too incensed to see at the time: markers, clearly used by Ramona (yet somehow all only on the paper — hurrah!). Crust of bread, despite strictly-enforced household rule against eating in the living room. And: broom. Like that’s going to do anything.

  6. Corinne May 30, 2012 at 12:11 am

    I am trying to find a way to appeal to a 4 yo to clean without threats and speaking like I am the evil headmistress. It doesn’t feel good.
    I think I saw some crafts on sayyestohoboken or ohhappyday blogs.
    Love the steel milk bottle.

  7. Julie May 30, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I am so all over the map, Corinne. Sometimes I am a screeching harpy, and sometimes I am calm. Sometimes I do what was recommended in Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves and just happily clean up and invite them to join me, and sometimes I set the timer and stand there angrily.

    The thing that works the most is when I say, “Ok, we all have to do this together. You guys do this room while I do this one!” Or “Let’s all do it together now!”

    But I’ve been trying to instill the put-one-away-before-you-take-out-another rule for 8 years now, and it has yet to stick.

  8. Julie June 8, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Tracy, thanks! I’m not sure we’ll get to that anytime soon (especially since — ahem! — I recycled all those paint cards in the photo) but it’s a great idea to have in my back pocket.

  9. Sonia Gracia June 12, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I Love this picture; it reminds me that we are all human. It makes home look fun. In a few years, we’ll both miss these messes when they go to their room and hibernate till 18.

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