Tuesday evening, I was home with both of the kids while Trey was working late. It was a non-bath night so we headed upstairs to Sophia’s room around 7 PM to play awhile before bedtime. When I walked in her room and saw that the floor was covered with toys, clothes and shoes (the usual four year old mess), I told Sophia that we needed to pick up her room so that Selena could clean her room on Wednesday. (Yes, we have a lady who cleans our house every other week but I am a full-time working, career mama of two little ones and there are only so many hours in the day and I would rather spend them with my kids instead of cleaning toilets so don’t judge).
Because it was close to bedtime and because she is four, Sophia started to whine and was not having anything to do with my “Let’s clean your room!” enthusiasm. Because I had woke up at 5AM for work that day and because it was close to her bedtime, which means MOMMY TIME in my world, my patience was thin and I did not want to hear the whining. So, I told her if she did not help me pick up her toys I was going to… wait for it…
Throw Them Away.
In the trash.
The toys would be gone forever!
(I may have even raised my voice when I said this).
“Okay,” she replied and went back to playing with her Scooby-Doo action figures. “Just don’t throw away these toys that I’m playing with.”
She was calling my bluff.
To show her that I really meant business, I picked up the empty laundry basket from the corner where I had been folding the clean clothes and starting throwing in everything I found on the floor. I called out the name of each toy as I threw it in the basket so she would know that I meant business.
"Little zebra is going in the trash. All four Barbies are going in the trash. The skirt you wore to school today is going in the trash," I called out. "Oh no, I hate to see all your dollhouse furniture going in the trash."
Sophia jumped up and finally decided to join me in my cleaning spree. She grabbed her Barbie corvette, "Mommy, this can go in the trash too. I don't like it any more." Then she moved on to the biggies: her dollhouse and her Barbie airplane which she BEGGED for just last Christmas. "Let's throw my airplane away too, I don't play with it. And you can throw away my dollhouse and buy me a new one."
I couldn't keep my poker face on any longer, I let a four year old beat me at my own game.
"Sophia, I am not going to make you throw away your Barbie plane, or dollhouse, or even little Zebra. Maybe we can find some toys that we can give away to charity and clean up your room a little."
In the end, we filled two bags full of toys to give away in addition to an entire bag of shoes from her closet that no longer fit. I would like to say that I won that battle but my little girl managed to 1) get me to clean up her room 2) get me to clean out her closet and 3) delay her bedtime by thirty minutes!!!
Remind me not to play cards with my daughter when she gets older. Sophia is sooooo much better at bluffing than I am.