Very early on my children decided I wasn’t just their mother, I was their personal slave. This role meant that 24/7 they would trash the house, upending it and leave me to pick up after them. Toys. Towels. Dolls. Lego. Food. Dishes. Clothing. You name it it was left anywhere except where the hell it belonged.
In a sleep deprived haze I did it. I washed up to 25 towels a week because they’d use a new one daily. I’d pick up food they’d drop on the floor without a care in the world. Mum would do it who cares if the Weetbix paints the walls? The toys would be strewn from one end of the house to the other. Bit by bit they’d move from room to room and drag their crap with them. They couldn’t get into bed because they’d been playing in it. When I went to bed I’d end up with Lego in places Lego shouldn’t see. Cupboards wouldn’t shut they were so full of stuff. Tops of drawers resembled op shops.
And I’d run around flapping my hands getting no where because NO ONE did a thing or gave a shit. Some might say this was my fault. While I would secretly tell them to shut up they’d be right. I’d spoilt them. I hadn’t made them clean up after themselves. I had bred lazy kids. Yes. Yes and yes. They had however preyed on a tired, giving mother. Don’t underestimate what a 2 year old knows. They knew I’d eventually do it. And worked that out faster than I run out of kindy after drop off.
It came to a head last week when I snapped. I spent 5 hours tidying to get the house into a semi presentable state. I put every towel on a shelf those kids couldn’t reach with a beanstalk and issued them one each. Then I grabbed an empty washing basket and printed out a sign and stuck it on it.
Enter The Basket of Doom.
The Basket of Doom (aka a big ass washing basket) is hidden away and every time I see something that doesn’t belong where it’s lying it goes in it. Shoes. Clothes. Ballet shoes. Bits of paper. IPods. Ipads. Favourite tops. Homework books. Anything and everything. The best part about it is only I know what’s in it. If anything sits in the basket for longer than a week it’s in the bin. And then I wait for them to come calling…
When they want something they have to say “Is it in the Basket of Doom?” And then to get it out, they have to complete a chore. Clean the bathroom. Stack the dishes. Tidy the books. Make the bed. Give mum a foot massage. Run mum a bath. Play with the baby. Clean the dishwasher with a toothbrush. Build a cubby house out of tooth picks.
Is it working? See for yourself …..