Monday, October 12, 2009

Cleaning out the Bear Cave

Little Bear and Fuzzy are gone on a trip to Montreal with X for five days and will be returning tomorrow. For about two weeks prior to their departure I have been trying to get Little Bear to clean up the disaster formerly known as his bedroom. I have always helped him in the past but ended up doing most of the cleaning myself and decided that at age six (and a half as he so proudly proclaims) it was time for him to do the majority himself. After all I'm not the one that gets to play in there and make forts and build "inventions". Little Bear has proved to be far more stubborn than I ever thought possible and has been holding his ground on NOT cleaning the room.

He has not had TV privileges since the two week dispute started, not that he really cares because he doesn't really watch all that much TV. He has started a bit and then gotten sidetracked with a drawing project or such which has prevented him from making much progress. Throughout the two weeks I have threatened that if he didn't clean up the room before he went to Montreal with his father I was going to clean the room while he was gone and there wouldn't be nearly as much stuff in there to make a mess when I was done. I told him that I was going to get rid of a lot of stuff since he claims that things don't have a place. I am a person who likes to stick to their word and so that was my intention.

This giant task was on my Saturday Itinerary but was....ummm....held up (by my procrastination and lack of motivation) so with the boys returning tomorrow I had no choice but to tackle the job tonight after dinner. What a task it was. I'm pretty sure the kid was saving every bit of paper he has ever wrote a single letter or digit on. Every school paper, greeting card, instruction sheet, clothing tag, anything that had a picture or writing on it was scattered around the room. He had everything from baby toys to leftover hardware to a collection of old hardballs and a box of tissue paper and batteries. You name it, it was in that mess.

Two hours later and I had found the source of that strange smell, two pairs of "missing" underwear, the "misplaced" portable DVD player (that is my early morning salvation when Little Bear takes it into Fuzzy's room and they watch a DVD at seven o'clock in the morning instead of jumping on my bed) and about a dozen socks (some clean, some dirty, hardly any of them matching). Two garbage bags of trash and a large rubbermaid tub of "sell it or donate it" stuff. Three dustpan loads of dirt and tiny junk and a pile of "too small" clothes. Two hours later and I am done!

From here on out I do not want to hear that things don't have a place because if it didn't have a place it found a place in one of those garbage bags. There are now a series of plastic containers to be labeled. One for dinky cars, one for small tractors, one for his collection of Lightning McQueen cars, two for trains and one of small plastic animals. There is a container for crayons and markers and a SMALL box of school paper that he might want to hang on to for a while. There are no dirty clothes on the floor and the spring horse whose head fell off is now fully repaired.

The tote of "sell it or donate it" stuff will be up to Little Bear. He can sell it and use the money as he likes (to save or spend on something like a new video game-that doesn't take up much room) or he can donate it to the kids that don't have much or both. Usually he picks a few to sell and a donates the rest. Either way it is leaving my house.

I'm now anticipating Little Bear's reaction tomorrow. It will either be one of horror for all the things that are now gone or glee for not having to clean up the room himself and having a nice clean room. Horror or glee, the Bear cave has been conquered and I am a much happier mama though he may be a sad bear.


Avneet Singh said...

a cute one :) .. cheers !!! .. have a happy motherhood :D

Brahm said...

Good posting, and good for you for tackling the big clean up!

We to have to tackle all those closets in all those rooms... Aaaaargh!