During the past few weeks I’ve been attempting to make Campbell into a more productive member of our family, instead of the little prince he thinks he is. This means he is now expected to clear his own plate after dinner and to help his sisters sweep under the kitchen table.
I’m also trying to get him to clean up his own messes.
At school he willingly picks up toys and puzzles when his teacher asks him to. So I figured he could do it at home, too.
Things went well at first. One afternoon I told him to clean up his Legos, and when he informed me that he couldn’t, I pulled out the Santa threat – “Santa Claus doesn’t bring presents to little boys who don’t pick up their Legos.” Worked like a charm. He had his mess cleaned up in record time.
But my success was short lived.
On Monday I tasked the big girls and Campbell with cleaning up the front bedroom, which was an unholy mess. The girls whined and moaned but mostly did what they were asked.
Campbell, on the other hand, informed me that he was too tired/cold/hot/sick to help. I tried the Santa line – no luck. We had to bolt out the door to meet some friends, so I told Campbell he’d have to help clean up later.
Hours and lots of fun later, I told Campbell he had to pick up his toys in the bedroom. Again, I got the tired/cold/hot/sick excuses.
So I pulled out the biggest threat I could think of and told Campbell that if he didn’t clean up, he’d have to go to bed without dinner. He looked at me for a second and then, to my surprise, climbed into bed. I reminded him that no matter how hungry he got, he wouldn’t be getting any dinner. He pulled the covers up to his chin in response.
I kissed him goodnight and turned out the light, figuring that was that.
But an hour later, he started yelling from the bedroom that he was hungry. I ignored him for a while but then went in and reminded Campbell why he was in bed. In response he informed me that he had “wots of energy to pway, but not wots of energy to cwean.” I told him that he had to stay in bed. For two hours, he went back and forth between yelling that he wanted to come out and play and whining that he was hungry.
It was a long night, but I had hope that Campbell had learned his lesson.
Foolish, foolish me.
Yesterday I told him to pick up his Legos, which were scattered across the floor. He told me he was too tired/hot/cold/sick. I replied that if he didn’t pick them up, I’d take the Legos and put them up for three days.
“That’s OK, Momom. They’re boring anyway.”
So I picked up the Legos and put them on the highest shelf in the hall closet, and Campbell skipped away.
I’m wondering how many toys he’s going to have to lose and how many dinners he’s going to miss before Campbell gets a clue.
I’m guessing it’s going to be a lot.