Thursday, May 20, 2010

If you cant beat them ...

...join them. Thats the common saying. But I think that was the cause of my "downfall".

You see, I used to be one of those that had a place for everything ... and I mean EVERYTHING. And everything was put in its proper place, and there was no doubt as to where to find something. It would be where it was supposed to be. And I was one of those that would put things right if I saw that some thing was not in its proper place.

But with 3 kids, that is an IMPOSSIBLE task. With one kid, it was manageable. With two it was still possible, tho it took a little longer. BUT with 3, it is definitely IMPOSSIBLE, especially when NO ONE seems to one to lend a hand or do their part.

Everyday, when the kids get home from school, they will put whatever they bring home on the "dining" table. Never mind what it is - notices from school, letters from friends, junk mail, water bottles, files, hair bands, story books, fruit boxes, candy wrappers, toys, etc. And I am not always able to attend to what they put on the table immediately. Must say, not all are meant for my attention.

So things get left there longer than they should, and NOBODY clears it. Occasionally I will clear it ... especially if it requires my attention. BUT you know it only takes about two hours from the time I clear the table completely for a HUGE mess to accumulate on it.

I tell you - No amount of cajoling, nagging, and eventually shouting and threatening can help me clear that table. As I result, I have joined them. I let the mess be there. I now only clear it once a week on tuesdays, and only so that there is enough space for my kid to have his chinese tuition there! And before the hour is up, even that space is covered with stuff!

It has gotten so bad that I am embarrassed by the sight of that table. And ...with the mess, my husband thinks that we are not in a position to have any guests over!! I dont like it any more than he does, BUT it should not be only MY responsibility to keep it neat, clear and tidy, right?? why cant everyone do their bit to help keep it clean and PUT things where they belong ...and it is NOT on the dining table!! Sigh.

Fortunately we have another dining table, or else we would all be having dinner on the floor!


Stardust said...

Sigh. I know what you mean, Bear behaves like a kid, and he has so much stuff, and I try not to touch his stuff. He gives excuses like being busy. At least you get to clear on Tues, I think he only clears the counter until there's no more space for his junk. =(

Can you assign the other table as buffer, and keep the 'official' table clear for guests? Heheh, bad idea huh?

NomadicMom said...

Can you use punishment?
Or have a "hidden" space for all their barang-barang? It might be a pigsty in there, but at least, it will not be seen.

bp said...

hahaha, i can totally identify with you on this, even tho i do not/did not have a place for everything.

my mil is here, yah, but b4 that, i stayed up nites in a row till past 1 to try and clear the mounds of clutter on our kitchen countertop that's directly next to our dining table! out of consideration for her, but it IS our most hideous clutter of yet more clutter, that i run out of energy n time in the day to do, and last thing i want to do at the end of each day! still, it all piles back right up, but aiyah, it's really impossible as u say. gd thing u have your other table, and gd thing i have that kitchen countertop! but seems the only time mine "can see tabletop, yay!" is when we have friends over! so maybe you should have another gathering in your home... like incentive to clear up? but i know, getting everyone to help is not easy! apparently right-brained ppl are more prone to messes!

TripleJin said...

I actually had that problem few years back. My wonderful beautiful marble dining table became a pigsty!

Now, I no longer have this table..and all the kids have been trained to place their belongings in their own cubby holes. Notices are read immediately and discarded if of no use.

One, unfortunately has to take charge...or like u say.. very malufying..

JoMel said...

Why are you clearing the table for them? I would instruct everybody to pick up their own things and put them away in the places where they belong. Well, that's what I've been doing anyway.. If somebody wants to watch the TV or play computer games, or even have a snack, it's a no from me unless the mess is cleared. Works every time!