Friday, January 28, 2011

In Which Zane and I Throw Down.

Zane has developed a bad habit of throwing all of his toys on the floor.

All.

Over.

The.

Floor.

I am not a neat freak; I understand that kids like to play with toys, and sometimes this is messy. A little mess is lived-in, and I'm okay with that. What I can't stand are toys left lying around which I inevitably step on, trip over, slip on, etc. I either end up breaking the toy or injuring myself. (The one positive is that I've invented quite a few 'colorful metaphors' which should be making their way into the collective unconsciousness shortly!)

Tonight the boy stepped on My Last Nerve when he dumped an entire box of train parts into the middle of the living room. He has his own play area, but he wants to play near us, so he brings his toys to where ever we are. This would be acceptable if Zane ever put these toys away.

I asked Zane to please pick up the toys and put them back into the box. Nicely.

He said no. I asked him again.

He said no. He even turned his back on me and resumed playing. Oh, no-no-no, little boy. It is ON. There will be none of THAT in MY house.

"Pick up your toys off the floor NOW and put them in the toy box or they go into the trash," I spoke in my VERY CALM VOICE. Larry suddenly noticed the enormous thundercloud building above my head, and hightailed it out of the room. Zane remained obliviously ensconced in his defiance. He felt that he had won the battle.

I went into the pantry and grabbed a trash bag. I returned to the living room, opened the bag and began throwing toys into it.

"NOOOOOOO!!!! MY TOYS!!!!!" Zane started screaming.

"I asked you to pick up your toys. I told you that if you did not pick up your toys, I would throw them away," I continued throwing toys into the trash bag. Zane threw himself on the ground, having a tantrum. I kept picking up the toys and throwing them into the bag. Zane started following me around, screaming and crying, trying to grab the trash bag from me.

"Zane. I asked you to pick up your toys. If you do not pick up your toys, they are going in the trash," I repeated.

Zane finally saw the light and started running around picking up toys and flinging them into the toy box as fast as he could. I just stood there and held onto the trash bag until he was finished. Zane cried the entire time, and I had to redirect him a couple of times, but he got the job done.

When he finished, I picked Zane up and hugged him and told him that he did a good job. We had a brief conversation about taking care of his toys and that when Zane left his toys all over the floor it told me that he didn't want those toys anymore, and those toys would be thrown away.

I have no intention of throwing all of Zane's toys away; I intend on putting toys up in the closet and getting them back out in six months or so. I'm not a completely horrible parent. But it seems to me that every boy should grow up with a healthy Fear Of Mom, who will love him always, even if it requires occasionally that I become a big Meanyhead.

9 comments:

  1. :) I agree completely with what you did! Hopefully next time, he listens, and doesn't need the trash bag visual!

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  2. This morning when Zane came downstairs he started telling the cats to "pick up their toys!" LOL

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  6. I did this to my daughter when she was four. Put them in a black trashbag in the entry closet. Then I forgot about them. I found them over a year later. Obviously, she never missed them, but didn't stop me from feeling like a horrible mom when I found them...Hopefully your memory is better than mine! :)

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    Love your blog!

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    www.becomingbrea.com

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