Dear Cinderella, if you want to go to the ball CLEAN YOUR ROOM!

When my daughter was three, I asked her to please remove her clothing from the dining room floor.  Like a shot–and with a sweetheart smile–she picked up the offending items, uttering this keeper comment:  “Sure thing, sweetie, I’m here to clean.”

Adorable.  Thought I’d never have a moment’s trouble with this one.

Current conversation with daughter, now eight:

Mother:  I asked you to clean your room last Sunday.  It is now Friday.  Please clean your room or forfeit attending your school dance tonight.

Long-suffering child:  I don’t know what forfeit means.

M:  It means that if your room is not clean by five p.m., you will be in there at seven while your friends are enjoying Katy Perry in the school auditorium.  The choice is yours.

LSC:  I’m hungry.

M:  There’s enough food in your room to get us through a subduction zone quake.

LSC:  I don’t know what subduction zone–

M: GO!

Three minutes later…

LSC:  I’m done.  That was exhausting.

M:  You are not done.  I just started cleaning my office, and I’m nowhere near done.

LSC:  You’re slower than I am.

We march to her room (well, I march; she stops three times in the hallway to practice dance moves).

M:  What part of the room did you clean?

LSC:  What part did you want me to?

Obviously she has been watching too much I Love Lucy and I am about to have a Ricky Ricardo meltdown.

M:  Mira caquilla cosa–

LSC:  I don’t know what–

She is in her room again now, the radio blaring very dramatic classical music.  I hear her creating a story to go along with the music:  “I loved you.  Why did you leave me?  If you come looking for me, I will be in the dungeon….”

The Brothers Grimm and Disney have been stringing people along for years, making us believe Cinderella was an innocent victim.   HA!  How much you wanna bet her room was a pigsty, and that’s why she wasn’t supposed to go to the ball?  From now on I’m on Team Wicked Stepmother.

What tricks/ mandates/ bribes/do you use to get your kids to clean their pits?


Filed under Children, Humor, Motherhood, parenthood, Writing

3 responses to “Dear Cinderella, if you want to go to the ball CLEAN YOUR ROOM!

  1. Shirley Karr

    If I ever find something that works, I’ll let you know!
    When I was a tween/early teen, my mom insisted I (insert onerous chore) or I couldn’t go to a church youth group shindig that night. She made the request/demand late in the day. Even though I’m bad at math, I calculated how long it would take to complete the chore, how much time I’d have to get ready afterward, and how badly I wanted to attend said shindig (or not) … and sat down and read a book.
    Maybe LSC doesn’t really want to go to the dance. 🙂

  2. Jessica C

    It seems to me that you are on the right track. You given her the relevant information to work with. She know what the job is and entails, she knows her deadline, and she know what her next activity could be. The natural consequence of not meeting her deadline is that it will cut into the time for the next activitiy. As Shirley pointed out above, if LSC wants to go to the dance, she will get the job done in the nick of time.

  3. Thank whoever rules the universe, my kids are all grown 🙂 My solution was to pick my battles and close the bedroom door. The but??? – I see trouble on the horizon with the two – currently – precious grandbabies 😀 I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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