This morning Rawr and I had to go replenish the cookie supply. I left the three youngest girls with Elle and Rawr and I took off in the Cookie Mobile.
Upon my return, I knew something was amiss.
Scene: Front sidewalk between Rawr's house and mine. We're loaded down with cases of Tagalongs when suddenly, the air changes.
Me: [stops, sniffs the air]
Rawr: What are you doing?
Me: Don't move. [sniffsniff] Dangit. My house is trashed.
Rawr: Here we go.
You see, after raising those little hellions for nigh-on ten years, I've become pretty adept at sensing when things are off-kilter. Or rather, since trashing the joint is pretty much an hourly occurrence, might I say I've become well versed in the normalcy of chaos.
I banged on the front door while holding three cases of cookies and as soon as it was opened, I was greeted by the smell of toast and a vision of pure pandalerium.
I used to have an entryway. Some of you may remember what it looked like last time I posted a photo (which was clean compared to today).
They burned it down while I was gone. Moving down the hall into the dining room, or rather what was supposed to be a dining room until they forgot to build it with the house, I nearly vomited because of the stench of uncaring. Everything, everything, from every surface was dumped on the floor. Dishes, plants, knick-knacks, cereal, toys, people, cats. All on the floor.
In the midst of it, the 5s were playing a game.
Elle's 5: You will grow up to be a firestarter.
My 5: [maniacal laughter] I already am!
Me: ELLE! What did you do to these kids? I was only gone for an hour!
Elle: [on facebook] Huh?
To be fair, I may or may not have exaggerated some things. The cat was not on the floor. He was on the stove. The rest is true (or false).
I demanded that the kids pick up their mess which of course was met with whines of I don't wanna and I didn't do any of this!
After I explained to Elle that I was talking to the children, I set about correcting their behavior. I ordered things put away, swept and put back together.
Of course, none of them wanted to do any of it.
So out came T-Bag.
I initially introduced T(rash) Bag back in '09. My eldest two had refused to clean up some huge mess they'd made in their respective bedrooms (which sort of bled from one room, out the hall and into the other) and I was pretty tired of always cleaning it up for them. I told the two kids that whatever was left on the floor after bedtime was going bye-bye. They laughed, picked up and two things each and left the rest. When they awoke to a spotless floor in the morning and realized what happened, their screams were most likely heard in the CPS office across town.
For a long time after, the mere mention of any kind of bag would send the kids into a panic.
Hey, kiddo. Do me a favor and grab your lunch bag for schoo-
Back to present day. My niece's haven't really experienced T-bag Day, so I introduced them. (Is that too gross? Should I stop saying that?)
Allow me to rephrase. Not many have experienced T-bag Day. I made three requests that the kids tidy up the living area. Three requests that were ignored. I explained what would happen if they did not acquiesce my request. They were unwilling, so I brought out the big guns.
Only, I didn't exactly have a trash bag so I just started grabbing crap and telling them that I was throwing it away.
You should have SEEN the scramble. And snotty, teary faces. Awesome.
Before you get all Judgy McJudgerson, know that I love my kids. I even love my nieces. I just want them to know when I mean business.
And relax. Their plethora of crap was returned to them. After they picked up everything else. And made me lunch. And scrubbed the toilets.
Just kidding. I made my own lunch.