At 10:30 this morning, the 10 year old made a somewhat innocent comment "Mom, I don't have any long sleeve shirts". Hmmm.... seems to me I remember purchasing several just a few weeks ago...where did they go? I wonder if all of those shirts were lost in the same abyss that the glasses disappeared to last week. Definitely time for an investigation....
In short time the investigation became a war. A battle of wills that escalated. Had I been wise, I would have sent for the reserves but no...I simply decided that today we would battle until there was no more war. The battle raged all day! I kid you not, it was an 8 1/2 hour battle!!! However, I am pleased to announce that we found the glasses, enough long-sleeve shirts to last the winter, missing Nintendo DS games, missing school books, and enough pens and pencils to outfit the military (we also found the floor to her room!).
Here is my cry for help! I need to hear from moms who battle this war in their homes. I have 3 children. Two of these are more like me and are not pack rats. When I send them to clean their rooms, they usually can accomplish the task. When I send them to find things in their rooms, they often can find the object quickly. It is with the other child, my 10 year old daughter that I need help. She is so much like her father (whom I love dearly). She saves EVERYTHING and puts NOTHING away (just today, we took 6 large trash bags of trash out of her room and 4 large trash bags of donations out). If this were a once-in-a-life time battle, I would chalk it up to parental experience and move on. However, this battle rages 2-3 and sometimes 4 times a year!!
If there is anyone out there who has experienced this war zone and has advice, I would love to hear it. When I've asked for advice, before, I usually get "You need to be firm." (yeah-one can only spank so many times), "Make her stay in her room until it's clean" (ok-today took 8 1/2 hours and a missed art lesson), or "Take away everything in her room and make her earn it back" (lovely idea-where exactly do I put this bed, dresser, desk, etc?). Most of those willing to dish out such thought provoking advice have never had this particular battle with their kids.
So, I am appealing to those who have been in this war... what do you do?