Middle Child has been cleaning his room for almost two weeks now. I finally went down and helped yesterday. In three hours we accomplished more than he did in two weeks on his own.
I remember when Calvin was a little boy and I would help him clean up his toys. I remember being so proud when he could clean them up all by himself. I remember thinking what a good Mom I was!
When Middle Child was born I still sat and helped him put the toys away so he could learn to clean. But for some reason he was never ever able to clean up his toys by himself. To this day he can't pick up after himself. I have worked with him for 12 years and he still can't do it.
Everyone is born with personality traits and no matter how we try and mold someone, they are still that person. Just like you can't change your marriage partner, you can't change your children.
Sunday morning Middle Child came up after being in his room for almost two hours and proclaimed how well he was progressing on cleaning up from under his bed. When I went down yesterday I discovered what he had done with everything under the bed. He had spent those hours carefully packing everything under his bed onto several blankets, wrapping them up, and then putting them on the top bunk. It was a wonderful plan! Until Mom brought it all crashing down around him.
We only spent three hours cleaning his room. In that time we filled to overflowing six garbage bags. We found the shoes I had recently bought him that he had completely forgotten existed. We made the beds and folded the blankets. We found money. We put clean clothes away and dirty clothes into the hamper. We found his white t-shirt I had bought for gym class that had been promptly lost and replaced. We vacuumed in all the corners. We even ventured into his bathroom and cleaned in there, but only a little.
Now if only it will last. But I know Middle Child. I begged him to keep it clean for a week. I even pleaded. I'll let you know how that goes. Occasionally he surprises me.