My children have been relentless today. Absolutely unbearably relentless. I've feigned indifference. I've resorted to bribery. I've even, yes I admit, yelled. Rather inefficiently, I might add. The only reactions my children jubilantly granted me were delighted giggles and delirious laughter. Then another rousing rendition of their incredibly embarrassing song and dance routine.
It all started because of Robin Brande's, Great Decluttering Experiment. Oh yes. Someone has to take responsibility for my disgraceful experience. If it weren't for Robin's inspiring post, just daring me to partake in some cleaning up and organizing around the house, this never would have happened. At least not yet anyhow.
My 8 year old was responsible for looking at old videos and choosing which ones to keep and give away. She made remarkable progress, despite her running commentary on her favorite movies. Needless to say, she eventually chose to keep most of them. She also generously decided a pile of "baby" movies could be given away. Panicked 3 year old intervened and screamed, "No! You're not my friend anymore. I'm going to wave my magic wand and turn you into a frog!" Charming 8 year old, muttered "Ribbit," rolled her eyes and started sorting again. And then she started to giggle. She looked at the video in her hand and eagerly asked, "What's this? A Brand New Butt?" As I explained it was an old exercise video, my 6 year old couldn't resist and delightfully exclaimed, "Let's watch this and exercise!" Sure, why not. I hoped the kids run around, exhaust themselves and go to bed early.
My children were working on their lunges, when the instructor said something about buttocks. The kids could barely contain themselves and joyfully shouted out "Buttocks!" My enthusiastic girls were clearly amused. They laughed hysterically and had a good ole time wondering why mommy wanted a brand new butt. My middle child then started singing, "I want a brand new butt if it's the last thing I do." The other two joined in and repeated the oh so true refrain at the top of their lungs. Middle child turns around and wiggles her butt at me. The kids fall to the ground, grabbing their stomachs, laughing. Laughing. Laughing. I admit, it was funny. Even though it was at my expense. Still. The kids finally tired over the novelty of the butt dance and song and I marvelled at how quickly this all evolved. I decided to confuse them with delicious snacks then retreated to nurse my humiliated soul with some well deserved chocolate. The children were soon obsessed with playing restaurant and I started to relax.
Until we go to the grocery store. Middle child was bored and started humming the tune. 3 year old started singing the song. Loudly. 8 year old had the sense to look embarrassed and walked away. Youngest and middle child are partners in crime, gleefully singing in unison, "I want a brand new butt if it's the last thing I do," while people walked by, snickering. Despite muttered threats from older sister and countless bribes from me, the song persisted for quite a few stanzas. Thankfully, my kids knew better than performing the butt dance. I made it through the grocery store in record time.
This unforgettable song, followed by elated giggles, lasted the whole day, popping up when I least expected it. In the parking lot, in the car, at the gas station, in our front yard, and even more mortifying...in front of neighbors, while I was on the phone, and when someone was at the door. Today was quite the lesson in holding my head up high despite the sh** thrown my way.
This was the tremendous price I paid today to teach my children a meaningful lesson in maintaining order in the house. Organizing clutter is quite literally a pain in the butt. Project CON will still continue at my house, but with a little more thought to the process. My little instigators need some manipulated redirection and a brand new focus for tomorrow. Maybe weeding through their toys will do the trick...