Blake: Mom, we've got our pajamas on now and we're going to bed. (5-10 minutes after they were sent upstairs ... a record?) Good night, mom!
Me: Good night!
Blake: Mom, I wanna tell you something.
Me: Ok, what.
Blake:It's so much nicer up here when the upstairs is all picked up and there isn't stuff all over.
Me: Um, hum! (You think?!)
The kids were sent upstairs right after we got home to finish cleaning up their mess. Blake and Julia don't work so well together though, so I sent Julia to pick up in Chase's room instead, and left Blake upstairs to work on the bigger mess. (They were upstairs a good chunk of the day while I was at work, but they were up there together and so all they did was make each other scream and play a little bit.) I set the timer, and each time the timer went off I went and assessed the work. If it was obvious they had been working hard, they were fine and got more time to keep going (10-15 minute time slots). If they weren't, they lost a toy -- as in its gone for good.
Blake lost an ambulance toy (that is basically broken anyway), and Julia lost a Barbie dress and her Disney Princess tea set (pieces missing and broken). Then, I gave Blake a break upstairs and "let" him collect and crush cans instead, and had Julia work upstairs on what was left. She was all set to freak out over how much work she had to do when she realized Blake had done most of it and calmed right down. Man, she gets overwhelmed easily. But, I can relate to that.
I used the time while they were cleaning up to work on the kitchen ... so it was time well spent for me too.
Well, it's 10:20 and I'm exhausted so off to bed I go. Just thought I'd share that little conversation between Blake and me from the top of the stairs. :)