Mommy! I won't clean up until you give me cereal!

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My daughter has recently learned the art of blackmail. She’s always been one for a negotiation, especially at bedtime (the placement of each object in her room must be negotiated sequentially and she often needs bribed into sleep – a story for a different day), but this one is new.

But my living room HAD to be picked up! A speech therapist is coming to my home this morning because my son is a little behind in talking. This is her first visit and I’m sure she’s seen worse but my living room is tiny as it is and strewn with crap. It looked like a tornado hit it last night.  I didn’t clean it up, because I want my kids to grow up cleaning up after themselves.

So, I just repeated calmly a few times, help me bring your toys in to your bedroom and then we’ll have cereal.  She cleaned up, I put out cereal in the middle of the cleanup (getting ready for work), then she finished the job afterwards.

The kids are playing in their room now and we all got what we wanted without a fight. Amusingly enough, she selected The Selfish Crocodile to read afterwards.

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