My friends, I am the victim of a conspiracy. My children watch to see when I head out to do chores and invariably get into trouble the MOMENT I step out the door. I have tried various techniques--staggering times, random checkings, you name it--but they're masters of espionage.
Remember those old westerns when Slim says "It's quiet--TOO quiet?" Welcome to life in my home. The kids drive me nuts when they're stomping around, hollering, or slamming doors. Still, when I step into the house and I don't hear anything, I get WORRIED. Rightfully so.
Some days, they sneak food up into their bedrooms. (They're well-fed at mealtimes, they get snacks, so I have no idea what the draw is.) Some days, they decorate the bathroom with toothpaste. Some days, they decide that the pets should all be confined in their bedrooms. Some days they think that Play-Doh and stickers really work well with my decor, an opinion that I vehemently disagree with. Still, I think that today took the cake.
When I went up to check on the (too quiet) children, I found multiple empty boxes of Jello in their rooms. Since I couldn't find any sugary piles, I assumed that they'd eaten them. However, after interrogation (no, I didn't put them in the Iron Maiden, use thumbscrews, or beat them . . .but the idea did cross my mind), they confessed that they'd poured them into the sink "to see what color they made."
So, I went into the bathroom and found the wreckage. ANTS WERE EVERYWHERE. Anyone who suggests that I have no self control has never seen me at that moment. We had a nice chat. Well, I had a nice chat. Maybe I should clarify that: I (re)stated all of the reasons for not doing such a thing and they looked properly abashed. Still, that didn't stop them from taking more food to their rooms as I was doing the afternoon chore round. Mind you, this is after they've been warned about ants, roaches, and mice.
So, maybe a different strategy is in order. A very dear friend (my other mother!) enlightened me today. Perhaps I'll encourage them to take every last bit of food up to their rooms, so as to draw any pests away from the rest of the house. After all, if mice get upstairs, so will snakes. (If this sounds cold-hearted and mean to you, you're more than welcome to come clean up the daily messes.)
What Happens When You Say No