Messy (and the fallout thereof)

Ok, so today was supposed to be the day I got to go back to my sewing, right? 


Ruby has (yet again) lost her glasses.  This happens on a fairly regular basis and we usually find them in a bag she has used, or a shoe, or a tissue box or some non-sensical place but they DO usually turn up.  Well, she hasn’t found them and I hadn’t seen them and I was beginning to get a bit concerned as her right eye has a tendency to wander when she is tired and hasn’t been wearing her glasses.  It is starting to do that now so I thought I better put my back into finding the specs.

She claims that she last had them at school and took them off for sport so we went into school yesterday to look in her drawer.  It was soooooooo messy I don’t know how she could hope to find anything in it!  Her teacher was horrified, I was mortified and Ruby tried her best ‘oopsie, aren’t I ditzy?’ look to try to get away with it!!!  No dice!  As Miss A and another teacher were trying to have a meeting we couldn’t have a really good look but I asked Miss A to ensure that Ruby is kept in at recess until her desk is tidy.

So we came home and I set to looking in her room.  THREE hours later and there were still no specs to be found.  Ruby’s room was nice and tidy and she had passed a lovely afternoon at Calisthenics while I had GUTTED her room, looking in every possible hiding space but coming up empty handed.

Then today was my day off when I was hoping to get back to my sewing machine but instead I thought I would tidy Alexander’s room in the hope that her glasses would turn up there.  Another THREE hours later, his room was spick and span but I still hadn’t found the glasses.

I am completely at a loss and INCREDIBLY frustrated.  Ruby only got these glasses a few months ago – to replace another pair she had lost (which have since reappeared but her prescription had changed in the meantime!) and I know that the minute I pony up another hundred bucks for a new pair the nice silver pair will reappear!!

My frustration compelled me to introduce a new era at Park Towers.

I sat down after finishing Alexander’s room and wrote a new list of daily tasks for A & R.  Some things they already do, some things they should do, but don’t and some things I want them to start doing!  They are old enough now to do a little to help around the house.  They get 50c per day when all tasks are done and get a $1.50 bonus if all seven days of the week are completed so have a $5 earning potential.

I also have implemented some penalties.  For every five minutes that their glasses are not on their faces they are fined 10c.  (Exclusions apply only when sleeping, in water or playing sport only).  They are also fined 10c any time they complain or argue about one of their tasks.  They can’t put any electronics on before their morning jobs are done (I am not talking about cow milking or butter churning here – just bed making, getting dressed and tooth brushing – currently, Doctor Who must be watched before any of these can be contemplated in the morning – no more!!)

I made up a chart for each of them listing what was expected of them each day …

Then I wrote a detailed list of exactly what was required of each task in case they were in any doubt as my idea of ‘sweep the living room’ and their idea of ‘sweep the living room’ is very different! 

When they got home from school I said we were going to sit down and discuss something they said, “Are you cross, Mum?”  It’s always a little bit scary when someone says they want to ‘sit down’ to discuss something!!  I wasn’t cross by this time, I had a plan!

Anyway, they both took it fairly well – well, they took the $5 per week part very well, the no Doctor Who before tooth brushing didn’t go so well – that gave me a great opportunity to explain the ’10c fine for arguing’ clause 🙂

I really hope that this will help our house run more smoothly, will mean that I no longer have to shout like a fishwife when asked for a clean school shirt at 7.45am and, at the very least, will mean an end to three hour clean ups to find their bedroom floors!!

Sadly, the glasses are still AWOL …

This post is part of the ‘Photo a Day’ challenge at

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2 Responses to Messy (and the fallout thereof)

  1. Tracey Hand says:

    Oh Laura, I did laugh at the chart…. and the fine!
    I am envious though. Maybe I should draw my own up.
    Currently, I have a nearly teen who thinks he’s a teen and uses it as an excuse (he actually says to me “I do it because I’m a teenager!”) to do everything he shouldn’t (argue, shout, defy, be rude etc.) and not to do everything he shouldn’t (tidy, clean, wash!)
    I can only imagine what either of mine would make of such a list! (paper airplanes, probably!)

  2. I know, I am a spectacular tyrant! We did discuss how they have lots of luxuries (computers, lots of extra curricular activities etc) but with those come responsibilities. They are very welcome to give up their luxuries if they are not willing to accept their responsibilities 🙂

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