04 December 2009

And they really make a mess outa you

Okay, and while I'm at it, I have another.
I am going to try to be careful here, because I don't want to make things awkward or weird when we visit others homes or they come here.
And, I am sure I will inevitably eat my words or change my mind.

As homeschoolers, the play date is an integral part of our socialization. It is something that we love and live for. All of us. What I'd like to do is start a revolution to create change. I am calling for an end to the after-play- date- clean-up. Trust me, this is not because I'm lazy or want to train my kids to be, but inevitably, I find mothers in parts of my house, awkwardly putting toys on shelves while demanding that their children "help" when all along I sense they are more than ready to walk out of the door. And the truth is, we have spots for those toys and at some point will go back through and semi-organize them. Now, again, I appreciate this effort so much, but it is very unnecessary. When we invite quests over, we assume that we will have to clean up a bit when everyone clears out. The same goes for us visiting. This week, we left before any other kids, and I personally saw a group of children dump boxes of toys out that mine were not involved in. I felt awkward when we left because the kids weren't finished playing, my kids didn't play with the toys in the messy room, and we were pressed for time. But, at the same time, I felt embarrassed and guilty as we left as if we didn't fulfill some sort of unspoken mom rule..Tough call..In the end, I don't want the kids to tear the house apart and not demonstrate basic respect and kindness, but on the other, what is the protocol and necessity for clean-up? When you come to my place, don't worry your pretty little head 'bout a thing..


rowena___. said...

well just to put your mind at ease, at said playdate the only thing i put away was a mountain of pistachio nuts in my mouth. :D

i'm with you on the clean-up thing, i think most of us make the gesture so as to impress upon our kids that it is the right thing to at least offer. but i also believe that when a hostess says, "please don't worry, we'll take care of it," that she means it, and that it is pushy to try to force your way in her house.

but that is me--i don't want people "helping" me put my dishes in the dishwasher after dinner either. :D

Tough Mama said...

I agree that the kids need to be taught how to be good house guests. I think I am going to lecture the heck out of them (aka remind) them to put away what they take out before we go.. I really don't want to raise rude children, but I do want to eliminate the superficial gestures, I guess..

mandy said...

hmmmm, i hate messes at my house. i'm trying to get over it. but i actually really like a little help cleaning things up at the end of a play date. but maybe that is because i have a baby and my hands are rarely free. i don't know! i agree that when the host says not to bother that it's okay to just go though!

JustNAverageGuy said...

It's the thought that counts! Although I have no children of my own, I know throwing a party (for adults) consists of the dreaded clean up as well. It comes with the territory of hosting. A good host doesn't obligate their guests to clean, but a good guest feels obligated to clean. Great blog Tough Mama!