The Crayon Game and How You Can Win By Losing

I am a neat freak. But, I’m a hypocritical kind of neat freak because while my kitchen needs to have order and my living room and my dining room need to have a certain element of organization and not too much chaos, I don’t care if my desk looks like a drop-zone for everything I own and when I stay in a hotel room, guaranteed, my clothes and toiletries are everywhere and I won’t be able to find ANYTHING and am perfectly OKAY with that.

Right now, my living room is a disaster area and it’s item #1 on my to do list for today (the list is about seven items long right now). The thing is, every time I get started trying to wipe out something on my list, Pumpkin travels behind me and undoes my magic or instead runs around ahead of me, creating new messes that need cleaning.

I’ve already dealt with the first part of this struggle this morning. Pumpkin had upended a plastic container full of crayons and markers on the living room floor and then once she tired of it, moved on to the next thing abandoning the mess in her wake. So, I brought out a trusty tool from my bag of Parenting Tricks (what? They didn’t give YOU a bag? Hmmm. They must just like me better): THE CRAYON GAME.

For those of you who don’t know The Crayon Game (and that should be EVERYONE because I made it up), TCG is where you and your kiddo race to see who can pick up the crayons the fastest. Now, the interesting thing about TCG is that it’s not necessarily who picks up the MOST crayons, but who puts away the LAST crayon. So, say you’re tearing along, slinging crayons back into their container, if you have a competitive child (and BOY, do I have competitive children. Thank goodness) they will almost always speed up so they can beat you to that last crayon. Pro Tip: You can slow down at the end. Once you’ve got that momentum going, you’re home free.

Within two minutes of sitting down in front of the chaos of crayons, that mess was gone and Pumpkin was joyous that she basically kicked my butt in The Crayon Game. I made the appropriate noises, “Oh man! You’re SO GOOD AT THIS!” and inside I was mentally patting myself on the back because WHOOHOO! I tricked her.

Yes, I’d say about 90% of the tools in said Parenting Bag of Tricks involve some sort of manipulation, but it works and I can’t argue (too much) with success.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.

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