"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Mystery of the Hair Bows

Recently, thanks to the guidance of my super organized friend, Carol, I have started the long process of creating harmony with the things in my house. I gave the pencils their own container (they like it much better than being thrown on the floor), threw away old pots and pans, put all my band-aids together and even matched up my measuring cups (for what reason, I don't know, because it's not like I cook with them). I was thrilled. Everything had a place and I actually was able to find things when I needed them. What a crazy concept.

My children, however, was not so quick to deviate from their chaotic ways. I would find markers strewn about and then somebody (accidentally) broke the lid of my craft bin.

The last straw was yesterday. I needed some cute red bows for my three little munchkins. I had five minutes before I had to leave for the party, but not to worry, I knew exactly where they were.

Except that they were not there! (I'm sure you are all just shocked.)

I could't believe it. I had organized everything, so what was the deal???!!! I searched and searched. Finally, we had to go to the Valentine's party with one orange hair bow, a green barrette and poor Victoria was left with her hair in her eyes.

Isabella admitted later that she had stashed the hair accessories in her room to beautify her dolls.

"Bring me your shoes." I ordered.

"Are you gonna put the hair clips on them?" she asked.

"Nope. I am going to hide them so you have to look for them, like I had to look for my stuff!" I chirped.

Her sisters stared at me, amazed at my brilliant idea (or perhaps shocked that I actually had an idea).

"You'd better hurry.", I continued, "because we're leaving for Mcdonald's in exactly ten minutes and if you can't find them, then you have to stay home."

Everyone gasped while I set the timer.

My kids are not real good lookers, so I did give her the hint that the shoes had been hidden upstairs. Still, the minutes ticked by, her feet frantically dashing up and down the hall.

Anastasia spoke in a whisper, "Mom is getting kind of picky about her stuff".

"And you!!!" I boomed, on a roll, "The same goes for you if you touch my things without asking.

Isabella finally did find her shoes and we dined on apple pies and fries (see, I told you I didn't need measuring cups), but I think they really learned something this time.


Does anyone have any other ideas on how to get kids to listen and respect others peoples things?

Anyway, Catherine is keeping her shoes close to her tonight.


  1. check out this link.

    Pretty well tells you it is hopeless.


  2. I think you are brilliant! Not selfish, Mine, Mine, Mine! but a lesson in how it inconveniences everyone. I wish I had thought of that when mine was little.

  3. The Sunday Box: When I was a kid, my neighbors...who had 5 girls...had a Sunday Box. Anything that got left out, or laying around, went into the Sunday box and would not be given back to the owner until Sunday morning before church. If it was a shoe, well that person just didn't get to go outside! (though I think the mom gave the shoe back if the family had to go somewhere, but it had to go right back in the box when they got home!) So when my 5 oldest kids were little, I stole the Sunday Box idea. The first few weeks, that box was OVERFLOWING!!!! I did have to improvise though. If I found a couple legos, I took the ENTIRE lego set. (cuz who would miss one little lego?) Each week there were fewer and fewer things in that box. Eventually I could walk through my whole house in pitch darkness without stepping on a lego or anything else! Also, when one of my boys was a tween, we went through a phase of him taking other people's stuff and stashing the stuff in his room. Sometimes he stashed them because he'd wrecked them. I finally made him pack up his ENTIRE room into boxes. The only things left were his bed/bedding and dresser. There wasn't a single toy left. There were 6 large boxes total. He had to go one whole week without taking other people's things, and then he got to earn back one box. This continued each week. He got to week three and slipped, and all the stuff he'd earned back was packed back up again, And HE had to pack the boxes himself. (I think this was important for him to learn HE was making the choice to loose his stuff again. Not me taking it away.) He had to repack his room three times before the behavior finally stopped.

  4. Brilliant! It's simply a matter of finding what motivates them - you are teaching logical consequences and responsibility for one's behavior - you go, Girlfriend!

  5. thank you for the laugh!!
    good luck with getting everyone on board. I love that Catherine slept with her shoes! She is a smart cookie

  6. Oh my gosh, I am definitely stealing this idea! Brilliant. If this happened to us, I would just stand around ranting and raving about responsibility while my 7 yr old rolled her eyes. This is much better.

  7. You should have your own reality show!! I look forward to reading your blog everyday. Your children are precious and it is amazing to watch Francesca and Victoria blossom.

  8. Now your going to have a bunch of kids hiding their shoes from you so well they can't find them! Love you, friend!


  9. Ha! That's a genius move to hide her shoes!

    That's basically what we do in our home. If you disrespect another person's property, the "victim" gets to do something similar (e.g. if you take another person's toy without asking, the "victim" gets to go into your room to select an item to play with, also without asking.)

    The key, I think, is helping the kids to understand *why* you need to respect others' property. To understand why, I've found it's effective to put them in that situation, so they know how it feels to be on the receiving end of their actions.(Just as you did with Isabella). And in the future, they can remember that experience when they're considering taking something that doesn't belong to them.

    Really, I think you'll find that you just need to be dramatic a few times; they'll learn! For instance, Isabella will remember
    "the shoe incident" for weeks and months to come, and the threat of a similar "payback" should suffice -- the message should get through!

  10. OMG that idea is pure brilliance! You are now officially my hero!


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