Blair this one is for you....
So a few weeks ago a friend of mine and fellow blogger posted a story about a special fairy. This fairy is the clean up fairy. After countless days of begging and pleading for Meredith and Noah to pick up their toys....and threats of throwing their toys away if they didn't pick them up, I took Blair's idea and went with it. I told Meredith about the fairy. I told her how she came at night and picked up any toys that were left out and gave them to boys and girls that didn't have any toys.
After my preschool explanation of this fairy and how she worked, my daughter began to cry. At first I thought it was because she was so sensitive to the fact that some boys and girls had absolutely no toys. I went into lots of detail about that and here she was sobbing about how some kids had no toys and she was going to share them. I was impressed.....about to pat myself on the back...who said parenting was hard? It wasn't but a few seconds later and then I realized that she was crying because she didn't want that fairy to come and give her toys to anyone. It wasn't that she wanted to share with others who had no toys, it was that she didn't want to share with anyone....toys or no toys! I know I will continue to work on that sharing thing, right after I get this clean up thing working.
Anyway I digress....back to the fairy. So I go into detail and explain and re-explain how it works. That night when the tikes are in bed, the play room, and their bedrooms are spotless. I helped, but they did the bulk of the work. Meredith worried about the fairy and Noah picking up due to his sister's persistent begging so that the fairy won't come. The next night same thing. In fact their have been times where we couldn't leave the house with the play room a mess in fear that the fairy would come by while we were out.
A few days go by, the picking up continues and I realize my child is genuinely afraid of this fairy. She is losing sleep over it, literally. She can't sleep at night in fear of the fairy coming in her room at night to get her toys. I am frustrated. I didn't paint this fairy out to be the bad guy. I didn't say she looked like a wicked witch and pulled toes. So I really didn't want to have to say she was pretend and go back to living in a pig pen, but let's face it....we all need sleep....and by sleep I mean in our own beds. So I did it, I broke down....I told her the damn fairy wasn't real. She was just pretend. She could sleep, there was no fairy coming. It was just me and I was just going to throw those toys away if they were left out.
My moment of truth did not change the mind of my 3 year old. To her that fairy she still exist and I am just saying that she is pretend so she will sleep. We still pick up at night. She still stays up at night in fear of her. I guess I need to make sure that the fairy brings a few surprises to let Meredith know she is a good fairy.
But today, the fairy thing backfired completely. Meredith, Noah and I were in the backyard playing outside, when they started moving the pea gravel that is in the sand boxes under the swing set and dumping it all over the yard. I quickly halted this and told them we needed to pick it up and put it back. PRONTO! They just stared.....
"Guys....NO, NO, NO, the rocks stay under the swing set!"
"Because....I do not want pea gravel all over the yard."
"Because....it will kill the grass"
"Because when we cut the grass it will get shot across the yard by the lawn mower."
"Because IT BELONGS in the boxes under your playhouse and that is where it needs to stay"
"because I freaking said so.....BECAUSE, BECAUSE, BECAUSE!"
"No...stop right there...let's pick up....RIGHT NOW"
"No mom, let's just leave it. Da fairy will come when we are sleeping and just throw it away. Okay!"
I realize I was outsmarted by a 3 year old this afternoon. Lord help me when she is 16.