Thursday, August 21, 2008

Neat Freak

The obsessive-compulsive in me is crying out for my kids to take on some chores. Despite my inclination to be neat (which, truth be told, is not an inclination but an irrational urge that keeps me up late straightening sofa pillows and requires that I shave my legs every single day EVEN IN THE DEAD OF WINTER), my family is conspiring against me. They have no mercy. They hoard and collect and scatter all over the house. A list of what I find on any flat surface of our house would include pennies, sticks, barrettes, shredded bits of paper, coke bottles, Snickers wrappers, cell phones, crayons, miniature trucks, band-aids, wallets, clothes, junk mail, cups, remote controls, keys, tennis balls, pens, rocks, pictures, colored pencils, flatware, blocks, crumpled receipts, and socks. It is a messiness that cannot be cured by shouting, threats, or unassisted hour-long searches for missing items. They simply do not Put Away.

As a result, I am now offering an allowance to all takers. Co-habitants who want this reward must practice neatness and random acts of tidiness. My husband so far is disinclined to accept what is no more than a thinly disguised bribe to satisfy what he sees as an unhealthy craving for order. But my children--who otherwise have no access to money--promise to be willing participants.

We'll see how it goes.

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