Saturday morning I sat the entire family down and explained what was going to happen. Instantly there were faces filled with fear, mouths suddenly dropped open and then it began...the moans and groans...followed by the complaining "why!?"
No, they were not being sent to an orphanage (yet).
They were going to clean their rooms. Yep, that's it.
I am embarrassed to admit that I had let the room cleaning slide a bit the past year. Because of my lack of enforcement, closets were stacked high with old shoes, small clothes, toys from yonder year, dirty underwear, clean underwear, candy wrappers, old candy, dirt, grime, dust (and that is just the closets).
Drawers were stuffed with summer clothes, winter clothes, spring clothes, my clothes (yes I found a pair of my jeans in Tate's drawer) and everything else imaginable.
Their rooms were so dusty that even the walls had their own layer. The ceilings looked like we had decorated for Halloween with cobwebs dangling in a spook-like fashion from the corners.
And then there was what was lying beneath their beds. Books were strewn here and there with trash mingled in between. Dust! Oh the dust...coughing spells came quickly followed by gagging from breathing in the year of dust that had settled ever so comfortably under the beds. Missing electronic games, iPods, loose change, you name it...it was under there!
But under one bed, the one with only a few books, a couple lone socks, a wrapper or two, and plenty of cat and dog hair (that is where the animals hang out)...there was a suspicious "toy." As I was just about to place my fingers around "it" to scoot it out with the other objects, I stopped. It hit me...that is a MOUSE! I quickly told Sommer (it was her room after all) I thought there was a dead mouse under her bed. She rolled her eyes and calmly said, "Mom, it is probably just one of the cat's toys."
I replied, "Well, you grab it then."
Moments later, as Sommer crawled under the bed to grab the "toy mouse" a shriek (a total mouse shriek), was heard throughout our house. "IT'S A DEAD MOUSE!" she cried!
Her brother, Calvin was called in to remove the object of our nighmares. He then proceeded to do what any brother would...place the mouse in front of all of our faces...thus causing more shrieks to ring out.
And then, after we all had settled down, I looked at my darling children...for they had all gathered to see what all of the fuss was about and said,
"Children, dearest children, this is the answer to your earlier question as to why we should clean our rooms in a proper and timely manner. There just may be a dead mouse (or other disgusting item) rotting under your bed."
And after six hours, beds re-bunked, rooms switched around and organized from top to bottom,they are clean...