Monday, August 31, 2009

Snail Trails

Do you have these at your house? My kids leave snail trails behind everywhere they go. We observed the slimy trail left behind one day outside and ever since then this analogy has made perfect sense to my kids.

When Sweetheart is finished watching TV, she gets up and leaves the room. Blanket and cushion she was using still laying in floor. When Little Bit has a snack, the paper towel gets left on the kitchen table along with the cup she was drinking out of. Someone takes their shoes off under the table and there they sit. Someone draws and then leaves the pencil and paper on the coffee table. I could go on and on.

If I am present to remind them, these things get picked up immediately. But heaven forbid I get busy doing something in another room. I've actually taken them on a tour of their day through all the rooms pointing out the trail of slime they have left behind them. They get it.

One day I just KNOW all this nagging....I mean reminding is going to pay off. In fact, some days it seems like it is already paying off.

But I am convinced that when they finally stop leaving the slime behind, my house will be clean. I've had other theories over the years. When my children were younger I had what I called "the horizontal surfaces theory." See, I always walked around saying, "If these toys just weren't all over the floor, my house would look clean." But in reality, when all the toys got picked up and put away, there was still mess. It was on every horizontal surface in the house--the kitchen island, the side table in the living room, my night stand, the formal dining table, the fireplace mantle, etc. They were, by the way, all surfaces that my kids couldn't exactly reach at the time. Or at least the contents of the table was not theirs.

So....that blew my excuse about the toys. Now I'm blaming the snail trails, but I could be wrong.

What do you figure is the one reason why your house gets messy often?

(If your house does NOT get messy, you may leave a comment but only if you promise to go help a friend this week who is not as fortunate as you!)


  1. Ha! We definitely have Snail Trail Syndrome around here. (Which is much more troublesome than Swine Flu, IMHO.)

    But- I can't stand clutter, and neither can the Prince, so my kiddos get the "reminding" too. One day I KNOW it will kick in.

    I'm hoping that's tomorrow.

  2. What do you figure is the one reason why your house gets messy often?

    People live here!
    Simple as that.
    I keep trying to make them go live somewhere else, but every night at bedtime they all seem to be back here. :)

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  4. Not to be discouraging or anything Brenda, but i have a 14-year-old who leaves the longest snail trails!! It drives me nuts!! You can literally trace what she's done or where she's been in the house from one place to the next.

    While I, too, believe that one day all this nagging (er, reminding) will pay off, I'm not quite sure exactly when this faith will manifest.

    Oh, and are there really ladies out there whose homes DON'T get messy? Ha!

  5. I'll go ahead and be honest ;-) My house gets messy because of the computer. And a combination of gluttony and covetousness. TOO MUCH STUFF! *sigh*

  6. Haha mine gets messy because people live here. And the mess of the three people two and under is the bulk of the mess here...oh and the fact that we have no storage room or anything.

    By the way, I know of a parent who stopped reminding their kids to pick up their stuff. She implemented something where if the kids knew not to leave their stuff on the floor/table etc, and did anyway, that without a word she'd pick it up and confiscate it. Later on, if the child asked if she knew where it was, she said yes and they either had to pay a "fine" out of their allowance to have it back (since mom had to do their work of picking it up for them) or they had to do some extra work (mom did their work so they need to help mom). She said it wasn't long before her kids remembered to pick up most of their stuff.

    She even confiscated stuff they needed like their shoes under the table, stuff that they absolutely had to have back, therefore having to pay the fine or do extra work. They couldn't just shrug it off and say they didn't want it anyway.

  7. Paper is the main culprit in regards to mess in our house. It's everywhere! Take a look around your own house and you may see it to be true with yours as well. Bills, magazines, brochures, newspapers, books, receipts, homeschool papers and books. The list could go on forever and unfortunately you can only get rid of so much paper!

  8. Funny, I was thinking the same thing (about the mess that kids generate)...then God spoke to my heart, 'that I might be surprised how much mess is still here, once they all leave the nest someday.'

    He left me thinking ;-)

    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)