My house is usually messy and I spend a lot of time telling the kids to put things away.
Fortunately most of the mess is confined to their bedroom, which I generally make a point of getting them (or more me in reality) to go through their room at least once a week, putting toys away and their general clutter and filth they like to collect, so that I can mop and change beds and clean the filth away.
This mostly turns into a day or two battle where by it will get a lot worse before it gets better.
This mess believe it or not was pristine only two days ago.
I got into a routine of making them clear away their toys before coming down for breakfast which didn't work as sometimes they would not even get breakfast after waking at 7am until almost 11am with the mess still strewn all over the floor.
Oliver has taken to throwing things everywhere whenever he gets upset over something so we can spend a couple of hours tidying away and then me cleaning the grot, only for Oliver a few hours later to arrange things back to the way they where, and he also takes great delight in ripping wallpaper off and digging holes in my plaster.
This isn't a recent problem this is something that has gone on for such a long time it just seems monotonous now.
I have tried all different approaches including more storage boxes which they have plenty of and putting laundry baskets in their room a rubbish bin and taking their TV away when it gets ridiculously messy, none of which work.
They took to going in my room and emptying everything on the floor so I now have a lock on my room as that is one space that is mine and I like that tidy and I still have their clothes in my room as they like to dispense them all over the floor if they are situated in their room.
They like to empty my kitchen cupboards and fridge of anything they fancy so these cannot be left unlocked but on the odd occasion I do forget to lock them they are straight in there and they usually end up with syrup all over the bedroom or jam.
They do this with such cunning you never hear them doing it and I can never pinpoint when they did it, I only know that they have done it.
"Why don't you watch them" I hear you cry, well I do most of the time I always have my eyes and ears on where they are but sometimes they are so quiet and so sneaky they just get past me very easily.
Its awful living with those locks everywhere but I have no other choice, I had the usual child locks which they easily learnt to just pull off and then I upgraded to baby dan locks which are magnetic and you cant see them on the outside, but unfortunately they where easily gotten into, and then I tried luggage locks which they found they could snap easily without much effort, so I resorted to chains and combination locks that do not look very attractive but they are certainly very effective.
I tried many methods to stop this steeling including leaving lots of fruit out on the table for them to eat between meals just in case they where doing it out of hunger, but they just resorted to grinding banana into my floor and I would find rotten pieces of fruit round the house all the time, they just take them because they are there not because they want to eat them.
If they see something they want whatever that is they take it.
Our education shelf was looking stocked up the other day when I arranged it with pride with board games, and other educational games and things to do with an educational twist.
Two days later there is not much in the way of games left, they didn't want to wait and play one game at a time they wanted to take the lot and then throw them all over their bedroom floor when they discover they have no clue without direction what to do with them.
This is a regular occasion, whenever I buy something new that I see that I think will come in handy they always manage to destroy it before it can be used in any useful way, if they see it they want it and will take it whatever that may be.
This is the worste part of our home life at the moment and it has been this way for a very long time.
I try every method know to man to stop this behaviour but it continues and the way they are when it has been done afterwards leads me to believe they are actually taking great pleasure out of the distrss it causes me.
I have tried to just let these things slide and not take any notice but I have to live here and it is me they are steeling from. What else can I do, I have to buy resources whenever they are available as I do not have an endless pot of money to buy things when needed, I have to do it whenever I see them and if I can afford them at the time.
I stopped buying treats like cake and biscuits as they just steel them and don't wait for the appropriate time to have them, I lock everything away all the time and it isn't pleasant.
The word no does not mean very much to these twins, they don't care too much what the consequences are, if they want it they will take it. regardless.
I have tried punishing the bedroom mess with taking things away, for instance if we are due out on a trip or to one of their clubs then they don't go if the room is disastrous, but they don't seem to care less and we end up going nowhere and sometimes this will go on for weeks, so that method does not work either.
I have tried taking something of theirs whenever they steel something, or if they break something I break something of theirs but do they care...nope. that does not work either.
I am at a loss with their destruction and steeling tenancies and am not sure where this is taking us, I just know I am tired of it and have been tired of it for some time but what can I do, I feel powerless and know I have to just sit through it until they decide to stop. In the meantime quality of life is decreased and is not as it should be.
I have even thought about sending them to school lol.. yes school, only so that I get a few hours of tidy in my house, not for any educational value, that probably isn't the best way to think about school as a free baby sitter for a few hours break. I am happy to say it was only a fleeting thought...
I look back on these paragraphs and can see we are very fortunate that these are our main and only problems with being at home a lot, although they seem severe and do get me down, the rest of the time is harmonious.
They enjoy helping me to cook they are very good eating their food, they have never had issues with food, they are fabulous and fall over each other when it comes to clearing away after mealtime, they love filling the dishwasher or helping me put washing in.
They are great at brushing teeth and getting washed and dressed, they are fabulous at helping me tidy downstairs, they spend most of their days singing and dancing and generally being curious about something, questions are a part of everyday life here and most of the time is spent doing something.
Boredom was one of the things I worried about, how would we fill our days but this is easily achieved, there is not one part of the day when there is nothing to do, for me this is easy I have study and work and the twins education and well being to care for, so I never have a dull moment and the twins have that much in the way of imagination their days are spent using it and creating something be that a game or a painting or drawing or playing role play games or reading or watching a film, or numerous other activities they get up to, there is very rarely a moment when the words I am bored ever enter our vocabulary.
So why is this mess such an issue and why does it occur, this is an easy one to answer, the twins are challenging me, they do naughty things knowing full well their actions are not going to end well, I have spoken to many twin mums and found this is very common behaviour with twins and the only obvious answer to this issue is to send them to school and put them in a different environment away from the environment they are being challenging in, obviously this is not an option for us with home educating so it is something I will have to just deal with and wait until they grow out of it, in the meantime, if I can keep it contained to their room life is not as bad as it could be, if it was the whole house it would be unbearable.