Cleaning With A Toddler In the Room

I can’t pick up toys in front of Crappy Baby. This is why…


cleaningwithtoddler 2


cleaningwithtoddler 4

I have to assume that this is his thought process.

Either that orย he is just being a dick.

PS – if you liked this post, then you’ll definately, probably like my new book: Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures

This entry was posted in crappy pictures, messy stuff, parenting, terrible twos, toddlers, toys. Bookmark the permalink.

289 Responses to Cleaning With A Toddler In the Room

  1. carrie jen says:

    This is my house! I’ve given up on cleaning because everything gets dumped the second I put it away.

  2. HattieExpattie says:

    I nearly choked on my water at that last line! Toddlers are dicks that is for certain.

  3. Cindy W says:

    This is why we do one cleanup just before bed. And the toddler helps. Sort of.

  4. Leanne Hamilton says:

    We do clean ups before bed. I sit on the bed and tell my son where to put his things.. He enjoys it because he thinks of it as a delay to going to bed. It’s all good! haha

    • Natalie B says: I’m hanging on to that little tidbit

    • Stephanie says:

      You might be one of the smartest moms on the planet.

    • amber says:

      They will fall for this bedtime delay trick! Brilliant!

    • Kay says:

      Why did I not think of this ???? Genius!

    • Heather says:

      Mom genius!!! We have toy jail for toys that get left out when they go to bed. They take it very seriously.

      • elin says:

        oooh love the toy jail idea!

      • abby says:

        I like that concept… tangible consequences for actions. I nanny a 4-year old and this makes sense to me. It’s not all about being a dictator but if I don’t make an incentive to do the right thing (making me happy is too vague an incentive at 4) she won’t learn it the way adults might.

      • The Mama says:

        I tried a variation of the ‘toy jail’ with my smart aleck kids for a bit. They just didn’t care. ๐Ÿ™ I’m pretty sure they figured I’d cave first. They even had the audacity to tell me that they didn’t want their ‘stupid toys’ back. Grrrr!

        After a week, give or take, they had very little to play with. At some point during the week, when they were telling me how their toys were ‘stupid’ and they didn’t want them anymore, for some reason I levied a one cent redemption fee on each toy — bail, if you will.

        The day came when they finally caved , were bored and wanted something to play with. I took the box of ‘jailed toys’ out of the toy prison but my little darlings looked at me as if I were insane when I asked them to post bail for their most favorite — hey, I even cut them a deal. The penny a toy was off I was will to give them a package deal on each of their stash. All three of them looked at me as if unwilling to lose their control of the evil adult person in their lives. I was going to return all the prisoner toys to custody (hoping my kids would give in soon).

        As luck would have it, my Mom was visiting. She played worse cop to my bad cop. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As I was returning the toys to custody, Mom had gone and fetched her wallet and offered to buy the toys herself; lock stock and barrel. She told her grandchildren that there was a new family moved in her neighborhood and she was sure those children would love to have all the pretty toys. She handed me a $20 bill (way more than the 10 cents or so each child had been assessed) and said she was going to put the boxes of toys in her car right then so she wouldn’t accidently leave them at my house. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Want to know what happened? A bidding war from my up-to-then hard-harded kiddies! Suddenly their ‘stupid’ toys became their most treasured possessions. Hahaha! They must have forgotten that Grandma is just another way of saying this (normally) benevolent person in their lives was really a Mom with more experience.

        • ducki says:

          Ohmigod, my children will hate you this is so brilliant! My 2 year old apparently will only clean up at school. My 8 month hasn’t had to help yet–but she will. Is it bad that I can’t wait to try this?

        • Minnie says:

          I like how the kids were so quick to get them back when they heard OTHER children may play with them!

        • Angela says:

          Brilliant!! I will be trying this in the near future…grandma and all!!

        • Angie says:

          Brilliant idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • gyl says:

          as a “mom with more experience”, i LOVE this! i had a problem with my step-daughter and my grandson (who live with us) leaving lights and tv’s on unattended all the time. finally, i put a $1 electric bill fine for each of them when it happened, regardless of who did it. after the first $3 collected, they now police each other!

        • Mandy says:

          That is sheer genius.. My mom-in-law created the toy fairy, who takes the. Toys left out and donates them to lonely children… My mom caves every single time… I will have to employ toy jail, with penny bail..

    • kristen says:

      That is the BEST evil-parent trick!!!

    • Christina W says:

      This is genius. I’m trying it tonight

    • Pia says:

      I’m so glad I scanned the comments this time! Thanks Leanne!

    • Becky Letts says:

      We clean up before getting ready for bed, but not right before bed. That would probably work in my family as a “delay tactic” too! My 2 yo sometimes freaks out at bed time if we forgot to clean because he doesn’t want to go to sleep with a messy room…but he wants me to do it.

    • Lynn says:

      That IS genius! and so is Toy Jail! I have to try these…probably with his clothes too, because he will throw clothes all over looking for something he wants and then whine to no end that it’s too hard for him to put them away…

      • Sanj says:

        Doesn’t get better with age, either. My 57-year-old guyfriend looked aghast when his closet rod broke, clothes crashing to the floor. He refused my offer to repair it (“I can do it myself”), and a month later, it’s all still in a heap. Why hasn’t he fixed it? He says he fished out his favorite clothes and keeps them in another closet now. (“Don’t need so many shirts anyway.”) Argh. And he’s not especially stupid; he’s a doctor.

  5. Melody says:

    Hahahaha! My son is 8 months old and not so mobile yet… but thanks for this preview of things to come ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Jade says:

    so true, I have just given up on touching any toys until naptime, then shes too busy sleeping to stop me!

  7. jackie says:

    I’m pretty sure this is how every single child works. It’s kind of the same issue as when a sibling is playing with a toy and all of a sudden the other child has decided that they NEED that particular toy and grab out of their sibling’s hand. Even if it’s a toy they haven’t touched in a year.

  8. Heather says:

    OMG yes! You simply can’t clean with them around! It must be before (or after) bed. I love this one!

  9. Jennifer Culp says:

    I wish I could tell you it gets better with Teenagers. It doesn’t, it just gets nastier and stinkyer! Yes, that is how I spelled it.

  10. Tara Pedersen says:

    Oh, that last line was fantastic! Thank you for this blog!!

  11. elizabeth says:

    This is why I only put away toys after MissThing goes to bed…everything supossedly belongs on the floor in her world!

  12. Zoie at TouchstoneZ says:

    I think my husband does this when I clean, too.

    • Stephanie says:

      Mine is the same with the kitchen. I can spend all day cleaning it, and 5 minutes after he walks in the door, it’s like hurricane Clark came through.

    • Tracy says:

      Yes!! I was loading the dirty dishes into the dishwasher the other night, and had just put the last dish in…hadn’t even closed the dishwasher yet, and hubby walks by, drops his dirty bowl and spoon in the sink and keeps on truckin’!! How hard would it have been to just put it in the dishwasher?!? It was open and the drawer was pulled out, like it was just waiting for him! No work involved…same effort as dropping it in the sink! *sigh*

      • Steph says:

        Guys did not get the “obvious” gene. You really have to talk to them like a 3 year old. No. Seriously.

      • Heather says:

        That’s too funny! I have to laugh at my husband (or cry in frustration lol) when it comes to laundry. I have two laundry baskets in our bedroom, spaced about 2 feet apart. I already gave up on the clothes being separated when they go in there, I just want the dirty clothes in there. I’ll go into the room and see the clothes he just took off IN BETWEEN THE TWO BASKETS. I really need to take a picture next time… I don’t know if he’s throwing them and missing or doesn’t want to lift his arm higher or what :S

        • Lidia says:

          Hahaha. That us too funny!

        • Liz says:

          You need a third basket.

          • Ashley says:

            Oh my lord yes! We have a build in hamper in our closet where my husband changes his clothes. But the dirty and sometimes cleanish clothes always fall on the floor right next to it. It drives me insane!! I have let it pile up Untill it pisses me off so much I had to move it. Men are clueless when it comes to commons sense.
            What takes the cake is when they say,”hey what did you do with my shots on the floor?”
            Oh what the shorts that were in the dirty pile or clean pile (right next to the hamper!)? How the hell would I know!! Change the blog to how to deal with men babies

          • Ashley says:

            Sorry too many typos, I got heated!
            Build * built

            Shorts not shots lol

        • Katy says:

          Maybe he is just not sure which basket to put it in so he puts it in between them thinking that at least he was close to the right basket ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Heather says:

          If you haven’t read any of the “Sweet Potato Queens” books, I recommend it. One of the stories was of a woman that picked up any clothes that were left on the floor, folded them and put them away. After a month her MIL commented about how dirty the guy’s clothes were. Wife explained guy couldn’t find the hamper and problem solved….

        • Mamafarr says:

          Oh My God!!
          I have sooo given up on the sorting thing. I would separate the loads into individual bags, give him exact change per machine, (washer and dryer) and he would still manage to mix up the loads, ie blacks with towels!!!
          I have gone from OCD laundry sorting, to mixing loads myself, now that we have a machine at home, I have been “cured of laundry-itis” but I still stop short of mixing towels and blacks.
          Don’t get worked up about it, it WILL make you crazy, the easier you make it, the less they try, and I have to say they will never change. Just keep smiling.

    • Yes! What is it about husbands that causes this? I can spend an hour deep cleaning our bathroom and the minute he walks in the door he heads straight for the bathroom. When he comes out it looks like a St. Bernard was in there taking a bath. Water everywhere! Insane.

      • Leslie says:

        SERIOUSLY. I just cleaned the bathroom ALL morning- in preparation for Easter. While I give him credit for keeping the “toddler-dicks” out of my hair for an hour, as soon as I walked out of the bathroom with that wonder-woman accomplishment feeling, he walked in… TO SHAVE! Little bits of hair EVERYwhere!! >:o

        • Mistie Jones says:

          I make mine shave and trim in the shower, all bits of hair wash down the drain. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • amber says:

          It is ALWAYS the shaving.

        • Jespren says:

          My husband does this when shaving too, hair everywhere. But the worst is when he dyes his hair. I’ve found splatters of hairdye on the *ceiling* before! He gets it everywhere!

      • CS says:

        Do you know what, my husband is actually REALLY tidy – like MEGA tidy (most of the time) – HOWEVER, he always manages to spread water around the whole bathroom floor and all the way into our bedroom when he’s had a bath / shower. I just don’t know how he manages it! He’s big (6′ 3″) with v.large feet (size 11 – 12), so I’m thinking perhaps surface area has something to do with it?! ;>

        • Brooke says:

          My husband is 6’4″ and really messy but he’s learnt to keep the water in. I suspect it’s a rebellion from the rest of the time. I’d rather have your problem!

      • Jen says:

        For me…its the bathroom sink, I scrub out all the hair from shaving, the nasty little bits of hardened toothpaste that my kids spit out and can’t seem to rinse down, I polish all the chrome and it is like a magnet…my hubby walks in, takes one look at that beautiful sparkling bathroom sink and announces…”time to clean the fishtank!!” And proceeds to scrub algae ridden and fish poopy filters and all things fishy in my nice clean for a millisecond sink. ๐Ÿ™ …sigh

        • Teresa says:


        • Lacy says:

          You could request that he use the bathtub. That’s what my husband did when we used to have fish. That stuff was nasty! (Which is why we no longer have fish. It would get cleaned about twice a year. Gross!)

          • BDaddy says:

            Believe it or not, if you clean fish tanks more often they are so gross. 50% water change every 2 weeks. Fish are easy…wives on the other hand….

          • BDaddy says:

            Sigh… less gross is what I was going for.

  13. Veronica says:

    LOL! Love it.

  14. Amanda L. says:

    So glad I’m not alone lol!

  15. Jessica Fox says:

    This is EXACTLY how it is in my house. I had to pay for an extra day at daycare so I could clean the house and have it stay organized longer than 5 minutes so our landlord could come.

  16. Jo says:

    No, it’s, oooo, it’s all CLEAN, I can see my toys all presented so neatly, they’re all together, OOOO, I WILL PAKY WITH THEM. That’s all.

  17. Lisa S says:

    My three boys- all under six- have taught me to let go of some of my OCD ways. Doesn’t mean I’m emotionally ok with it, but at least I’m not as wound up about it as I used to be. I’ve been trying to encourage them to “just put it in a bin” lately.

    I’ll get to the neurotic, “sort it this way into a bin” later.

    • Mamafarr says:

      It’s amazing how much we can adjust to a losing battle. I used to clean up all the toys until they were 2 and 4, plenty old enough to pick up toys. The kids can sort toys just fine when they clean up, but after Daddy helps them throw it all in a basket a couple of times, they get into a bad habit of not caring anymore. We (me and the kids) pick a day to sort them again. (usually when I fall behind on laundry)
      Daddy is not allowed to help them clean anymore.
      All is well.

  18. Kathleen says:

    Or at my house: WOW! Lookit all this clear space! Perfect for playing (insert game here). Let’s get out ALL things now!

    And then I walk back in from cleaning the kitchen and wonder why I bothered with the living room in the first place.

  19. Katie says:

    HILARIOUS! My kids are 5 and 2 and my house is NEVER clean. EVER.

    • Mistie Jones says:

      And we’re not just talking messy either.. how in the world does a 2yo get an entire loaf of bread, dried and crumbled, along with dates and a banana all squished into the carpet in the time it takes me to walk to the bathroom, go pee and walk back to the living room?? Not to mention the kitchen floor covered in water and sharpie marker all over the wall. Where do they find the sharpies?? O_o

      • Mistie Jones says:

        Also, I have a 6.5yo and 5yo and I homeschool, so add them to the mix. I walked into my daughter’s bedroom the other day and she had EGG CARTONS on her bed. When I asked her why she had those bacteria ridden cartons in her room, she replied, “I was going to organize my little things (barbie shoes, rings, paper doll purses, etc) in them.” ??

      • Kermommy says:

        I just don’t understand how a 14m old can spread chocolate from head to toe (including ears and back of neck) along an 8 foot stretch of couch and smear cookie crumbs into 100square ft of carpet in 10 minutes starting with 1/2 of a chocolate cookie found stuffed in a sorting toy. Is there some sort of mess multiplying ability going on? you would swear there wasn’t that much volume of cookie….

      • Beth says:

        I’m so glad it’s not just me!! I am so sick of sweeping 3 times a day. Sometimes I just leave it, but then by the end of the day I can’t stand to touch the floor.

        I guess I’m just lucky that we have hardwood floors in the whole house.

  20. Denise says:

    This is so true!!
    Next you should do crappy husband in the kitchen! I am pretty sure my husband like to make a huge mess in the kitchen “just to be a dick!” lol

    • Caitlyn says:

      So true! I love that my husband cooks and sometimes bakes for us, but really, does he need to dirty every single dish in the process?!

  21. Shannon says:

    This was my house last night. And every other day.

  22. Z says:

    All you can really do is make cleaning them up the game… Thats what I do with my 2yr old, like the object of the game it to get alll the blocks back in their box as fast as possible. Applies to stuffed animals, crayons etc too.

    • Mistie Jones says:

      I think we’ve all (or most of us) have done that, but it gets exhausting all day, every day, finally you just reach your breaking point. I think some women are just better at repetition, craftiness and patience than others.

  23. Karin says:

    All of our toys used to have specific bins where they’d go. And if a toy was in the wrong place, I used to pull it out and put it in the right one. Now I laugh at my old self. If for some reason a child does place a toy into a bin, any bin, I smile and count it as a success.

  24. Ash says:

    I think its option b for my kid! between him and the dog I don’t know why I even try!

  25. Paula says:

    Yeah… my 5 year old still does this. At this point, I know she’s messing with me on purpose.

  26. Ingrid Passchier says:

    LOL! This is line of thought is definetely true.

  27. maggie says:

    amazingly brilliant it’s like you can see inside my home during the times I try and clean up!!

  28. Bodi says:

    That about sums it up alright! I’d laugh, but you know, only after I cried over the truth of it …

    My boys recently cleaned up their room. This was a momentous occasion, which they celebrated by dancing in their room. “We should always keep our room clean!” they said, “This is totally awesome!”

    Fast forward to ten minutes later …

    (sadly, they are much older than your boys- I’m gonna go cry now)

    • Raizy says:

      I have teenage cousins who cleaned their room as a surprise for their mom. The only issue was it took then all of ten minutes to clean a room that had a clothing/miscellaneous teenage boy junk carpet. You literally couldn’t see the floor before they started. Turns out, EVERYTHING was shoved under their beds

    • Mamafarr says:

      ha ha ha ha
      you’re great!!

  29. Hofmama says:

    The bad/good thing about having an autistic child. I said one too many times “toys go away when we’re not playing with them” and he’s made it a hard-and-fast rule…so now, little brother(2) is allowed to have out exactly as many toys as he’s playing with, and big brother (4) puts away the others. I’m not sure if the increased cleanliness is worth the increased whining.

  30. Natalie says:

    I think we hit a milestone in our house with cleaning rooms… I offered to clean my 3 year old’s son if he would go to Lowe’s with his Daddy, and he agreed! WOO HOO…. well not sure if that is a milestone or not but I got some a lone time after cleaning WOOT

    • Heather says:

      cleaning while alone is the only way! I’ve been known to stay up for hours after hubby went to bed just so I can clean.

  31. candi says:

    I am a foster parent and my living room will be fairly neat for days on end, BUT let dfacs decide to pop in and THAT is the day that the 2 yr old decides that the baby MUST have every toy in the toy box out to play with!!! Oh, and I gave up on the playroom. It gets the “good cleaning” about once a week. The rest of the time I just make sure there is nothing on the floor to make us go for a ride to our bottoms onto the floor for the most part.

  32. Sarah says:

    LOL, bless you for making this funny! When my 2 year old does this to me I want to throw all his toys out.

  33. Jamie says:

    Story of my life.

  34. Diana says:

    It’s so true! You clean and kids follow behind you messing up the room you’ve just cleaned. #Frustration* and #Messyhousealways*

  35. Laura says:

    we are “trying” to get our toddler to help clean up now. She can do it, and she will help before getting it all back out again. I still just prefer to pick everything up after they go to bed.

  36. Beverly says:

    Your blog always makes me smile, often makes me laugh out loud, and on occasion causes me to snort liquid through my nose.

    May I give one bit of feedback that I hope will not be taken the wrong way? I have 6 children, 3 of whom are readers and have a great sense of humor. We love to laugh together. I like to share some of your posts with them…but I hate feeling like I have to screen them because of the language. :-/ I know your kids are young enough that you maybe haven’t thought much about kids reading your posts; you probably feel you’re writing for parents. But I would love to see even more people be able to enjoy your talent, including kids. Also, I’m a homeschooling mom and have a lot of friends who I know would enjoy the humor in your blog, but they (like me) are pretty conservative, and I know some would be too offended to consistently read your blog. I personally can overlook the language, but it makes me think carefully about who I share this with, trying to decide if they can deal with it or if they’ll delete me as a Facebook friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Just my two cents…take it for whatever it may be worth. I’ll continue to read and enjoy your blog…but I’ll also screen posts before I let my kids read and before I share. Thanks for sharing your talent! I enjoy my little escapes to your world!

    • Dana says:

      I think if someone is going to defriend you because of an OCASSIONAL curse word, on a blog that speak nothing but the truth,then let them go, This blog has pulled me from the edge of insanity and i’ eternally grateful for it! And i speak the same words aloud ALOT! I think you and your uptight friends need to take a chill pill and find something else to get bothered by.

      • leia says:

        I agree with Dana.

      • Kristina says:

        I’ve got the agree with Dana as well. If the mild language on this blog would cause a person to defriend you they aren’t worth the time. I have let my 10 year old read the vast majority of the posts here and she wouldn’t even blink at the language. Thank goodness the whole world isn’t so uptight or things would be a lot more boring.

    • g says:

      First off, I am not looking for any find of debate. That being said the blog is awesome as she speaks. I do share the posts on occasion with my children (9 yo and 4 yo), U definitely screen the posts before sharing and if it is something that I don’t feel is right for my kids then they don’t get to “experience” it. I love the blog for many reasons, one being that IT IS speaking to parents. I do not always agree with some of the content of different blogs I follow. It is my choice to share or not to share. It is the choice of those I share with to decide what they can deal with. I surely hope that none of your friends that you share the blog decide to base their friendship on this blog or that you enjoy it.

      Just my opinion.

      • g says:

        I should have done spell check (that is what i get for trying to do something like this while hearing “mom…mom…mom….mom…..”)

        find s/b kind
        U s/b I

    • Olivia Bucks says:

      I don’t think this blog is meant for children… It is written for moms who need a bit of humor to get through the daily challenges of parenthood. Maybe find more age appropriate material for your kids, or teach them that sometimes, a cuss word.just hits the spot.

      And your friends… let them de-friend you… Who wants a sourpuss around anyhow?

      • Beverly says:

        OK, sorry you didn’t get that my “defriending” comment was totally tongue in cheek/sarcastic in a friendly way. ๐Ÿ™‚ I simply enjoy this blog and would love to let more people in my circle enjoy it. If the author doesn’t care to expand her readership to include people who prefer clean language, that is TOTALLY up to her; it’s HER decision, and I respect whatever direction she wants to go with the blog. I simply, humbly, wanted to submit the suggestion for consideration!

        I prefer to teach my children better use of language–for some people, a cuss word may hit the spot. For this former English teacher, however, I think there is power in words, and I’d rather see someone employ creativity in diction rather than resort to overused curse words. As I said, I will continue to enjoy this blog, and when I can, I’ll share great, clean posts with my children and others who will appreciate them. How often I’m able to do that will be determined by the content.

    • Heather says:

      But this blog isn’t for kids! It is in her faq even. Which are funny if you haven’t read them.

      • amber says:

        People actually read my FAQs? I never knew! Not written for children, correct.

        I appreciate that everyone kept this discussion friendly, by the way.

        • Beverly says:

          Oh, fun! I don’t think the FAQs were there when I started reading this. Sure enough, you’re right, this has already been addressed. My apologies! Since we have a larger family, my older set of kids (11, 10, and 8) really get a kick out seeing your take on what they know to be true of their younger siblings (5, 3, and 7 months). We’ll continue to enjoy your posts together when we can. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • UMMA ALI says:

          Hello there! My daughters and I love your blog! My 7 year old has to check if there is a new post every day. If there is a new one she shouts happily. If there is not a new one in several days she gets sad and annoying (so keep updating will ya?!) She is practicing her reading with your cartoons. She makes me read the other parts (I do have to skip the bad words, lol), and I use funny voices. It’s a nice bonding time for us. Oh, and she really wants to know how you “make those pictures.” So…please tell me cause I don’t know! Some computer programy thingy??

      • Amanda says:

        I think that the language is perfect, it makes me feel a heck of a lot better to know I’m not the only one who thinks this way…. and honestly when the title of the blog includes the word “crappy” what else do you expect! I love it and share with all of my facebook friends who havent unfriended me yet… that i know of :p

  37. emily g says:

    Again with perfect comedic timing. LMAO still!!

  38. Joanna says:

    I also do the pre-bedtime cleaning up, along with a song:

    “Clean up time, clean up time
    everybody clean up time
    Pick up your books, pick up your toys
    everybody girls and boys”

    This is actually the song we used to do when I was in Kindergarten. It’s that good that I still remember it. Nevermind I only have one girl in the house, I still say “girls and boys”. I figure it could apply in the future.

    Anyway, not only does this help her learn we clean up before bed, but also helps her transition to bedtime. My kid needs a song for every transition, I swear!

    But, if I were to ever clean up any other time of day, she would do just like crappy baby. Luckily I hate to clean, so it’s a win-win.

  39. Mrs.Odie says:

    We have a big clean up at night singing the clean up song. I say, Viva, help us pick up the toys. She says, “No. I don’t want to.” It sucks.

  40. Heather says:

    Best comment I’ve seen recently was “cleaning with a child in the house is like shoveling the walk when it is still snowing” but it is soo much worse!!!!

  41. Adrianne says:

    And this is what I need to show people when I get comments on how the toys aren’t picked up. With having 3 kids under 4 in the house, my strict rule is that I will not clean until the younger two are in bed. It’s too much work otherwise. ๐Ÿ˜›

  42. Kim says:

    Wow – now I know for sure I had an unusually agreeable child… I would clean on Saturday mornings, we had a small apartment and I could get it done in a couple hours. My toddler LOVED to sit in her high chair w/ breakfast, then with cheerios, and watch her favorite cartoons on the Disney Channel. I’d ask her if she wanted down every time I walked by, but she was always content where she was, watching cartoons and feeding the dog her cheerios… It was bizarre… lol

  43. Christina says:

    My 3yr old wouldn’t clean up her toys so I told her I was going to throw them away. Got a trash bag out and the brat HELPED throw them away….. Guess that threat doesn’t work! :-/

    • kerra says:

      my daughter was exactly like that. But theres hope she is 12 now and she is the only one of my kids that cleans up without being told to

    • Kathleen says:

      Mine, too! “Oh, good, I don’t like those toys anymore, anyway.”

    • Erin B says:

      Eventually that threat does. It just means that the toys have to live in the garage for a while and not be replaced with new ones.

      • Emily says:

        I’ve used that line plenty. Now all I have to say is big trash bag, and the kids go running to clean. Of course the first time I threatened its use, it was trash day and the garbage man was just outside. Just be sure to pick a toy they really like ( not their favorite or this may backfire)

    • Jen says:

      I have used this threat many times…it does work..a lot of whining ensues…but it does work. My sis has two very unruly boys. I went over to her house all the time and one day she absolutely needed her house clean. The children just sat there while we went about getting it straightened. I finally looked at them and said that’s it, I’ve had it. We are doing what I do at my house. They said what’s that Aunt Jenny. I told them I’m giving you twenty minutes to find all your toys in this mess you have created and put them in a box in your room. They said ok. Well twenty mins. later I pull out a bag and start throwing whatever was left on the floor away. Their eyes got really big like well that toy is allowed to be here all the time. I said no. I told them I’m not as easy going as their mama. I told them all toys and I meant them. They start crying and ask for five more minutes to finish. I did allow it and after that five minutes was up..guess what I still ended up throwing away about ten toys and they were still upset with each one. They did learn my system tho. And my sister still uses it to this day.

  44. kristina says:

    Now…try to imagine this with twins lol

  45. Genie says:

    I’ve always said that cleaning with a toddler in the house is like shoveling the driveway in the middle of the blizzard.

  46. Michelle says:

    Isn’t that the truth!!

  47. Ophelia says:

    Is Crappy Baby wearing his Ninja diapers? Maybe he is defeating the forces of tidiness?

  48. Jen says:

    You are drawing my life. Only I’m fatter. And my son is 4 so in between dumping out the toys I’ve just picked up he’s running to the fridge to dump the milk on the floor or sneaking to the kitchen to turn the tap on just enough that I can’t hear it so 30 min later the sink overflows…Yeah. Starting to wonder about the dick thing.

    • kerra says:

      Thats my 2 year old! I swear he dumps something out just to get into what he really wanted in the first place

  49. teagans momma says:

    Okay, where’d you hide the video camera?? Lol, this happens at my house too! I’ve also been sorting through my 13-mos-old daughter’s clothes, and EVERY TIME I get a box together, she comes along and throws them over her shoulder all willy-nilly…as soon as the box is empty she continues on. *sigh*

  50. Gina says:

    Yep, that is pretty much it at my house. I grew up in an overly OCD hospitally clean house. I hardly ever had friends over, because I was so worried if we would make a mess, my mom would FREAK THE HECK OUT! I am more relaxed about things in my house. I was OCD, still am to an extent. But, my kids are happy, house of clean, but cluttered at times, and I am not stressed.
    BTW my kids and hubby are the same with toys, tools, dishes etc.

  51. Michelle says:

    Why would you use such a vulgar word (not to mention a sexual organ!) in connection with your child?

    • Staci says:

      Dick is not a vulgar word. In fact it’s so versatile it can be ones name. It’s 2012, not 1959…language has changed and morphed and believe me there are far worse things she could have compared him to (I think the popular word in the 80’s for her feelings were “Bastard”). While it may not be appropriate to you, the beauty of blogging is that you don’t have to come back and visit her blog, or support it. This woman cares for her children, but does not let others dictate her personal feelings or her style of parenting…obviously she did not walk up to him and call him that.

      • Michelle says:

        Yes, language has changed (and not for the better!) but simply because the 60’s brought the “F” word into common use and “everyone does it” doesn’t make it less vulgar. And, quite frankly, even in my most foul-language years I wouldn’t have used the word in connection with a child.

        I agree that she’s a great mom and loves her kids. That is why I like the blog. I don’t always agree with the language but I overlook it. But I’m quite certain she wasn’t renaming her child Richard (aka Dick). Show me anywhere.. anywhere at all… where name-calling with the word “dick” is not a vulgarity.

        • robin says:

          Well hell, damn nice to see there are some ‘perfect’ moms out there to hold the rest of us regular folk to their high standards of vocabulary.

        • Lacy says:

          I agree about the use of bad language, but as it’s been said above, it’s our choice to continue reading or not and it’s her choice of words and she can say what she wants. In reference to your original post, I think everyone would agree that you SHOULDN’T think of your kids this way. But the reason this blog is so relatable is because it is so honest. You really never think your kid is being a selfish, uh, something unpleasant?
          But regardless, incase you missed it, Amber is assuming he is innocently playing with toys because mama likes them. The unfriendly term was an alternative reason for his behaviour that she chooses to reject. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • amber says:

            ๐Ÿ™‚ You totally get it.

          • Cora says:

            Well… he could actually be called Richard.. his real name is hardly crappy baby is it..
            Being a dick doesn’t mean you’re a penis.. It means you’re being annoying, possibly intentionally – making your behaviour even more annoying.
            I just tell people they’re being a Richard when they’re acting like a prick/dick, they don’t know what I’m talking about and I wallow in secret smugness about how smart I am…
            Also I’ve been toying with the idea of using coconut instead of the ‘C’ word (not a word I use, I don’t like it – it sounds venomous when it pops out of someones mouth.. but sometimes it’s necessary so coconut is an alternative).. This is me keepin it clean see… cos I realised that how much I (and others around me) swear when the little fella started swearing..
            lol the ‘F’ word, the ‘S’ word and ‘J.C’ are here to stay though.

            BTW nicely worded Lacy ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. Jennifer says:

    OMG this is exactly what happens every night while I’m picking up my daughter’s toys. It’s always the ones with multiple pieces, too – the blocks, the shapes, the balls, tc. She never just pulls the bear back out. She also does this when I’m getting ready to do her laundry…all of a sudden she MUST have that blanket or that shirt to carry around. I try to do these things when she’s not looking, haha!

  53. Lindsey says:

    Cleaning with a toddler in the room is like shoveling snow while it is snowing!ย 

  54. Holly says:

    Cleaning will kids are in the room is like trying to shovel snow in a blizzard! It just doesn’t get you anywhere!

  55. Megan says:

    I just said something like this the other day.. why am I cleaning when a little gremlin follows me around undoing everything I just did. Unfolding laundry is one of his favorites, or unloading the dirty silverware from the dishwasher is a close second!

    • Beth says:

      My 1 year old loves to empty the dishwasher, which is great when it dirty, but otherwise…

      I have also found that pretty much the only time I can fold the laundry is when the 2 girls are in the bath together. I take it all into the bathroom and hope to get it done before the little decides she is done!

  56. Michelle says:

    This is exactly where I’m at right now. Especially today because a realtor is showing the house tomorrow and I’ve been trying to get it ready. It’s like half a step forward and five back.

  57. Jackie sheridan says:

    I used to clean my 2.5 yo’s room, now i dont bother. I just collect his toys from around the house and toss them into his room, haha.

    • Samantha says:

      Lol….I do this to my 16mth sons toys…..Just kick them all down the hall and by the time I get to the end I just push them in with the broom and go AHHH OMG ELI LOOK AT ALL YOUR TOYS THEIR IN YOUR ROOM!!!! he comes running once he is in the room I shut the door then run to get the mop and mop the floor real fast before he gets pissed and starts screaming!

      I dont like having tile through out the whole apartment…but just being able to run through the house with the mop and be done and no chocolate milk stains in the carpet…or god forbid when he takes his diaper off to poop on the floor!!

      • Heather says:

        That is awesome!!!! Maybe I will try that when we get the playroom set up. Just moved the boys to sleeping in one room and we are going to put all the toys in the other bedroom!

  58. Kelly says:

    So true!! A very similar thing happens when I try to clean the cat box… The cat and the baby must have formed an alliance against me…hmmm.

    • karen says:

      hahaha thats funny. sometimes my cat sits and watches me clean the box them promptly soils it as soon as i am dont. oye

  59. Meera says:

    Its like that at my house as well.

  60. Jewel C says:

    My granddaughter is 21 months…I do not have this problem! Wait…I do not have this problem because she does not play with her toys, she wants EVERYTHING else. This includes, all movies, books, laptops, tablets, vacuums, brooms, mops…etc. You get the picture.

  61. Jen says:

    Yep, my 12 month old is like this. Of course she’s not old enough to ‘help’ so I have to wait until after bedtime. Meanwhile Lord help me if anyone drops by my house during the day…not only are toys everywhere, but so is tupperware, bibs, anything she can get her hands on.

    I used to clean during naptime and then I realized that was madness.

  62. Jenny says:

    I love you! Toddlers should be renamed Tornadoes

  63. Rachael Rydbeck says:

    I am still laughing.

  64. leia says:

    I love it! Totally hit the nail on the head. My son also seems somewhat offended at times that his blocks are not all over the floor. And, I love that you incorporate curse words from time to time. I do the same thing in my life.

  65. Teresa says:

    A dick! hahaha

  66. xena horvath says:

    Bwahahahaha!!!!!!! So so so so so SO TRUE!!! Every single time!!! How did you get into my daughter’s head???

  67. Jaye says:

    My 16 month old son might have a touch of OCD… he likes his toys cleaned up. Whenever we have friends over, he follows the kids around with his block bin and puts away all the toys, even if the other kids aren’t finished, giving them dirty looks at the same time. I thought maybe he was jealous of others playing with his toys, but he even cleans up when he’s done playing!!! I hope he teaches his younger siblings to do this!!!

  68. Jessie says:

    You know what they say, cleaning your house while your kids are awake is like brushing your teeth in the middle of eating an Oreo. *sigh* I believe that one day my house will be neat again, and it will make me so crazy that I’ll just randomly dump containers in the middle of my living room floor.

  69. Desiree says:

    lol ‘either that or he’s just being a dick’….I’ve let the term shithead slip a few times…they weren’t supposed to hear me ๐Ÿ˜›

  70. I am laughing OUT LOUD right now! Well said.

  71. Jess says:

    I think my favorite line is: Cleaning the house with kids is like trying to staple jello to a tree.

    Yup. Works on two levels–why would you even attempt it? And yes, it’s impossible. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  72. Paula Hartson says:

    I love you! You really make my day.

  73. kate says:

    exactly! a couple months ago my FB status was “picking up with a toddler in the room is like running up the down escalator”!

  74. Shelley says:

    EVERY DAY!!! And, my toddlers are “little jerks,” as I like to say because my son will watch me put all the toys in the toy box, then go over, dump it out & walk away. He doesn’t pick up a single item out of the pile. I think he just enjoys the disorganization.

    So, I quietly sneak toys in the toy box near bed time…or I scoop them all over to one corner of the living room depending on how much energy I have.

    Sometimes making a game of it helps. To the tune of London Bridge, we sing “Put the toys into the box, into the box, into the box, put the toys in to the box, where do the toys go?”

  75. You could insert “husband” or “pre-teen” into the title, and it would be my life. :/

  76. Ginny King says:

    Hahahahahahaha! *gasp!* *wheeze!* Hahahahahahahhahaha! I’m glad I’m not the only one that sometimes questions the other option..!

  77. A toddler can tip things out 55 times more quickly than an adult can tidy them away. Fact.

  78. alison says:

    Cleaning up after a toddler is like brushing your teeth while eating an oreo, POINTLESS!

  79. Megan says:

    I’m six months pregnant with a two and four year old and I have been searching for the camera you obviously have hidden in my house! I too spent the whole day picking up, I swear I did the trains FOUR times. But my ‘favourite’ is the pegs! My two yo loves to empty the peg basket while I’m hanging out the clothes – arghh. Bending down to retrieve little bits of plastic from the grass is hard with a belly out in ont and a dicky hip.

    Which by the way is a totally appropriate Australian colloquialism!

  80. karen says:

    i read once that trying to clean your house while the kids are home is like trying to brush your teeth while eating oreos. ๐Ÿ™‚

  81. Amber says:

    I have those same totes. I think I have the same toddler.

  82. Carrie says:

    Okay, that makes so much sense! love the post!

  83. jenny says:

    I can’t sweep or vacuum with my son in the house. He steals the broom and refuses to let anyone touch it. “My stick, mama!” He runs around the house hitting things with it. We have to hide the broom in the coat closet and never let him see…

    • Liz says:

      Mine does the exact same thing with the swiffer!

    • Samantha says:

      My 16mth son LOVES the broom, dustpan, vacuum, mop…It takes everything in my power to maintain control of not knocking him over with the “stick” then he just runs through my dirt pile the whole time I’m going ELI ELI ELI ELI NO NO NO NO NO STOP NO ELI ELI DONT GO THROUGH MY..ARGH!!! Seriously?!!?! How did you not see that big ass pile of dirt on the white floor?!?! Get out!! Go to your room!! …and he walks off to his room and then turns around and runs back through what was a pile and makes the circle to his room laughing it up…….O…M….G…

  84. Kathleen says:

    My SIL thinks it’s great how often I get the kids out of the house to do fun things. Little does she know it’s only so I don’t have to deal with the clean/dump cycle.

    This is why my husband needs to read your blog. He truly believes that I don’t try to get the kids (3, 5, and 7) to keep the toy mess to a minimum. “Honey, you just need to spend 10-15 minutes 2 or 3 times a day having them clean up, and then it won’t look like this.” Yeah, OK. Then why does it still look like that when I leave him alone with the kids while I get groceries?

    • Beth says:

      We have a nanny come in 1 day a week so that I can have a little down time and go to work ๐Ÿ™‚

      The main problem with this is that she has the house clean all day. I love that the house is clean when I get home, but I hate that my husband is always saying “the nanny can keep the house clean, why can’t you?”

      • Kelly says:

        LOL! Totally! I have a few answers for that question.
        1- Kids listen to other people better than their parents, she probably enlists their help and the go about it willingly
        2- Nanny doesn’t live there, so to her it’s probably not that bad. We always think our house isn’t clean enough, so when we have left and come back to a floor we can see, toys in their box, and dishes in the dishwasher, we think a miracle happened
        3- She likes working for you and thinks that coming home to a tidy home will help her stay around a while
        4- It’s not her house, she has no emotional connection with anything in your home except the kids. So where you may stand by your kitchen having a staring contest with the paper monster for 10 minutes, she will just pile it up and set it aside.

        • Kelly says:

          LOL! Totally! I have a few answers for that question.
          1- Kids listen to other people better than their parents, she probably enlists their help and the go about it willingly
          2- Nanny doesnโ€™t live there, so to her itโ€™s probably not that bad. We always think our house isnโ€™t clean enough, so when we have left and come back to a floor we can see, toys in their box, and dishes in the dishwasher, we think a miracle happened
          3- She likes working for you and thinks that coming home to a tidy home will help her stay around a while
          4- Itโ€™s not her house, she has no emotional connection with anything in your home except the kids. So where you may stand by your kitchen having a staring contest with the paper monster for 10 minutes, she will just pile it up and set it aside.
          5- She’s getting paid! lol. If I got paid to clean my own house, I might have more incentive to do it LOL

          And I seriously doubt she has the house clean all day. Unless you have a nanny cam that says so.. I’m betting if you get home at 5:30, she starts doing a massive clean up at 5 ๐Ÿ˜‰

  85. Staci says:

    Nail on the head

  86. robin says:

    hahahaha I just did that this morning before going to work. Why would I do that to myself, I know they’re just going to dump out the toys again right away. Seriously, resistance is futile!

  87. Jen says:

    OMG YES!!!!!!!!!!

  88. Lisa Lutes says:

    This is why I started rotating my toys with small pieces. I keep everything shut in a room on a shelf and bring out a few ‘sets’ per day. She plays with them longer when she only has a few choices and then the next day there are ‘new’ toys.

  89. sunny says:

    I’ve been known to call my kids “little sh*ts”. Anybody who claims never to have at least THOUGHT an obscenity connected to their kids is lying or sinless.

    I have to say, my husband (who is HALF the problem in this messy house) did come up with an ingenious way of getting our kids involved with pick-up. He takes the bin, flaps the lid up and down like a giant mouth, and makes it talk like Cookie Monster: “Me so hungry! Feed me Legos! Feed me blocks! UUUMMM NUM NUM NUM! More blocks, more more!” They think it is the bomb and are actually disappointed when they have nothing else to pick up. Of course, it makes us both hoarse to do the voice, but hey – you make sacrifices.

    • Jem says:

      GASP. I am dumbfounded at the last line and even more so that everyone finds this funny and says they call their children horrible things. NO, I have never even had the thought of an obscenity connected to my children (ages infant through adult). I am not lying but I am definitely not sinless. I just cannot fathom how a thought that like connected to your children even happens. Ever. Wow. I guess this is supposed to be funny. I just think it’s really sad. Obviously I am in the minority, but in this case, I am happy to be.

  90. Love it! Love you! Thanks for making us smile instead of constantly rolling our eyes… as if we are the only ones with kids who act like dicks ๐Ÿ˜‰

  91. Amy says:

    Hmmmm. I’d never thought about it that way!

  92. CrunchyCake says:

    Thank you for explaining the thought process. I just couldn’t understand – I just thought my daughter was a dick. ๐Ÿ™‚

  93. CrunchyCake says:

    Maybe you could do a crappy post about what keeps happening to me – FINALLY get little one down for her nap and the phone rings – it’s the oh so important recorded message about refinancing or it’s my MIL (almost as bad) or a truck drives by and all I hear from my daughter’s room is “duck duck duck!” That’s not an imperative, she just can’t quite say truck yet. Anyway, I’m screwed. She’s walking around in her crib like Casper the Ghost with her blanket over her head.

  94. Kate says:

    Oh, my. YES. I love my 21-mo-old twin boys, but my GOD can they make a mess! They are complete dicks.

    I have one who is a particular dick lately. He’s hit the “I hear you, but I’m choosing to ignore you” phase. He looks right at me while I say, “Don’t pull that bin out. DON’T pull that bin out! DON’T PULL THAT BIN OUT. GAAAAAAAH. I JUST told you not to pull that bin out! Do NOT dump it. DON’T DUMP IT! DON’T!!! GRR! *CLAP* UH-UH! NO NO NO NO NO! GRRRRRR!!**”

    *CRASH*, the blocks hit the floor…

    Seriously, kiddo. I love you to pieces, but you make me flippin’ CRAZY!

    And while his brother isn’t necessarily as bad about the dumping of tidy bins, he’s a little obsessed about shutting doors and drawers and curtains and pushing chairs in and “helping” with the laundry, etc. You can’t get a dish in the dishwasher without losing a hand because the little cuckoo monkey is trying to slam the door shut before you have a chance to get out of the way! He frequently puts dirty laundry in the dryer, or clean laundry in the dirty bin. It’s always fun sniff-sorting everything…

    **incidentally, that whole “clap-growl” thing from Happiest Toddler is a bunch of bullshit, at least to my boys. They couldn’t care less about why Mama is growling at them. They think it’s funny!

    • Michele says:


      I have 22mth twin boys and I have super “helpers” as well. One night I realized the front-loading washer was on. Was wonderful knowing that the washer washed itself (without any clothes). I can’t put knives in the dishwasher anymore because I get the “ignore” button and I have too many heart attacks when they try to “help” remove them after they’ve been cleaned. People tell me it’ll get better and easier. They seem to lie alot to me.

    • Mercy says:

      I get the door closing thing. My son has been into doors since he was tiny. He just has a thing for opening and closing them, and I have been slammed more than once.

  95. Teresa says:

    THANK YOU!! I so needed a good laugh.

  96. ST says:

    Great blog. And speaks to me on so many levels, including the comments.

    I try to have Atilla (15mo) watch me do housework, wishful he will learn the mechanics. He’s great – already he helps me bring in some of the laundry: small squares of cloth specially hung in such a way a baby can/does collect it.

    That’s about it. He’d put the clean cloths on the fooded floor, if I don’t accept the cloths in time.

  97. Laura says:

    This is my life. Except somehow it also applies to cleaning up after my husband too.

  98. Katelyn Dziedzic says:

    Thank you for this one! I’ve been trying to explain this to my husband and my friends, and you’ve just provided the perfect illustration (literally)!!

  99. Jen says:

    cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow,
    for babies grow up, I’ve learned to my sorrow.
    so quiet down cobwebs, and dust go to sleep,
    I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.

    not sure who wrote it, but I always thought about it when my guys were little

  100. ErynBob says:

    All the science geeks out there will understand…My husband keeps saying every time we try to clean…Like nature, a toddler abhors a vacuum.

    And BTW, I have resorted to threatening the 6yo that the Easter Bunny will totally turn around and walk out and not leave any hidden eggs or treats if the toys are not cleaned up in time. He actually made an effort tonight. That trick has never worked!!

  101. Woolies says:

    I’m quite sure he’s just being a little dick. And then they grow up to be big dicks. Just the way life is……….

  102. Mercy says:

    This is why I don’t pick up the toys. I have the kids do it before bed instead so that at least once a day their room is tidy and we can wake up to a neat house. It doesn’t last though.

  103. Jessica says:

    Cleaning up their toys just draws attention to them. So I just leave ’em in a pile.

  104. Angela says:

    I adopted my sister-in-law’s toy regime. Toys are sorted into cube bins by type. Bins go in the closet. Kiddo gets one to two bins and no more. If he wants more, then one or both get picked up and back in the closet, first. It’s not a perfect system, but it keeps more toys off the floor than before.
    Meaning, I have fewer heel bruises from stepping on the bloody things.

    BTW girl, bring on the four-letter words. It’s your type of humor that I (and thousands) appreciate. Hell, you hear worse on prime time network shows.

  105. Chelsea says:

    My son, husband, and dog are all offenders in this area!

  106. Rebecca Primm says:

    Love this! My trick is to use this to my advantage… at least once a day (usually after lunch, when my daughter refuses to nap and I need a break) I clean up my daughters room. Like really clean it – sorting all the toys into their bins, putting the books away on the shelf, making the bed, etc.
    Nothing makes a kid want to play more than a clean room. My daughter NEEDS to see her toys all over the floor, I swear – if they’re all put away she will explode.
    Usually by the time I get done picking up the last few toys – she’s tearing into the first few bins and I take that as my cue to leave the room and curl up on the couch with Netflix. I’m guaranteed 45 minutes.

    If I really want her to stay busy, I fold all the clothes in her dresser. Folded clothing REALLY pisses her off.

  107. Heather says:

    I remember a similar phenomenon when I wanted to offload some of their unused/outgrown toys for the ‘helping hand’ shop. All of a sudden the stuffed bear at the back of the cupboard that they hadn’t looked at since birth became THE favourite possession……along with the countless, pointless happy meal toys, the unopened 1000 piece hot wheels contraption from 3 Christmases past….. and anything else in the ‘giveaway’ pile! That is until the ‘danger of loss’ had passed, when these toys were once again relegated to ‘crowd the cupboard space and frustrate the heck out of mummy’ status!

  108. If I tell my 14 month old boy “don’t touch that” he usually backs away. If I tell his twin sister the same thing she grins and carefully watches my face (with her eyes sparkling-I swear!) while slowly reaching out to touch it again.

  109. E says:

    Yaknow. I used to whisper everywhere that I referred to my kid as “Devil Child”/”Devil Baby” (I’m not religious, I just think tasmanian devil when I think of my kid) .. but .. lately I’ve been freely referring to him as such and.. people don’t really look at me like I’ve lost my mind as much as I thought that they would. That makes me grin and laugh. Anyway, he destroys a rooms cleanliness like its his business. I wouldn’t call him a dick tho he’d repeat that during lunch with great grandma. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  110. Dave says:

    It’s easy. Tip everything out in a mess and watch them all put everything back. That way way you will bring up an obsessive compulsive tidier that hates you instead of the other way around.

  111. Cora says:, that is exactly what happens when I’m trying to clean up Cillian’s play room… I’m all like ‘go away.. you’re not allowed to play with your toys!!!’… eventually I just have a freak out attack about having to ‘follow them around the whole time’ (my actual words EVERY-TIME {it’s my catchphrase} & by them I mean father & son)
    Then it ends in me saying ‘fu*k it, I dunno why I even bother doing this’ – also my actual words.. every-time.
    It will only be clean for about 2.5 minutes – not worth it, I’ll do it when he’s asleep… he’s never asleep but when he is so am I

  112. Cora says:

    Do any one else’s children clean up at other peoples houses but then forget to bring that skill home with them? My son is always gets tonnes of praise from all the moms for helping with the tidying up at the end of parent & toddler group… They say ‘I wish my kids were like that, he’s so good’ with that hint of awe in the back of their throats.. y’know the way you’re talking but also whispering and your voice breaks through every other syllable..
    And I’m like ‘Ya. He’s only like that here… you should see him at home. It’s like Jekyll & Hyde only most of the time he’s the not good one’

  113. I can’t clean up in front of my kids either, but sometimes I try it anyway because I want them to know that cleaning up is required and there is no magic fairy that does it for them.

  114. Kate says:

    As I’ve said with so many of your posts, it’s funny because it’s so heartbreakingly true…:)


  115. Elan says:

    Someone once told me that when babies are born, they are like an adult after a couple of six packs of beer – drooling, peeing themselves, and incapable of taking care of themselves. AS they grow older, they sober up – but toddlers still have quite a few beers in them. I think that explains a lot!

  116. Dyan says:

    My son does the same thing, then later tells me “There are toys everywhere! Get this cleaned up!” Gotta love ’em!

  117. Leigh Dever says:

    Was just cleaning and sat down to take a break. Checked my inbox, and saw today’s blog. Glad I’m not the only one. I was starting to think my little boy WAS being an A-hole! Whew!

  118. Yuliya says:

    Hell to the yes. Also? I love you, I honestly love you.

  119. Prom Dresses says:

    Thanks for sharing. Even the pictures is just a caricatures but it has a lot of meaning.

  120. Kimberly says:

    My son just HELPED me clean up the blocks because the lid has a “sorter” in it. It’s a brilliant toy. But when he was little he definitely helped out by dumping!

    re: all the comments about toddlers BEING dicks…I know YOU were just joking…but I wonder about everyone else! Toddlers aren’t dicks; they’re emotionally immature human beings.

    I always say toddlers act like little jerks. And the only way to make certain they DON’T grow up to BE jerks is to NOT treat them like jerks! Also, if a friend was to treat us the way our toddlers do we’d probably end up saying: “I can’t be your friend anymore, you’re emotionally abusive!” It’s funny when there isn’t any screaming going on (and by screaming I mean our own…not there’s ;-).

  121. Laurie says:

    Oh how I would have LOVED this and similar blogs 33 years ago when my son was born. His bday is today (so forgive the sentimentality!) and he definitely gave us a run for our money!! I often felt that I was a terrible mom and wasn’t doing a good job, but your blog takes me back, cracks me up and allows me to forgive myself!! He turned into a very functioning member of society so hang in there–it is REALLY TRUE that those “crappy kids” do grow up and make you proud (usually ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Don’t expect them to finally make their beds, bring their dirty dishes to the sink, or remember to send a birthday card to their grandmother (or YOU!); but they still give a pretty good hug!!

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  123. hahaha, this is really funny. I love it.

  124. This is MEGA funny. I’m laughing so hard.

  125. Leah says:

    Ha! Glad you solved that one for me. I had given up on cleaning as I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.

  126. Victoria says:

    I just showed this to my 33yo husband. He thought you were playing with the toys too. So yes, I think that is what your boy is thinking…

  127. Robonanny says:

    I’ve nannied 20 years and I’m _way_ tidier at work than in my own home because nobody wants to walk into their own home at the end of a long day at work (when the choice was staying at home and having fun with their kids) and be confronted by mess/more work…

    What does work well on the clean-up though (and makes it officially an educational activity you can be smug about) is making it a chance for the kids as young as 12 months to show you what they understand, even if they can’t yet verbalise it:

    “I have the Lego bin here and some _blue_ Lego. Bet you can’t find me any more blue Lego like mine!” Cue kid toddling off at speed to collect Lego and chucking it in bin to much praise or, if they get it wrong “Wow, you got me some awesome _red_ Lego! I love red Lego!” and off they speed to find you more.

    If you’ve an older child and the whole room is a disaster, I get sneaky: “we’re going to put the trains and the blocks away now. I think I can put all the trains away faster than you can put the blocks back in the trolley…” and lo! and behold, the blocks are away in seconds. Follow up with two more types of toys and I bet the room’s clear in ten minutes flat.

    I do the tidying just before nap/ bedtime and that way, you get a rest while the children are asleep and if they call out in the night, you don’t tread on the lego barefoot!

  128. Nickel says:

    yeah yeah, yet another uber positive comment saying Amber you are so funny and life saving! Hope you get all this happy vibe stuff!

    thanks to “generous” gift of 40+ little petshop toys from neighbour up the road, i decided to do a toy cull (had an assignment due as well) – barely did I get toys in pile and photographed for ebay than they were the NEW favourite toys of their life – seriously some of these have not seen the sun for about 3 years or more, and when was the last time my kidlets wanted to do jigsaw puzzles?? I explained they were on ebay so I HAD to sell them now, “well how can we bid on them mum? I can use my pocket money -will $5 do?” $5 would be amazing if the customer was someone who didn’t LIVE IN MY HOUSE!!!

    And as I wrote this I thought in crappy pictures… does anyone else find they do that now??? alot??

  129. Cindy says:

    what she said.

  130. Jade says:

    Yep so true. I’ve only just learned NOT to tidy with a toddler in the room. I have two.

  131. EIRA DAY says:

    Dear Amber, we had a wonderful comment when my son, Max was 6, I am happy for you to use this. He decided to carve the letter M into the back of our wardrobe door with my husband’s Swiss pen knife. When discovered, and when we asked him, who would do such a thing, he accused his older brother, (Charlie) but we said “why would he carve an M into the door, who in this family has a name beginning with M?” Quick as a flash he replied “Mum”

  132. koolz says:

    mama don’t play with me..

  133. Jesus says:


  134. Erin Gilliam says:

    This is totally my house too! Really I only try to clean up during the day when I absolutely must vacuum because the dog hair on the floor is driving me crazy, but it’s so hard to get the things picked up fast enough to get the vacuum out. I clean one area, then go to another to quickly pick up and I come back to get the vacuum and all the toys are out again, and the toddler no where in sight (presumably he’s in the other room dumping out those toys!)

  135. Ericka says:

    Same here . Every time I pick something up he dumps it back out .

  136. Sarah says:

    how did i miss this one in april? anyway, thank goodness i’d just swallowed my wine – brilliant! thanks for a much needed laugh today

  137. Krista says:

    I just stumbled upon your site and I have to say I am laughing so hard I am crying. You are officially my new favorite site LMAO Love it

  138. Nikki says:

    OMG! I was silently laughing and accidently snorted and just startled my 5 month old awake! Oops! But it was so worth it!

  139. Mika says:

    ummm, I have been watching a video called first world problems read by third world people (its good) and this just make me a little pissed at all of us. howz about not buying your kids so much crap and chocolatey cookies (that probably came from slave labor)? Eh?

  140. Natasha says:

    Bahahahaha! I seriously <3 you and your stories! They are so true to life it's unreal!! thank you for the much needed giggle ๐Ÿ˜€

  141. TIffany says:

    I saw a sign that said: “Cleaning the house with kids is like brushing your teeth while eating oreos.” Pretty much sums it up–just like your cartoon! Thanks for brightening my day!

  142. jessie says:

    i cannot tell you how many times a day i think to myself “either that, or he’s a dick.” then i smile to myself. thank you SO much for transforming what would be a moment (ok, many many moments) of supreme annoyance into a moment of a private giggle, a moment of shared solidarity with many others.

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  144. Hayley says:

    Oh my goodness, YES!

  145. Dave says:

    He’s testing your resolve!

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  148. oznykarav bin hassan-chesalbyinshokov says:

    i started reading these at 8:00 am its now 9:30 HELP ME!!

  149. Louise says:

    I got so sick of tidying up that yesterday morning I took pretty much all the toys out of the living room and put them away in a cupboard. All the 3.5yo has left in there is some books, a couple of jigsaw puzzles and his blackboard. He doesn’t seem to have noticed yet – it does help that the weather is nice and he’s been outside. I’ll get it out if he asks for any of it, but in future it’s all going to live in the cupboard. It’s been such a pleasure not having to pick up anything today!

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  151. Mari says:

    I just had to repost this blog post in my own blog because this is the first post of yours I ever read, courtesy of a close friend and it still cracks me the hell up every single time I read it. :0

  152. Abby says:

    LOVE THIS. I am cracking up. My sister was right-I LOVE IT! And I thought maybe your were talking about my kids. Is it ok if I reblog this on my blog? Thanks for making me laugh as I am LITERALLY trying to clean up after my kids (btw I agree with the latter-they are just dicks) . ROTHFLMAO

  153. Pingback: Cleaning With A Toddler In the Room- Reblogged from Illustrated with Crappy Pictures | The left side

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  155. Emily says:

    oh gosh – I nearly peed my pants!! This literally happened to me the other day. In the same order… first the blocks… then the cars! I was hating life at the time but now it is that much funnier!!!!!!!

  156. Hi mates, its great paragraph regarding educationand entirely explained,
    keep it up all the time.

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  160. Reeba from Pakistan says:

    Is everybody understand wrong………….?
    Don’t forgot to answer my question………:-p

  161. Sarah says:

    Yes! This!
    To make it even more frustrating, my husband is a builder, so we often have walk throughs of our personal home to show potential customers product quality, AND NOW, our home is on the market, so we get that traffic too. We have a professional photographer coming on Tuesday. Thinking about it makes me want to cry. I may have to pack up the family and make them live in a hotel for the weekend…or until the house is sold. Ha!!

  162. always i used to read smaller posts that also clear
    their motive, and that is also happening with this post which I am reading here.