Cause and effect

…or, “When will they get it?”

I just spent quite a bit of time consoling Ellie over her lack of crayons. Ellie LOVES to color. However, like many kids she does not love to clean up her crayons.

My kids were each given a box of 24 Crayola crayons some time ago. I actually wrote each girl’s initial on EVERY SINGLE CRAYON in every box. Think I’m anal beyond belief overly organized? Not if you knew how much my kids bicker, fight and argue over every single item in existence. Either they’re fighting because they want to claim whatever the item(s) may be (“That’s MINE!”), or they’re fighting because they don’t want to pick them up (“But SHE got them out!”).

So as I was saying, Ellie loves to color but not clean up. When she’s finished coloring, instead of putting her own crayons into her own craft box she tends to just throw them into the first available space. This may be her sister’s craft box, the communal craft drawer, or who knows where. I occasionally go through the crayons in each girl’s box and re-sort them, but I avoid the big drawer o’ junk and don’t make much of an effort to find their missing crayons.

I re-sorted crayons the other day. As a result, Micah has a nearly complete set of crayons. Ellie does not. Ellie tried to insist that some of Micah’s crayons were hers, despite the big black “M” on all of them. Great amounts of whining, crying and general unpleasantness ensued. But no matter how much I try to force it into her get it into her head explain gently that if she put her things away carefully she’d be able to find them when she wants them, she just doesn’t seem to get it.

On a related note, I have not had great success in getting the girls to pick up their playroom. About an hour ago they were running wild in the living room. When I suggested they go up to their playroom, Micah explained, “But it’s too messy!” Nice.

Cause and effect. A simple concept. Or so you’d think.