THE PLAN: Get the kids to clean up their own mess, then distract them so I can have a break.


“Do you guys want to watch TV?”

“Yeah!”  “Yes!  Watch TV!”

“OK, then you need to clean up all those Lego blocks in the bedroom.”

“Yeah!”  “Clean blocks!”

“Don’t come get me until all the blocks are put away.”

30 seconds later…

“Daddy!  Daddy, time to watch TV!”

“Did you put all the blocks away?”


“Then how come I can hear Bennett in the other room still putting blocks away?”

No response.

“Go help him.”

Bennett enters.

“Are all the blocks put away?”


“OK, let me see… No, guys, you barely put any blocks away.”

“Wanna watch TV!”

“No.  Not until the blocks are put away.  Get back to work.”

Silence from the bedroom.  No blocks are being put away.  Instead, the kids do this:


And this:


This goes on for half an hour.

They are quiet.  They do not fight.  They do not watch TV.

I get my break.

Then, it’s bedtime.  I clean up the blocks.


7 comments on “Incentive

  1. Thanks and thanks. I’m actually planning on a title change soon. Some people are confused by “gaybies” and wonder if it means I’m raising gay kids. Also, they’re not really babies anymore. (sniff, sniff)

  2. So does hiding from your kids still work? Here’s an example:
    I occupy the twins in their room with the baby gate in the doorway and sneak out of the room to go switch out a load of laundry. When I have to walk by their room I peek around the corner and if they’re not looking I speed quietly by so they don’t see me. Why? Because if they see me, all of a sudden all is not well and they need my full attention again and laundry gets put off….again.

    • That’s brilliant! I’m not sure our place is big enough for that to work here. But if they’re playing nicely and being quiet, I stay out of their way, because you’re right. Reminding them you’re there is just asking for trouble.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s