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.