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O.M.G...help...they dumped every food out in the living room....

post #1 of 164
Thread Starter 
While I slept this morning, my kids dumped out about 3 bags of flour, 6 boxes of (new cereal), the (new) big bag of oatmeal, my coffee, and who knows what else all over my living room floor. WTF??? I don't even know what to do with them let alone where to start cleaning it! : They obviously have to help, but there have to be other (logical/natural) consequences...WWYD? They honestly have wasted close to $100 in food.

post #2 of 164
I"m sorry you have a mess to clean up. With my kids it wouldn't have been safe for me to be sleeping while they were awake at 4 and 2. My 6 year old very occasionally gets ups .5 hour ahead of me...well, I'm awake, but still talking to the 2 year old. I'm not really "up" until my glasses are on.

Also, my 6 and 2 year old both still need me to make breakfast for them when they get up.

I think the natural consequence is that you have to salvage what food you can and get up to hang out with your kids in the morning. Personally, I wouldn't clean it up until I'd had some coffee and breakfast myself.

Hope you all have sweet cozy morning.
post #3 of 164

First, I would make them help clean it up-After 5 minutes of that, they will be sorry they made that mess! But stick with it and make them clean the whole living room up.

Other than that I can't give you any other GD advice I am sure I would have had a screaming fit. (In all honesty.)

*Hugs* wow. I think the most my kids ever did was like drag all the blankets and pillows and couch cushions out and throw them all over the living room....

Please do let us know how you handle this.
post #4 of 164
Wow. That is a mess!

Did they sneak out of bed? I'd say that you can't be too irritated with them because they were unattended. But,they should still help you clean up!
post #5 of 164
WOW! i know i like to sleep in a bit to and useally my kids are great.. sometimes they get everything out but not like that...
i would probably ( and i admit i am not the best at GD) of lost it and yelled at them and sent them to there rooms with doors closed ... i find cleaning up my self is a lot easier for me. if they where helping i would get more frustrated and yell a lot more.
post #6 of 164
Oh, wow! Yikes. I imagine walking in to find that and feeling very frustrated, overwhelmed, disappointed and angry.

I can only tell you what I imagine I would do. First, I'd remind myself that my kids weren't trying to be malicious, but were having fun--and what a sensory experience that must have been! They are little, and really don't think about consequences like we adults do, and can't control their impulses like we adults do. Second, I'd talk to my kids, tell them how I feel about that mess and the wasted food, and tell them we need to make sure that doesn't happen again. Third, we'd clean up together. I think this is really the only natural consequence aside from my obvious disapproval/unhappiness. Finally, I'd make a plan as to how to avoid that ever happening again--putting items like that where they can't be reached, giving them time to play with such items while supervised (and in the kitchen or outside), making sure that either I am not asleep while they are up or that they have things to occupy them while I sleep that are not so messy (and possibly containing them in a safe area while I sleep, with a gate), or whatever other solution I could come up with. I'd likely involve the children in coming up with a solution to prevent that from happening again, asking them for ideas. This is the same process I've used when any of my children have done their toddler thing of pouring out cereal/other single item onto the floor-and while simply pouring out cereal or anther single item is obviously on a much smaller scale, I think it's basically the same issue. This has worked for us, I've never had a child repeat dumping, though I am wary of taking credit for that (perhaps they just got it out of their systems in that one episode). I think a process like this is much more likely to teach them what I want them to learn than coming up with other consequences would be, though I too would feel the urge to come up with a list of unpleasant consequences. That is just what I would do.

I hope your day gets better. And I hope you have a shop-vac, or can rent/borrow one.
post #7 of 164
Oh, man, that is awful! Poor you guys! I'd start with picking up the packaging, and then use the vaccum nozzle to suck up what I could without rubbing. Looks like there is OJ there as well. After you vaccum, put towels around the wet stuff to get up what you can.

They seem to be very spirited. Maybe a baby monitor in your room? Amplified giggling might have tipped you off.

That would make me cry, but it is a good photo op.
post #8 of 164
Originally Posted by UUMom View Post
That would make me cry, but it is a good photo op.
And someday you will laugh about it. When I was little I was left alone for a couple of minutes on my aunt's bed after my bath. When my mom returned I had dumped a whole container of powder allllllll over myself and the bed! My brother was worse, he got into a huge bag of flour in my grandmother's pantry, and while my mom was cleaning that up, he got into the ashes in the fireplace. Spread them all over the living room. Talk about a mess. We still get teased about these stories.

P.S. I just looked at the pic and noticed the little legs on the couch in the background... I think I would have packed the kids up and left and hoped that fairies cleaned it up while I was gone.
post #9 of 164
Thread Starter 
They are cleaning it up. Yeah, there was lots of yelling but when I really got mad I left the room...lol. Part of me, honestly, wanted to laugh...it was like something out of a sitcom. They are using spoons and buckets and bowls to shovel it all up.

FWIW, DS has always been an early riser and has gotten up without me for ages. He turns on the tv and I get a little more much needed z's. DH gets up soon after him to get ready for work, then leaves at about 6:30. THere have been messes before, yes, but this is above and beyond any acceptable range. At almost 5, my DS KNOWS this is wrong.

We normally get to go to playgroup this morning, but they are not going anywhere, watching any tv, playing on the computer, playing in general, eating any sweets, NOTHING until the room is clean. Obviously, my little DD has less responsibility in this than he does, but I'm getting her to clean too. Sure it would be faster if I did it...but what kind of impression would that leave? So they are doing it themselves with some direction from me. DS can vaccuum once he digs up enough inches of flour to do so. Of course, I will have to clean deeper when they are done, but I see no reason why they can't do the bulk of it. A lesson has to be learned here somewhere.

When I said there was nothing for me to eat for breakfast, they thought I should just go to the store and buy more. So of course no concept of money and cost, etc. Which is understandable at this age. I'm so mad though that I am considering making them pick a couple of toys to ebay to pay for the food...is that too much do you think? Is taking responsibility and cleaning enough? I just feel that they really need to understand what a big deal this all is.
post #10 of 164
Thread Starter 
That would make me cry, but it is a good photo op.
Yeah, I'm getting pictures LOL. My DD looked like a ghost for a bit there. Picture two kids in undies and shoes cleaning flour...

Thank G-D they did not dump any liquids out, just the powders, mixes, and other dry goods!!!! I know they were having fun doing it and not trying to be malicious...but geesh!!!
post #11 of 164
Wow! Well, I agree with all sledge said + a natural consequence here would be that not every item is replaced straight away. I mean, I'm not saying that they should go without food, but then for a few days there will be fewer breakfast choices. Not in a punitive way. But then I would not go out of my way to replace every item within the day either. Like for felter pens, often leaving them uncapped will mean that they dry out, and while I try to help them remember, sometimes I forget myself and it does happen that we find that quite a few colours are gone, and I will buy another box of course but not straight away this minute.
post #12 of 164
OMG. I would be pissed. So pissed. I have no helpful suggestions really. But I think it's fine to let them know you are pissed, and make them at least help clean it up. I personally wouldn't let mine do a single fun thing until the mess was fixed. And I wouldn't feel a bit bad for sleeping - sometimes you gotta sleep, and if they know better, it's not your fault at all IMO.

I would get locks for the cupboard in future.
post #13 of 164
Originally Posted by True Blue View Post
I'm so mad though that I am considering making them pick a couple of toys to ebay to pay for the food...is that too much do you think?
I probably wouldn't go there, though I might "redirect" money that was to be spent on a treat to replace the wasted food, and explain to them right away that that's what will happen. Even if it's just that you don't buy some favourite snack the next time you go shopping--it won't cover all the cost of the food but it does help show them that there's only a limited amount of money and if you have to spend it on one thing, it's not there for something else.
post #14 of 164
Yeah, I wouldn't ebay the toys either. Although I can definitely understand the inclination! I would be furious, I can totally relate to feeling really angry. I would be beside myself with fury.

Take a breath, and wait a few days. Don't jump the gun too much mama, I don't think they'll make the connection with the toys, and for mine she would be devastated. *Too* devastated, I wouldn't feel good.

to you.
post #15 of 164
Thread Starter 
P.S. I just looked at the pic and noticed the little legs on the couch in the background... I think I would have packed the kids up and left and hoped that fairies cleaned it up while I was gone.
You would have gotten to see the food covered, very-proud-of what-they'd-done children as well, except they were naked so I didn't want it floating around the web like that LOL!!!!

You are all probably right about the toys...I'm just MAD...LOL. I DO like the idea of not buying a fun snack or something though. And not having as much cereal around this next week for breakfast choices.
post #16 of 164
This is not said in a harsh tone. But if you are driving and not paying attention and you have an accident, you can't blame the road.

I'm really glad that you are all safe. The lesson here is that you need to get up with your kids.

I would look around my house and be glad I'm not dead with my children. I have a gas stove. I have water that can scald. I have toxic chemicals.

I'd be grateful the house wasn't blown up, hug my children and figure that I needed to go to bed earlier. I would not assume I could sleep in without someone watching my kids.

I would take responsibility for my failure to supervise my 4 year old (not 5 for 4 more months if I do my math right, so let's say 4 and 2/3) and 2 year old toddler. 4 year olds are not renowned for their impulse control.

If I had a preschool teacher leave my 4 year old alone and be mad that he messed up the room, I'd dismiss the teacher. I have higher standards for myself.
post #17 of 164
I think some people underestimate children.
post #18 of 164
Thread Starter 
Comparing my children to a road is a bit off, don't you think? They are thinking feeling beings, by golly, they KNOW not to do what they did. On that note, my DS would not touch something like the stove...he knows it is dangerous. Something that is dangerous is very different from something that is fun and messy. Dozing in bed or not, I could HEAR my children so I knew they were not in harm's way...I just did not realize they were dumping out all my food. Rattling bags normally indicate eating a snack on the couch.
post #19 of 164
Thinking about it, I think it depends on your child. I have a friend with a 5 year old, and she could *not* leave him alone for any length of time - for sure he would be dumping everything everywhere, or running out of the house and onto the road, or something else like that.

OTOH my 3 year old on Sunday mornings goes out to the living room herself to watch TV - I leave the TV on the kids' channel and she knows how to turn it on. I would be absolutely *shocked* if she dumped my food everywhere or did something else crazy like that. She is just not that kind of child, and if she dumped the food everywhere it would be absolutely intentional, with full knowledge that doing so is not remotely cool. Not saying it would never happen, but if it did it would not be an issue of simple lack of impulse control, as it would be with my friend's son.

We make our decisions in our lives based on our own situations and our own children, and I don't think this is something where we can judge across the internet.
post #20 of 164
Here's a study the examines 4-6 year old children's recall for home safety rules:

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