It happens in every family. If it doesn’t happen in yours, you either do not have children or they are still under the age of two. But a number of reasons often get given in response to a request to clean a bedroom (or clean some other room in the house). The logic of these excuses can be dazzling…
1. But MUM!!!!!!!!
2. Aaaaaaaooooooowwwwwwwww!!!! (approximate spelling of a noise resembling that made by a half-starved bullock)
4. I’m not a maid!
5. It IS clean. (usually said after removing a few clothes off the floor into the laundry basket, having kicked the rest under the bed)
6. You can’t make me!
7. Why do I have to do this dumb job? Can’t you pay a professional domestic cleaner to do it?
8. Why me? My sister/brother/best friend/cat doesn’t have to!
9. You’re so mean. I’m the only person in my class who has to clean their bedroom/clean the toilet/vacuum the living room.
10. But it makes my skin itchy!
There is one standard answer to all these stunning arguments: the old parental favourite, “Clean your room because I said so.” Other answers are possible, with the numbered answers corresponding to the previous list of arguments.
1. Absolute silence, followed by issuing the complainer with appropriate cleaning tools such as a vacuum cleaner, a duster or (in extreme cases) a rake.
2. As above, possibly backed by a little bribery and corruption in the form of “When you’ve finished cleaning, you can go to the skate park.”
3. Because you’ll get sick if you don’t.
4. Neither am I.
5. Either silence, followed by a glance under the bed or in the cupboard, or else a threat to remove anything that isn’t in its place.
6. No computer/TV/Playstation until it’s done. If snotty protests continue, threaten to confiscate iPods.
7. Do you want to pay the professional cleaner with your pocket money? Alternatively, the Standard Parent Housework Speech should be used.
8. It’s your mess – you tidy it up (possibly followed by “And you didn’t have to vacuum your bedroom when you were the same age as your sister.”)
9. Other people can be slobs if they want to. We aren’t slobs. Alternatively, use Answer #1.
10. Then, use soap and water/baking soda/vinegar. This is the only really good child excuse for not cleaning and they have a point. If you already use natural house cleaning products and the child whines because “we don’t use REAL cleaning stuff,” use the “saving money on cleaners so we have more money for things like holidays and trips away” response.
The Standard Parent Housework Speech:
We live in a nice house and we want to keep it that way. If we don’t keep the house clean, it will attract vermin like fleas or worse, and there’ll be germs everywhere and we’ll get sick. It’s also important that everybody learns responsibility and how to clean up after themselves. One day, you won’t have Mum and Dad around to clean up after you for free, so you need to know a few basic skills about looking after yourself. No, you will not get paid for cleaning up your own mess and a few other jobs. You are part of this family, and you need to do your bit to keep us all healthy, the same as we all do. As you get older, you will get more responsibilities because that’s part of growing up… NOW GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM!