I am amazed by the volume of mess my boys can produce on an hourly basis.
Today, I clean up the kitchen while they finish their dinner. Afterward, I get on the family computer (located in the kitchen where we can keep an eye on internet use) for 15 minutes.
I get up, turn around... and the kitchen is a mess again. Dirty dishes piled by the sink, half-eaten cupcakes on the counter, art projects galore on the dinner table and crumbs and crap all over the kitchen floor.
20 minutes. And I was right there the entire time!
And the cups... oh my GOD - the CUPS! I wash cups, and put them away and they magically appear again all over the place. These boys must each go through a dozen cups a day. When they run out of cups, they start using coffee mugs... then the wine glasses, then bourbon glasses.
Which - come to think of it... we don't even drink bourbon.
About two years ago I had HAD it with the messes and I took drastic action. I had read about a mother who stripped her kids' bedrooms clean because they did not take care of their stuff.
In a rage - one day when I got home before the rest of them - I took everything... and I mean EVERYTHING out of Evan and Zach's room - dumped it in a pile in the basement -- leaving them with NOTHING but their mattresses.
And you know what they did?
They went down to the basement, dug up a pillow and a blanket and slept on their mattresses without any bedding. And... for the next week, continued to go down to the basement to get what they needed each day. They dug through their piles to get dressed in the morning and find the stuff they wanted to play with.
So... I had multipled the messes. Two messy piles in the basement and more messes in the bedrooms.
They are talented... very talented.