Rob and I are conducting an experiment. Leila is sloppy youngster, like most youngsters, and cleaning her room is about the most oppressive thing that can happen to her. She doesn't put away clean laundry, she doesn't put dirty laundry in the hamper, she leaves her crap all over the house, she loses homework and bike lock keys and her cell phone and her new earrings and all other sundry. She sleeps under piles of clothes and books, and doesn't seem to mind.
So, Rob says, "I wonder how long it would take her to decide to clean her room on her own if we just didn't bring it up. Let's find out." I agreed, so here we are: I haven't asked her, or bribed her, or insentivized her in any way to clean her room for about a week now. The rule I have made up in my own mind is that I will take her stuff from around the house and her clean, lovingly folded laundry, put it in her room, and close the door. If she can't find something, I'll say "I don't know where that is, you should check your room." I'll let her know on Thursday that laundry day is Friday, and see what she comes up with. If she runs out of clean underpants, too bad for her. I'm keeping my mouth shut, and we'll see what happens.
This morning she asked if she could have a friend over this afternoon. I looked at the state of her room and almost said "No, your room's not clean and you wont have any space to hang out." But instead I said "sure." Maybe her friend will tell her to not be such a slob, but I wont. I will make her hang out in there, though; why should she enjoy my tidied living space when her room is a sty? She says she's lost her new bumble bee earrings, I'm sure they're buried in that shithole somewhere. The cell phone is another matter. She said "you'll probably kill me if I can't find it!" and I said, "no, you just wont have a cell phone anymore, and that will suck for you."
I don't know who this will be harder for, her or me. Close the door, close the door, close the door... How long do you think I can hold out?