My kids are way too much like me. When I was three, back during the baby-bust of 1975, my mother tried to get me into the kindergarten Sunday school class, since there weren’t enough kids my age to run a preschool program. She made her pitch, and was asked one make-or-break question: “Can she use scissors?”
Mom took her victory in one hand, me in the other, and gave me a crash course in scissors that very day. I’d spend *ridiculous* numbers of hours of my early school years cutting crazy-complicated snowflakes that defy any measure of patience I’ve ever had as an adult.
Back to my kids: they love scissors, too. The part where they differ from me? I very quickly learned that leaving infinitesimally small pieces of copy paper all over the living room floor was a sure-fire way to up the volume in suburban home. My girls seem to be a lot slower on the uptake. And I’m tired of it!
I *love* their creations, but I am MIGHTY tired of spending a half-hour or so after their bedtime down on all fours, cleaning under the homeschool desk!
*I* cut paper into a cut glass bowl; they cut and cast it to the four winds! Crayons get lost all over the house, I step on them in the dark, and crack! Crayola crumbs!
So here’s the mean part: I have started denying them scissor and crayon privileges if they don’t clean up after themselves by bedtime. The first time I gave them tons of warning that they’d lose them for a day, Big D actually said “that’s ok, we don’t want to use them tomorrow anyway.” (I could *swear* that I heard a bit of preteen sass in her voice when she said it, but I’m choosing to block that out until her age in years is more than I have fingers on one hand.)
Next time I took them away for two days, and they *still* didn’t get it. Big D drew some (lovely) pictures in just pencil, but they STILL DON’T GET IT.
They have the crayons out now, since they need to make cards for Daddyman’s birthday tomorrow. I’m keeping the scissors, though. We’ll see how it goes….