I'm not exactly too sure as to where this particular Christmas tradition came from, but every year, right around Christmas time, Makoto fails to pick up his toys.
And yes, this is a problem. As I have related before, I am well aware as to just how bad a room can get when kids don't pick up and so while I might be the world's largest hypocrite in calling for my house to be at least somewhat clean, I do want it clean. In calling for this however, I must face down two very stubborn boys. Hikaru has yet to master this concept of cleaning. In Hikaru's world, cleaning means ignoring Mommy and Daddy until he absolutely cannot, and THEN finally start cleaning... I.e. pick up a single toy, put it into the bin, and then rather cheerfully announce "All done!"
Makoto's habit is more along the lines of saying that, yes, he will clean up and as long as someone is watching him, he will. The key word is watching. If you're not watching, he'll stop cleaning and start playing. And when you do catch him not cleaning, he'll go over and take the toy Hikaru is playing with causing Hikaru to cry and a fight to start.
And then Makoto comes running to say Hikaru won't help and instead hit him.
Thus cleaning becomes something that should take, oh 15 minutes, maybe but instead lasts for well over an hour, during which whatever else I might want to get done, doesn't.
And as always, it ends up with me blowing my stack a bit until the boys get the idea that, no, Daddy is not a happy camper and now is the time to actually start to clean in earnest.
Cleaning, by the way, means grab toys and randomly shove them on the shelves so that the mess is just transferred. Really, I don't want to be an ogre about this, and my own cleaning leaves a lot to be desired (My file system is called "Put it somewhere on the desk, it'll keep"), but it's just a matter of not wanting to get back to what I grew up with. It was my own fault, yes, but that doesn't mean I want to go back to it either.
But getting back to Christmas, eventually though events come to a head where it becomes obvious that the boys simply have way too many toys. Part of this is just growth, the way things are now, Hikaru's toy bin is downstairs and supposed to be full of baby toys. Makoto's is upstairs and full of his toys. The reality is that Hikaru is no longer a baby and spends most of his time playing with Makoto's toys so the toys migrate around the house and of course the general child notion of 'Can't find toy you want? DUMP THEM ALL!' holds well and true for both boys, which just causes even more in terms of toy migration.
Another part of the problem is simply that they keep getting more toys, though that is not any doing of ours. Sure, they get toys for their birthday and Christmas, sometimes they get toys from relatives and once in a great while, just because, but a great deal of them are, well, garbage. Makoto has taken after his aunt, he loves art work so he gathers toy kits. Said kits are usually newspaper ads that he twists, draws, cuts, and tapes into... odd contraptions that require a great deal of imagination in order to see what he says they are. Not a bad thing of course, all children should be encouraged to be creative, but it does leave one heck of a mess in terms of scraps pf paper that liter the house.
Hikaru, being two, isn't into crafting yet, but he's an ace at destruction, especially Makoto's paper toys, which he more or less shreds once Makoto is done with This of course also adds to the mess of paper scraps littering the house.
And it presents a quandary, Makoto made it, thus it's kid art, thus turns parents all gooey and gives a guy one hell of a guilt trip to throw away, but it is a mess.
And Christmas is coming.
More toys. That they can't clean up.
In the middle of this mess cycle is what usually happens, I get annoyed enough that I start taking toys, putting them in boxes or up so that they can't play with them (Before I get called cruel, I take only those still on the floor, they still have heaps of toys and even worse, they never really seem to notice that they are gone). Currently we have three boxes full of toys in the attic that have been thus taken, some haven't been played with for years. For some reason however, Makoto always seems to get to this point right before Christmas and I have yet to figure out if this is some kind of sneaky way of getting his room cleaned out for more toys from Santa or what.
But all of it does beg questions. Some of the toys were indeed gifts, thus I feel hesitant to toss. Some of them are baby toys, which again I feel hesitant to toss right now (You never know if you're gonna need them again, right?). Some where just damned expensive, which also means I'd hate to throw my money away as well. But in the end, I'm having nightmare visions of my attic stuffed full of toys that haven't seen the light of day for over a decade by the time Makoto and Hikaru leave home just trying to keep my house clean!
So, toys... What the hell do I do with them?!
It would help if I had a place to take them, but lack of second hand stores and both Makoto and Hikaru being in nursery school limits that idea. I can just imagine the problems of taking a toy away, just so that they can play with it at school. Not to mention the fun the teachers would have trying to break up fights between the boys who know the toy is theirs and other students. I'm starting to think that maybe what I should do is write Santa for pick-up service.