A profound thought and a new project.

by mssinglemama on April 23, 2008

It’s Spring. I’m feeling frisky … and I know you are too!

So… I dare you to ask a guy out.

If you’re like me and the idea of going out on a date makes your stomach squirm, then you get a reprieve. It’s only been one week since my break up, so I get to take a time out. As for the rest of you – how long has it been since your last date? If it’s been a while – then why aren’t you out there?

I know it’s a huge pain in the ass to date … but don’t you miss it? Are there any guys you have little crushes on? Could the feeling be mutual? Find out. Ask him. Put yourself out of your misery and just do it.

If you read my blog regularly you know I’m a huge advocate of women taking the plunge and asking men out, flat out

Here are a few little tid bits on asking men out.

1. Men love being asked out, it’s flattering.

2. (If they’re actually single) they rarely say “No.”

3. You seem confident and sexy.

4. You have nothing to lose. At the end of the day you know one way or another whether or not he likes you. Peace of mind is priceless.

5. Your gut is rarely wrong. If he’s been flirting with you or just smiling at you in the coffee shop, he’s probably into you. He’s giving you the green light.

6. Men are lazy when it comes to romance. They prefer it if we do the work – and that includes asking them out.

So I’m daring you all to ask someone out, a stranger, a friend or a crush…here’s how:

Find a common interest through conversation and then ask him if he’d like to join you the next time you go (insert activity here). Offer him your number (don’t get his). Then the ball is back in his court.

See? Easy as pie. Do it! It’s Spring! C’mon!

»So where are you going to find them? Read my Top Spots to Meet Men

It’s Spring. I’m feeling frisky … and I know you are too!

So… I dare you to ask a guy out.

If you’re like me and the idea of going out on a date makes your stomach squirm, then you get a reprieve. It’s only been one week since my break up, so I get to take a time out. As for the rest of you – how long has it been since your last date? If it’s been a while – then why aren’t you out there?

I know it’s a huge pain in the ass to date … but don’t you miss it? Are there any guys you have little crushes on? Could the feeling be mutual? Find out. Ask him. Put yourself out of your misery and just do it.

If you read my blog regularly you know I’m a huge advocate of women taking the plunge and asking men out, flat out

Here are a few little tid bits on asking men out.

1. Men love being asked out, it’s flattering.

2. (If they’re actually single) they rarely say “No.”

3. You seem confident and sexy.

4. You have nothing to lose. At the end of the day you know one way or another whether or not he likes you. Peace of mind is priceless.

5. Your gut is rarely wrong. If he’s been flirting with you or just smiling at you in the coffee shop, he’s probably into you. He’s giving you the green light.

6. Men are lazy when it comes to romance. They prefer it if we do the work – and that includes asking them out.

So I’m daring you all to ask someone out, a stranger, a friend or a crush…here’s how:

Find a common interest through conversation and then ask him if he’d like to join you the next time you go (insert activity here). Offer him your number (don’t get his). Then the ball is back in his court.

See? Easy as pie. Do it! It’s Spring! C’mon!

»So where are you going to find them? Read my Top Spots to Meet Men

It’s Spring. I’m feeling frisky … and I know you are too!

So… I dare you to ask a guy out.

If you’re like me and the idea of going out on a date makes your stomach squirm, then you get a reprieve. It’s only been one week since my break up, so I get to take a time out. As for the rest of you – how long has it been since your last date? If it’s been a while – then why aren’t you out there?

I know it’s a huge pain in the ass to date … but don’t you miss it? Are there any guys you have little crushes on? Could the feeling be mutual? Find out. Ask him. Put yourself out of your misery and just do it.

If you read my blog regularly you know I’m a huge advocate of women taking the plunge and asking men out, flat out

Here are a few little tid bits on asking men out.

1. Men love being asked out, it’s flattering.

2. (If they’re actually single) they rarely say “No.”

3. You seem confident and sexy.

4. You have nothing to lose. At the end of the day you know one way or another whether or not he likes you. Peace of mind is priceless.

5. Your gut is rarely wrong. If he’s been flirting with you or just smiling at you in the coffee shop, he’s probably into you. He’s giving you the green light.

6. Men are lazy when it comes to romance. They prefer it if we do the work – and that includes asking them out.

So I’m daring you all to ask someone out, a stranger, a friend or a crush…here’s how:

Find a common interest through conversation and then ask him if he’d like to join you the next time you go (insert activity here). Offer him your number (don’t get his). Then the ball is back in his court.

See? Easy as pie. Do it! It’s Spring! C’mon!

»So where are you going to find them? Read my Top Spots to Meet Men

Two-year-olds can learn how to clean up after themselves.

Don’t ask me why this hadn’t occured to me until just now. It’s the daily grind and not enough time to read parenting books. And then there’s the lightening speed at which kids grow. Every day it seems like he’s doing something new, saying something new or showing me a new side to his personality.

It’s hard to keep up.

And today, as I was picking up toy after toy…it dawned on me. Hey, maybe he can start doing this himself. It’s my new project. Finished up don’t run in the damn road last week.

Okay, so how do I do it? How do I teach a future man how to clean? And guys who do clean, how did you learn?

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Annette April 23, 2008 at 10:57 pm

When you figure this one out, please let me know.
However, if you are interested in learning how to make kids throw food down the stairs, lock themselves in the dryer, or scream like banshees, give me a call.

http://www.avandekamp.wordpress.com

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Jennifer April 23, 2008 at 11:10 pm

If my son knows to put books back on the shelf and toys in the basket on command, anyone’s kid can. lol I just sound like a broken record when I tell him what he needs to do.

Actually we sing songs about cleaning while we pick up. Just make up words and sing them. Plus I gave my son a little broom to use in the kitchen while I clean and he LOVES to help mommy sweep. It slows me down, but his wife will thank me later. lol I found consistency has been the most important thing to his learning. How about giving him a baby wipe or something to wipe the tables or whatever? or a duster?

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randomesq April 24, 2008 at 3:08 am

I can’t even teach my dog to stop eating his own creations so I’m going to sit back and learn.

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whatmenthink April 24, 2008 at 7:16 am

I learned from a very strict mother who made it a point every time. I hated every second of it, but I guess it paid off?? Not sure if thats the best way to learn.

Perhaps making clean up a fun game?

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ana.biosis April 24, 2008 at 9:15 am

one word. Ikea. they have these great little basket thingys that make cleaning up toys suuuper easy. there are several kinds, I actually have 2 hanging from the ceiling in his nook, and this other basket that is similar to this:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10098505

ohhh this is the one I have

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90098506

these are the hangy thingys

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90096786

oh and we have this too

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80107827

lots of storage I know…

but when you have a Geo Traks city….

monster trucks galore, and the Cast and Crew of Cars in tiny cars everywhere….lots of little places make it easy for baby boy to clean up himself.

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chris gregory April 24, 2008 at 9:31 am

we sing while we pick up. the song goes like this: clean up clean up everybody clean up. clean up clean up cleaning is so fun!

corny song, but now all i have to do is start singing it and my girls start picking up. my 18 month old is a natural picker upper (like me) so i don’t have to sing as much. my 3 1/2 year old is the messy one so i end up doing a ton of horrible singing with her. i also tell her she’ll be the winner if she picks up the most stuff.

hope this helps!

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QTMama April 24, 2008 at 9:42 am

Yup the clean up song does wonders. When she was two, we did d a “mommy and me” class where she HAD to clean up. And believe me, having a teacher tell her to clean up had a whole new effect on her vs. having mom tell her to clean up. Ya know, he’s a boy. Make it a game – laundry? Two points for every rolled up ball of clothes he can get in the basket. Dishes? He can carry them to the sink.

Another thing that worked great with Em is the sticker reward system. I made a calendar of sorts – her job at that age was to pick up clothes, feed the dog (she loved this) and put toys in her cubby. Every time she did this – she got a sticker under that “chore”. When she reached 10 stickers, we hit the dollar store. Man she worked her little butt off to get to the dollar store. 🙂

Good luck!

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stevendraper April 24, 2008 at 11:40 am

I say to my son, Who can put the most bricks in the box, 3, 2, 1 Go…. That normally gets some action!

But if that fails then I refer to a possible visit from the Toy Dustbin!!!!!!!!!!!

Really I think its about them copying you, if I’m being neat and tidy, then he is, if I’m not then he’ll copy that too.

Good luck!

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dadshouse April 24, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Maybe your 2 year old can come teach my 12 year old – my son can’t even land his dirty clothes in his hamper. He practically has a clothing carpet in his room!

As for how I learned how to clean (because I do clean) – my parents made me and my brothers do chores when we were teens. We each did one job each week – take out the trash, vacuum, clean bathrooms.

My kids now pitch in on these tasks (for money). They just won’t clean their bedrooms. In other words – I have no advice to give you regarding your son!

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Meadows Ling April 24, 2008 at 12:27 pm

My daughter will be 28 months-old, in a few days, and she has been cleaning up after herself for a few months now. When we were first teaching her about cleaning up her toys, we made it into a game. We would each get a toy bin and see who could put away the most toys, the fastest.

She is also very good about picking up dirty clothes after a bath, or in the morning when she gets dressed. We have the open-top clothes hamper right inside of her bedroom door, so she can just drop the clothes in, while walking by, without having to turn the light on.

She also throws away her diapers after being changed, but I take no credit for that. She saw an older cousin do it for their younger sibling, and she thought it was SO AMAZING!

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singleworkingmommy April 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm

While I love the “help clean up” tips, I’m more interested in how you mastered “don’t run into the street!”

He actually picks up his toys (I think they taught him that at daycare). The hard part of the picking up process is making sure he doesn’t dump them all out when he’s finished.

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midagedman April 24, 2008 at 2:00 pm

I once read a very funny article in the NYTimes about training men. Think about animals, the author argued: lots of positive reinforcement. Every time he does something right, praise him. Ignore bad behavior. The author claimed success.

Actually, it also works with 2 year-olds. The songs, of course, are helpful. But clapping every time she cleans up is a huge motivator. Clapping does not work so well with men, but there are many other things you can do for him.

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snhamlett April 24, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Teaching a two year old to pick up after himself… are you patient? If not, do you indulge in alcoholic beverages? Because it can happen, you just need one or the other to help you through it all! LOL!

Seriously, it can happen, I tell you this as a mother of three (2 boys and 1 girl). Depending on your child’s personality what I’ve found works is;

1) making sure everything has a place. I’ve tried one big toy box and lots of smaller bins to store specific types of toys. In my house, the second way works best… with one big toy box, they were always dumping everything to find the ONE thing they wanted at the bottom of the box.

2) Put a limit on the number of toys that can be out at a time. There are days I forget to enforce this rule even now and I ALWAYS regret it. They fuss a lot less if they’re only putting up 5 matchbox cars instead of the whole set of 300.

3) Make picking up a game. Get an egg timer and depending on the amount of the mess, give your child 10 minutes or so to get it picked up. Help at first, but little by little, let your child start to do it alone. If you let them dawdle, they get distracted by creating new games and forget about picking up (especially a problem if you don’t follow rule #2).

4) Start picking up at a reasonable time… 30 minutes before anything that might induce grumpiness naturally, like lunch time, nap time, bed time.

5) Give LOTS of praise when they’re done. Kisses, hugs, clapping… great job! I’m so proud of you… wow you’re a really big kid aren’t you? My kids clean so much better when I do that than when I’m fussing.

Follow those rules consistently now at 2 and it will be much easier on you as your child grows up. Trust me on this, I learned it the hard way!

Shauntelle @ A Beautiful Abode

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jon b April 24, 2008 at 7:50 pm

courtney has done wonderful with noah and he does a good job of listening and helping clean up. they do the “CLEAN UP” song. i “Tom Sawyered” him into helping me with dishes. I think the trick is to make cleaning seem like fun they are missing out on. However, when he destroyed his room I sat on the floor blocking the door and told him he wasn’t leaving until he cleaned up his mess. He said no at first and played with toys which I kept taking until he conceeded he would help clean. I folded the clothes and told him where they go, then asked where all his toys went. It was one of those moments where you do something that actually worked. Of course shortly there after he walked into the living room to inform me he pooped, unfortunately he showed his success by dumping out of his plastic potty thing. WTF!?!?

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Andy April 24, 2008 at 8:46 pm

My mother would put on a Neil Diamond record (I think I just dated myself) and we all had to clean until the record was done – even my mother. If she really meant business, she put on Jesus Christ Superstar or some other two-record set.

What worked is it felt like a game and there was an end to it that I could see. There was also en element of “this sucks but we have to do it but not forever.”

I still get in a cleaning mood when I hear Neil Diamond which, I admit, is a little weird.

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Rebs April 24, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Praise and lots of it. Accessible storage and lots of it. Helping, but not too much of it.

The praise is easy. You’re already doing that for other stuff – eating dinner, using potty, what have you.

Accessible storage is a bit harder, because toy bins suck. I have a 70s credenza with sliding doors that holds her toys. There are a couple of bins that slide under it for the overflow. Because it is exactly her height and has 2 shelves inside, it is ideal and doesn’t look like a toy bin.

Besides storage, things should just be accessible. The Mook’s laundry basket looks like something a snake charmer should be using, including the lid. In fact, I’m even able to get her to pick up my socks and put them in the laundry basket.

Help! As a mum of a 2 1/2 year old, I get down on the floor with her to help. If you’ve watched Wonder Pets, you know it’s all about teamwork. Sometimes it’s just a matter of me keeping her company while she does her thing.

Let me know if you’ve got any tricks for getting her to d@mn well listen to me.

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Andrea April 25, 2008 at 5:18 pm

our clean up song has always been clean up clean up everybody everywhere clean up clean up everybody do their share. okay i stole that from parent tot class when my oldest son was two. when i tell my youngest son to help clean up he laughs like thats the funniest joke hes heard all day. counting always helps though, and counting in spanish mixes it up a bit.

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mssinglemama April 25, 2008 at 8:11 pm

This advice is awesome!!! Thanks everyone. One problem …. i can not sing. It’s painful to the ears. I will try though…definitely worth it.

Thanks again for all of these stories.

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Sara April 26, 2008 at 11:13 am

We use the “Clean Up” song from Barney (*flinching*). Gracie loves it! We also tell her the cleaning up is part of playtime and she seems to get that. Luckily, her school has the same philosophy, so she doesn’t seem to mind too much!

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mssinglemama April 26, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Okay – just tried singing to pick up our toys. He LOVED it. But then as soon as everything was cleaned up – he threw them down again. He wanted to sing again!

Sigh.

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