For a week now, the exact same piece of trash has been sitting on the floor in my hallway. For a week now, every member of my family has walked by, over, and around that same piece of trash.
When I first noticed the trash, I asked who put it there. "Not Me" was the unanimous response. While his frequent appearances in our family doesn't make this completely implausible, I was still not convinced.
Something told me there was more to the story.
My husband, upon seeing the trash, asked the same question...and received the same response.
And for a week, we asked who put it there expecting that at any moment A child, ANY child would pick the piece of trash up; whether they were the guilty party or not. For heaven's sake, it was a PIECE OF TRASH!!!
Still, no one picked it up. Even the cat caught on that it shouldn't be there. We'd notice the trash moved ever so slightly from day to day...undoubtedly from having been played with by our cat, or kicked out of the way by a child who couldn't be bothered to bend at the waist for 1/2 a second.
I know what you're thinking. Why didn't my husband or I just pick the trash up. As we said, it was JUST a piece of trash. We didn't pick it up because, as any parent knows, there is no such thing as JUST a piece of trash. If THAT piece isn't picked up, then it will be 2, then 3, & so on. They need to know that if they drop it, they need to pick it up & throw or put it away. There won't be anyone to follow them around when they're adults. We're to train them up in the way they should go so that when they're old they won't depart from it. I believe that applies in every area of their lives. We're not doing our kids any favors by picking up after them.
This piece of trash became the basis for our events this weekend. We woke up...and started our day as we normally would have.
After breakfast, we called all of the kids upstairs and explained to them that we were going to play "The Trash Circle". It's a new game that Mommy & Daddy had created. It goes like this: Every child in the family sits in a circle around the piece of trash that has been sitting there for a week. No one may speak unless they are admitting to having dropped the trash there. No one may get up unless they are going to throw the trash away. Everyone would sit there until the trash was thrown away AND the person who threw it there admitted to having done it.
It took under a minute for my son to pick up the trash and throw it away. Shortly thereafter, the child who had dropped the trash there admitted to having done so...and got the reward of emptying all of the trashes for the next week. Names have been concealed to protect the not-so-innocent.