Most of you know that I have three boys and a baby girl – 12, 10, 8, and 5 years old. For the most part, the kids get along okay but by the end of a long winter when we’ve been stuck inside, the sibling rivalry and conflict can just be too much to take.

That is perhaps the most gentle way I know of telling you that the kids, well, they are driving me nuts.

Today as soon as they came home from school the fighting commenced and I just prayed in my best whiny voice, “Lord, please not today. What can I do to make it stop?” Suddenly, I had a brilliant idea.

“Children!! Come in here!! I have a deal for you!!!”

They all gathered and here was my Holy-Spirit-inspired offer:

“If y’all will play board games this afternoon and work on loving one another with no fighting, I will clean your rooms for you today. If you start fighting, you will help me clean the toilets with your toothbrushes which you will then continue to use to brush your teeth.”

Okay, that last part was a joke but I tried my best to make them believe I meant it. (Only one of my many parenting tips you’ll never find in a James Dobson book.)

So, here’s the thing. I’ve had my head in books all day and hadn’t really peeped into their rooms to see what I was getting myself in to.

Oh. my. word.

I don’t think I told you there was a bomb threat at our school on Friday. Fortunately, no bomb was found on the school grounds. However, I think I know why.

It’s because they were detonated in my kids’ bedrooms.

My only hope in weasling out of our arrangement was for the kids to start fighting because that would cancel the deal. But – wouldn’t you know the little brats got along famously the entire afternoon with nary a cross word between them?

And I worked like a stinkin’ dog dusting and sweeping and mopping and digging out mystery food from under beds and missing socks from under dressers.

But you know what?

Hearing those kids laughing together instead of stomping each others’ heads in was totally worth the grueling work.

It does kinda stink that I didn’t get to make them scrub the toilet with their toothbrushes, though.

Now that would have been a memory-maker.

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