Here is how I've failed as a parent:
My children cannot pick up their toys.
Okay, they can. But they rarely do. And here's why:
1. I cannot stand mess. I constantly follow them around, picking up after them, because I can't even stand to look at the toys all over the house.
2. I'm a control freak. The toys have to be put back in the correct place or I about lose it. Just ask Darren what we were doing the other night 5 minutes after it was supposed to be Natalie's bedtime...he'll back me up on this one, I promise you.
3. It is SO PAINFUL to watch them pick up their toys. They are SO SLOW. I mean, c'mon kids, let's PICK. UP. THE. PACE. I don't have all day to stand here and watch you SLOOOWWWLLYY put that Mickey Mouse figurine in the basket. And by all means, please, let's have twenty billion distractions along the way, as well. "No, you can't play with that now. Pick up your toys. No, we aren't going to color right now. Pick up your toys. Stop messing around. Don't play with that. Easton! Don't dump that out again! NATALIE. Pick up your toys! Easton, put it back. Natalie, for the love of all that's holy, pick up your toys right now or Mommy is going to lose it." And then I start picking them up just to keep myself from blowing a gasket on the kids and/or banging my head against the wall.
So here is what I've decided: no more toys. My children aren't allowed to have toys because I just can't handle it any more.
I mean, probably I should just learn to have more patience and teach them to clean up after themselves, but let's face it, it's just easier on everyone involved if I just start exiling the toys. They can just watch TV all the time, anyway, right?