Trying Mrs. Piggle- Wiggle’s Cure For a Messy Room

For the past month I have not made my daughter pick up any toys in her room. She did not have to make her bed, or clean her room.  I also took all of her toys and stuffed animals that were stored in the basement and put them in her room as well.

I was trying Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s advice in Chapter two of the book Mrs. Piggle Wiggle by Betty Macdonald. The Won’t- Pick- Up- Toys -Cure.  In Chapter two, Mrs.Prentiss calls her friend Mrs. Grapple and asks her, ” Can you suggest a way to make Hubert (her son) want to pick up his toys?” Mrs. Grapple suggests she call Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, a small woman who lives in an upside down brown house in their town.

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle suggests The Won’t- Pick- Up- Toys -Cure.   Mrs. Prentiss is instructed to not clean Huberts room or make his bed. After seven days, Hubert can not open his door and is passed food through his bedroom window.  He eventually decides to put his toys away, as he wants to join his friends who are marching past his house in a circus with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

My daughter  could still get out of her room as we made a narrow path between her toys.  I did not have to send up a dried piece of bread and peanut butter on the tines of a rake like Mrs. Prentiss did for her son Hubert.

I allowed her room to be cluttered and crowded. I had to come to terms with potential company wondering about my parenting skills, as her room was very—–well, lets just say, you couldn’t see the floor.  But, all was not lost. Mrs. Piggle Wiggles cure was working. She wanted to clean her room. She was tired of not being able to find anything. She was tired of not having a floor to play on. She was tired of sleeping on the floor in our room on a sleeping bag.

In  the book Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Hubert picked up his toys by himself.  My daughter and I worked on her room together. I want to be the shepherd gently leading, rather than the dog herding the sheep. We sorted toys, and bagged up the ones she didn’t want anymore.

Now my daughter  has  time to toss her softball, and ride her bike. She doesn’t have to spend all day trying to find her ball glove.  She knows where it is.

Maybe the cure  should really have been  The -Mother- Who- Wouldn’t- Make- Her- Child- Get- Rid- of -Any- Toy’s- Cure.    When we packed up our house in California we brought everything. I didn’t sort through any toys  before we packed. My children were sad enough leaving their friends. I wasn’t going to force them to leave any treasures behind.

I will talk again later. Someone is calling me.

“Mom, come and play catch!”


5 responses to “Trying Mrs. Piggle- Wiggle’s Cure For a Messy Room

  1. I love Mrs. Piggle Wiggle! Interesting insight on why you didn’t sort and purge toys before you moved. I have always struggled with purging the boys’ toys. Even now i have four or five huge bags of outgrown toys in an unused room. Yet I think now i
    struggle because these toys represent treasures connecting them to family we don’t see often. Now you really have me thinking and planning a toy purge!

    • Yes, the things I keep are full of memories. I try to continually make new memories. As I don’t want to spend my life just dusting the past. What does tomorrow bring. Is my life, ” I was.” or is it “I am” and “I will become.” Sigh, hard to help the kids with stuff, when I find it hard to throw away anything myself.

  2. Lessons lived do seem to have more meaning for kids. It must have been difficult to live through the learning stage, but you made your point. During the pick up period you had time for some great conversations. Sounds like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle was a great mentor. Have you read it to your daughter?

  3. Very commendable to be able to see the floor in the bedroom, I am proud of her (& you), keep up the good work. There are certain things that have meaning though. What would your story ” My first pair of glasses ” have been without the picture of “your first pair of glasses”. That helped to make the story, sooooo where does one draw the line?? I guess it’s just where we keep our treasurs.

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