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My Top 10 Favorite Kid Excuses to Avoid Cleaning

Updated on October 12, 2012

No More Excuses

No More Excuses - Just Clean Up Your Mess!
No More Excuses - Just Clean Up Your Mess! | Source

Funny Kid Excuses

As a stay at home mom for almost four years now, I have heard my fair share of excuses from my children. I get it - they don't want to pick up their toys or clean up their own mess. But what they don't understand is that this mom doesn't want to either. Over the years, they have come up with some whoppers of excuses. Some have made me laugh, while others have irritated me right down to the core. I thought I would share some of my all time favorite excuses of how my boys avoid that awful, dreadful moment of cleaning time.

Cleaning and picking up toys happens twice a day in this household - right before their Dad gets home and again right before bedtime. Here is a top 10 list of the most commonly heard excuses to avoid cleaning in our house. Enjoy!

Beware of the Kid Excuses

Proceed with Caution - You are Entering a No Whining Zone!
Proceed with Caution - You are Entering a No Whining Zone! | Source

Top 10 Kid Excuses to Avoid Cleaning

1.) (Yawn) I'm so tired. I think I need a nap.

I hear this one all the time from my 3 year old. The first couple of times I thought "Hallelujah!" and would let him go lay down for his nap. He might as well just stamped "SUCKER" on my forehead because half the time he never went to sleep. Now when he tries to use this one my response is "As soon as you get finished picking up your toys, by all means feel free to go take a nap!" Motherhood is all about learning from your mistakes and believe me my boys have taught me so many lessons along the way!

2.) But my head (or insert other body part) is hurting!

Another excuse I hear quite often is suddenly a part of their body is in pain. Most often it is their head. I can't help but laugh at this one. They were running around like two wild monkeys but suddenly feel pain when the thought of picking up their own mess comes into play. I often find myself telling them "Well, we might need to call the doctor and get you a shot or a dose of some yucky medicine for your pain." It is quite funny how a mention of a doctor visit cures all sudden symptoms!

Cleaning with a Smile

My proof that a 6 year can vacuum with a smile!
My proof that a 6 year can vacuum with a smile! | Source

3.) It's too heavy for me to carry by myself!

It is amazing to me how toys seem to gain weight after my boys successfully carried them out of their rooms. I often hear things like "Look Mom - I am so strong!" But as soon as I mention cleaning time, they no longer have the muscles to carry them back to the room. Now I have to stand firm on this excuse - if you can drag it in here, you can drag it back!

4.) But Mom - I can't do it ALL by myself!

Now I know every mom or dad around the world has heard this famous kid excuse. I always come back quickly with "But son - you had no problem bringing all these toys in here by yourself!" Of course this comment is always followed with a reminder, if you would only get one toy out at a time - then you wouldn't have a million toys to pick up at cleaning time. Do they ever take my wise and wonderful motherly advice? How I wish they would, but unfortunately no they are as stubborn as their Daddy!

5.) My legs are not working.

Good one son, but that ninja kick you just showed me proves that your legs are working just fine. I am not sure how often this happens at other homes but any mention of cleaning time makes my kids' legs to stop working. It really is a medical mystery that I hope a doctor can soon find a cure for in the future. Again, one mention of a doctor visit usually cures this sympton with a quickness.

6.) Oh my belly is so hungry! I am going to need a snack before I start.

Anytime I mention cleaning, someone is automatically hungry. I must admit - a fine and clever strategy of procrastination - thought up by my children. Does this strategy work with ol' Mom? Absolutely not. I am still not sure why they even try to use this excuse. Snacks and other rewards are only given after the task is fully completed around here.

7.) But I didn't get that out! (Pointing at brother) He did it!

Oh yes, another great excuse quite often heard in this household. The ol' blame game is played daily around here. Instead of trying to find out exactly who got the toy out, I save myself a lot of time by saying "I don't care who got it out. Just pick it up." Now this may seem unfair to the nonguilty child, but I have no doubt that the victim will get his revenge at the next cleaning session.

8.) (Scratching head) I don't know where it goes.

If I had a box of academy awards to give out, my children would get one daily with this excuse. They really think I will fall for their "I suddenly forgot where my toys go" routine. With a room full of cubbies and organizer bins, they know exactly where every toy goes. This sudden case of amnesia is quite the epidemic around here during cleaning time.

9.) But Mom my cartoons are on!

Good try with that excuse. Thanks to the 10 different cartoon channels now on television - your cartoons are always on 24 hours a day. Chances are my boys have seen that certain episode at least 20 times before, but any mention of cleaning time, and it becomes the most important and favorite cartoon ever! Often times, the television has to be turned off to ensure a prompt pick up of the toys.

10.) I'll give you a million zillion dollars if you do it!

Wow! If I had a million zillion dollars for every time I heard this excuse, I would have an estimated 156 million zillion dollars in the bank. It sounds really tempting but I am pretty sure that change in your piggy bank won't cover what you owe me for my cleaning services. Again, nice try but this Mom won't be falling for that one!

Frustrated With the Excuses? Have a Laugh with the Mom Song!

Kid Excuses Poll

How many times a week does your kid use excuses to avoid cleaning?

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What Clever Excuse Will Be Next?

Listing my top 10 favorite kid excuses to avoid cleaning makes me wonder what clever excuses my kids will come up with next time. Will aliens invade their room or will the blame be put on that mischievous elf on the shelf? Will it be another mysterious illness or sudden painful symptom? There is really no telling with these two boys. But I am sure within no time, a new batch of excuses will surely come out in hopes of avoiding the awful and dreadful cleaning time!

Do your kids have a favorite excuse they use to avoid cleaning? How do you respond? I would love to hear your answers in the comment section below!

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    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      These are great excuses, except that you have found a way to work around all of them. At my house, I come up with more excuses than the kid.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      My son had just finished saying #4 to me as I started reading this! Kids are too funny. His favorite excuse is that he got out all of his toys for his sister, who's one year old.

      Voted up and sharing! :)

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      "I didn't do it!" and "I'm too tired!" were favorites when my kids were small...my grandson that lives close to me LOVES to clean! He helps me clean up all the time...he is only two, so maybe that will change, but for now it is wonderful!

    • Eric Newland profile image

      Eric Newland 5 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      I can hardly wait. My daughter has a big imagination so I'm sure she'll come up with some doozies. She seems to enjoy putting things away though, but never as the last action during playtime; they always have to be dumped out again.

    • breathe2travel profile image

      breathe2travel 5 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Ha! My kids have used 1-7. Funny. I think I may share this on facebook. Voted up and funny.

      Warmest regards~

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much Millionaire Tips! I had to learn the hard way with a few of their excuses but thankfully I am getting wiser and better with age. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      That is hilarious ThePracticalMommy! Excuse #4 is quite popular around here too. I do usually give in and help - I can't help it :) Appreciate you reading, voting, and sharing!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      @ justateacher - My sons love to help my mother too! They have absolutely no issues helping their Mimi clean and pick up toys. This must be a luxury only appointed to grandmothers! Wow that is too funny! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Oh Eric - cleaning up toys is a never ending process around here! I can only dream of the day that we buy a bigger house that has a playroom with a door you can shut to hide the craziness away from guests. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much breathe2travel! Happy to hear that I am not the only parent that has to endure these crazy excuses :) Appreciate you taking the time to read, for the votes, and sharing!

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Donaisabella 5 years ago from Fort Myers

      Oh, my kids have a roster that they follow so their biggest excuse day in and out is that it is not their day to do it. Well, they still have to do it because mom said so and like you said in #7 things change quite often. The other excuse I recall is, "I have too much homework to do so I do not have time to do my chores" or "why am I the only one who is sent to do these things all the time?" Of course it is an exaggeration meaning, "please send somebody else, not me."

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Very cute hub! I like the my legs are working I've heard that one several times or it's too heavy for me to push. Thanks for this it hit close to home for me!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      How funny donnaisabella! I am sure I will start hearing those same excuses as my boys grow up. I will have to go ahead and prepare my responses to those too :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much kelleyward! It is just too funny what kids can come up with. Happy to hear you enjoyed it! Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • LucidWarrior profile image

      David Cook 5 years ago from Suburban Philadelphia

      My kids don't even bother with excuses. They take the direct approach. They just don't do anything...:(

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I had to laugh at what Marissa said about her son's excuse of getting all of his toys out for his sister. I don't have kids yet, but I heard many of these excuses as a teacher.

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Oh no - hopefully that day never comes around here! Thanks so much LucidWarrior for reading and commenting!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      That was hilarious! My husband use to teach kindergarten for four years and heard many of these excuses in his classroom too. My poor boys don't stand a chance trying to use one of these with daddy either :) Thanks so much randomcreative for stopping by and commenting!

    • profile image

      melissa 5 years ago

      Had a good laugh,really enjoyed reading!!

    • nityanandagaurang profile image

      nityanandagaurang 5 years ago

      very cute hub alissaroberts.this is common problem among children .we, parents should explain them that it is for their good.voted up.

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much melissa! My boys' excuses are quite funny and seem to never end. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much nityanandagaurang! I agree that we have to let them know exactly what their responsibilities are and why we have to do them everyday. Appreciate the vote up and your comments!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Hehee! "My legs are not working" is definitely my favorite excuse. I think I'll take it for a spin myself!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Yes you will have to try it out - my boys think it is the best excuse ever! Thanks so much Simone for stopping by and commenting!

    • lisa42 profile image

      lisa42 5 years ago from Sacramento

      I've heard all of these, too, except for the "million, zillion" dollar bribe. That's a good one! :-)

    • Becky Peterson profile image

      Becky Peterson 5 years ago

      This just makes me feel normal. I have five kids and all of them use excuses. The one I know the best is the "My legs or back is hurting". One of my kids always needs to conveniently use the bathroom every time the word chores is mentioned. Thanks, I enjoyed your hub!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Oh yes I have to give credit to my 6 year old for his originality of the million zillion dollar excuse. Too bad he doesn't have that kind of money or it might have worked on me :) Thanks so much lisa42 for stopping by and commenting!

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      The bathroom excuse - that's a good one! My boys haven't thought of that one...yet :) Thanks so much Becky for reading and commenting!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      Funny & entertaining hub! And I've heard every single one of them - so true! Voted up and funny.

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much Marcy! It's funny that so many moms (and dads) hear these same excuses from their children. Good to know that I am not alone :) Appreciate you reading, commenting, and for the votes!

    • mpoche4 profile image

      Michal 5 years ago from Baton Rouge, LA

      I think I may have used a few of these growing up... great hub!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much mpoche4! I am sure I used a few of these growing up too - heck I still use a few of these with my husband from time to time! :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • profile image

      Jrandol62 5 years ago

      Good stuff AR, and yes....my son used all those back in the day! Now, my GF's kids use them...It's SOOOO tough being a kid, and having to help out with the house stuff. LOL Kids have it made these days though....Society has made them think they don't have to do anything anymore. What a life...I'll pass it on!! :)

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Thanks so much Jrandol62! So happy to hear my kids aren't the only ones with these excuses :) It is quite funny how dramatic they can get when cleaning time rolls around! Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Very cute! Aren't boys creative when it comes to excuses why they can't do things! They must be practicing for when they are husbands! hahaha...

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Lol Stephanie that is exactly what they are doing! Actually when my son helped me change the toilet paper roll the other day I told him if he kept it up he would make his future wife very happy! :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Hilarious and really laughed out loud with this one. I also have 4 children. My almost 9 year old son usually whines, "How come I have to do EVERYTHING?" Oh yeah. Right. Loved this one - best, Steph

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      How funny! That is one excuse I am sure I will hear soon from my own boys. I have to admit I am pretty sure I used that one with my own mom a time or two :) Happy to hear you got a laugh out of this one! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    • AlanDoughtyXIII profile image

      AlanDoughtyXIII 5 years ago

      Here is an exceptionally original excuse from my youngest sister; when the floor of her bedroom was covered with toys and trash and Maman would order her to clean her room, she would make a path from the door to her bed and declare the job complete. Never mind the Red Sea of said toys and rubbish :)

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      How funny! That is a good one. Sounds like something my oldest son would do :) Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story!

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Oh yes, don't we all go through this! All my kids loved cleaning until they get to age 5, then they learn all the excuses from their older siblings. I thing these excuses are engraved in their DNA .... Most children come up with the same excuse!

      Very interest, and voting up :)

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Hi LaThing! These excuses being engraved in their DNA would explain a lot! My boys are funny. If you give them something to spray they are in heaven and will clean away. But if you simply ask them to pick up their toys - watch out - the drama kings come out! One day they will learn mom will always win no matter what lol :) Thanks so much for stopping by and for the votes!

    • AlanDoughtyXIII profile image

      AlanDoughtyXIII 5 years ago

      I do not believe excuses are engraved in one's DNA. It is, I think, rather more that children are quickly punished for taking responsibility for their actions; if the said child admits to making a mistake, we scold him (or her) instead of praising him (or her) as another Washington. Thus begins the lifelong game of excuses.

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Hi Alan! I was just kidding about the excuses being engraved in their DNA but you do make a very interesting and valid point. I agree with your statement that parents should not scold when the child admits to making a mistake. For example, if my boys spilled a drink and quickly told me, I do thank them for being honest and letting me know. On the other hand, if excuses are being made to avoid simple things such as picking up their toys, it is a parent's job to hold them accountable for their actions. This helps to teach them the art of responsibility. As soon as the job is complete, praises should follow for a job well done. Thanks so much for sharing your opinion - definitely was food for thought for me this morning :)

    • profile image

      WhydThatHappen 4 years ago

      Lol, good list. My favorite excuses were the ones where I leveraged other responsibilities to get out of cleaning.

      "I have to take the dog on his walk"- go play at the park

      "I have to do my homework"- go read favorite book

      "I have to take out the trash"- disappear to room

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Haha those are good ones! I never thought to use that technique when I was younger. I bet they worked like a charm :) Thanks so much WhydThatHappen for stopping by and commenting!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      My legs are not working...can I use this excuse at work? LOL

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Lol I wouldn't advise it :) Thanks for reading and commenting jpcmc!

    • KDeus profile image

      Keely Deuschle 4 years ago from Florida

      Ah, the legs not working is a favorite one of my little guy! Funny how they were just working a minute ago! :) Thank you for the smile!

    • alissaroberts profile image
      Author

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Hi KDeus! The legs not working seems to be a popular one for all the little fellows :) Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!

    • hopeth profile image

      hopeth 4 years ago from Planet earth

      Lol, sure you love to remember every little thing your kids say...

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Hi hopeth! Never a dull moment with little ones around :) Appreciate you stopping by and commenting!

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