"I don't mind a mess as long as you play nicely."
Sometimes it works. Often it doesn't. Usually I get a mess and they still kill each other but every now and again it works. They are into playing teenagers and gangsta rappers and building dens involving every object in the house. This is fine because it gives me the parenting holy grail which is Peace And Quiet. If I comment at all on the amount of stuff they are using, they quote me back at me and say "But you don't mind a mess as long as we're playing nicely." Which is true until I realise that Peace And Quiet don't come for free and the price you pay is TIDYING UP.
I do not like tidying up. Especially if there is Lego involved. I hate Lego - the dog chews it, the toddler eats it and the kids scatter it so that you are still finding bits in your bum crack days later.
Anyway since the aversion to tidying up runs in my family (it practically gallops), the aftermath of such a lovely playtime is always painful. Especially if my husband arrives home at the point where we're watching telly and pretending that the area upstairs doesn't exist, a bit like Roswell.
He says: "For god's sake, what's going on here?"
I say: "Yes there's a mess but they played nicely."
My husband is not a fan of this new rule. Especially when I apply it to myself. If the washing up hasn't been done, there are dirty clothes on the floor and dog poo in the garden. Even though I have been texting, drinking coffee, internet shopping and, you know, been playing nicely with my friends.