Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What it Means to Clean Up - Five Year Old Style

Some nights, I walk into the house & immediately get crabby. The house is a disaster area and it’s my fault.

I say it’s my fault because I:
a. Let the kids make a “fort” the night before, and all the pillows didn’t get put away (nor did any of the other toys/books they got out)

b. Got the kids into their jammies in the family room and didn’t pick up the dirty clothes on my way upstairs to tuck them in

c. Had a new book I really wanted to read so I lazed out on picking up the kitchen

d. Ate a snack in the family room and never brought the dish to the kitchen later

e. Watched TV under a blanket and upon awakening on the couch an hour later, proceeded to make a bee line for the bedroom without regard to putting away the blanket

f. Didn’t insist that everyone pitch in on the clean-up along the way

g. Am guilty of all of the above!!!!

Before anyone rolls their eyes and says, “Oh, my gosh. What a slob!”, send me a comment telling me that you are perfect and have never had such an evening. Regardless, my laziness always comes back to bite me in the butt.

The grand plan is to pick everything up in the morning. Yah, right – I have two kids & a husband! I don’t know why I can’t get it through my thick skull that morning is only a finite amount of time because I refuse to get up any earlier than five & I need to get to work around eight. Oh, and did I mention, I usually have a load of laundry to fold each morning? Right now, this chore is a welcome one as I have a dryer that works - but I've already covered this topic.

Plan “B” is to clean it up when we get home, but the kids are clamoring for a show, some gum, some yogurt, dinner. Now, I’m huffing & grumbling about all the noise & mess.

I decide the first order of business is to get the kids to be quiet. My mind is spinning with all these tasks (totally picturing a tornado filled with dishes, blankets, food, books, etc. above my head), but I manage to start a TV show.

Next, I need to find enough room on the counter to prepare dinner. I stack the coloring pages & art projects brought home from school along with the unopened mail. Amongst the crap remaining on the counters are a prescription bottle, bucket-o-crayons, a power cord, a hairbrush, several stickers with no sticky left on the back, some jewelry, receipts, and other “stuff”.

I’m working on making space when Cupie leaves the kitchen island. I figure she’s tired of listening to me crab and is moving to the couch so she can hear the TV better.

As I’m finishing the peanutbutter & jelly sandwiches, she comes back in the kitchen wearing a very proud smile. She says, “Mommy, I cleaned the family room for you.”

I said, “Oh, thank you honey! You get a marble for helping and another one for volunteering instead of being asked!”

I turned around (why do I keep turning my back on them???) and looked at the family room. Cupie had cleaned up all right – cleaned up the floor! She put all the clothes, shoes, toys, books, pillows, blankets on the couch & chairs. The floor looked AWESOME! You could walk into the room, but there was no place to sit down!

No matter, she got her marbles anyway – it was so sweet that she helped out all by herself.

Silver lining:

1. The mess in the family room was consolidated so it was easier to put it all away.

2. My daughter is two marbles closer to the all important "Sleep Over" line on her marble jar.

3. I have been reminded (once again) how important it is to go to bed without leaving such a mess!!! Honestly, I don't think I will ever learn this lesson because I have a lot of relapses. Note the first sentance says "Some nights . . ."; then later I say, "my laziness always comes back to bite me in the butt." You can rightly infer that this lesson has not been imprinted on my brain.

2 People Laughed Along With Me, Won't You?:

Anonymous said...

You are to funny!!! I feel you 100% about the house. I on the other hand am just too darn tired to keep cleaning up after 3 kids!!! If my house is out of order, my mind is out of order. Therefore, EVERYNIGHT after work, I pick up the house so I can feel calm. No one eats until that is task is done. Boy somedays the melt downs are crazy. But if they don't want mommy to have a melt down they best roll up their sleves and HELP ME :-)

Anonymous said...

anonymous comment is written by your sister: Heidi

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