Monday, March 24, 2008

Cleaning Games

The little girls were home sick. The living room was a mess. What great ingredients for a new game: Wizards, gremlins and princesses.

Here's the premise - the gremlins have come and messed up the kingdom. Things are strewn about where the don't belong. We are the wizards and must put everything back in order so that the princesses can play. We got a magic basket into which all the things that didn't belong had to go.

It took the 5yo all of about 5 minutes to figure out that she is not only the wizard, but also the gremlin and the princess! Still, at least she played along. The 2 yo was jiggy with it for a little while but then she saw through my ruse and announced "I don't want to clean anymore." So I still ended up doing most of the work but at least I had company and I kept them from making an even bigger mess for a few minutes.

What should I expect? My little apples didn't fall too far from the tree! My room was so bad when I was a kid that I had to make a path to get through to my bed! That didn't really change until I had kids. Now I'm all about the clean. I don't consider myself a neat freak but I have to insist on things being picked up. There are just too many of us with too much stuff. I've also begun to appreciate being able to find things when I need them. What a concept! Which leads back to my ongoing challenge of figuring out how to teach my children to do as I say and not as I did.

I've virtually failed with the older ones. Despite years of requiring them to "clean" their rooms they are now certifiable hazmat sites. At this point in their lives, there are bigger battles to fight so I've let that one slip. With the younger ones (my second chance?) I'm hoping to do a better job at teaching them how to clean and to appreciate having things around them be in order. Maybe I'm fighting a losing battle. Maybe whether the jeans are on the floor or in the drawer is in the genes? My 5yo's bf thinks it's great fun to clean.

The clean room in the pic is not ours - that's their grandpa's house. It looks like a picture in a magazine. All the time! Even when the kids have been playing in it for two hours. I don't get it, but it's true.
We Easter in Connecticut where it was too windy too fly kites. One of the good things is a 2.5 hour ride - 2.5 hours of nothing to do but mediate fights and knit. I worked on the Clapotis and a new pair of socks but finished neither.

1 comment:

Holly Jo said...

I was gonna say - that tiny table on a pedestal with glass objects on it - how do you do it? :)

I am with you. There is something to be said for things being in their place. Not a sterile room but a tidy one. :)