Friday, September 09, 2005

Toys, Toys, Everywhere

For a while now my guest room has been a dumping ground for that last bit of miscellaneous kid stuff that you run out of energy to put away properly when decluttering the house. And for a while now, A has been asking if we could sort it out and clean it up. Last night she asked if we could do it today, and I told her to remind me and we would do it. So this morning, before I even had my tea, she was lobbying for cleaning. I got myself fed and dressed and we tackled the pile. Both of the girls were a great help to me as we sorted and found homes for all the random toys. They even let me sort out some stuff for charity. The mess moved out of the guest room, into the hall and finally into their room, leaving order and peace behind. Once we were in their room, we got that cleaned as well.

Of course, all the stuff that belonged downstairs was now piled down on the dining room table. After a break for lunch, we even made headway into the clutter downstairs in the family room. I had moved the couch to look for something E had misplaced, and uncovered a swath of dust. Without saying a word, E ran to get the dustpan and showed me it full of dust after she had swept it up. She proceeded to go around the room to get any other piles of dust and crumbs she could find. Then she moved on to cleaning the front of the tv and putting away the pile of blocks they had made a castle out of a few days ago. All without a word from me. All throughout the day, A was saying things like, "I really like cleaning", and, "Cleaning makes me feel good", and, "This is fun!".

I'm very pleasantly surprised at how early my kids are fully participating in the upkeep of the house. They don't do much, but when they do help out, it is with a sense of fun and generosity. Just like everyone at and the email lists said they would, if you just modeled a helpful and joyous attitude about taking care of business. And if you asked for their help when you needed it and accepted no as a legitimate answer. Not that I haven't grumbled about the toys everywhere, or the paint all over the craft table, of course. My kids are turning out to be joyful housekeepers in spite of me, I guess!

We have a bit to finish up tomorrow, but I am pleased with how much we got done today. And incredibly blessed with two great helpers!

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