Thursday, November 19, 2009

Magical Cleaning Skills

My husband is truly magical.

Here is why I am in awe of him right now.

It's about 4 in the afternoon. The kids are home from school, there are candy wrappers, smashed goldfish, and toys all over the living room floor.

I didn't do a blessed thing to keep the house clean or even remotely acceptable looking yesterday. I went grocery shopping last night (with three kids) and came home and left everything on the table but only put away the cold stuff before I headed upstairs to go to bed along with the kids. Then this morning the kids found the last of the Halloween candy.

So this morning, the house was a sty. Truly.

J poured the kids some cereal before he left for the day while I was in the shower. When I came downstairs, there were some beans spilled on the table. I asked, "Who spilled these beans?" Hahaha, I didn't even realize how funny that was until I just wrote it.

Avee totally outed J. "Daddy did. He said, 'what is this, what is this all about! this is ridiculous!' and he threw that stuff on the floor (motioning to the bags of groceries) and he threw your purse with the flowers on it against the wall---see it all the way over there?"

I laughed at Avee's almost un-emotive recount of J's actions. And I thought, wow, I didn't realize he'd be so annoyed, certainly isn't the first time I've been a lazy, ridiculous, slob. It was probably the massive pile of candy strewn throughout our living room that put him over the edge. Yeah, that was it.

I resolved to get the beans off the table and put the groceries away. Achievable goals, that's my motto.

Here's where the magical J part comes in....

The kids noticed me putting things away and Avee jumped up and got the dustpan and within seconds of her jumping up, Bo said, "Hey, let's clean up!"

At which point my head spun off my shoulders and landed in a pile of smarties and smashed ritz crackers on the floor.

Avee took the dustpan and scooted it all along the living room floor, which in turn captured everything, and the places she didn't get, Bo took a broom and swept it out into a pile.

Our living room is carpeted. We own a vacuum. The kids hate cleaning.

These are all facts.

But somehow, J got them to practically fight over who got to clean up. But that's the other part that is magical, they didn't fight, they totally worked together, of their own volition.

I don't know how he does that. But something about dustpanning the carpet on your hands and knees is fun, whereas vacuuming upright and quickly, is a chore worth whining about.

I do not get it. But I love it.

This isn't the first time he's done this either. A year or so ago I was struggling to get the kids to do anything I said and could not for the LIFE of me get them to clean up. We were both exhausted and it was almost worth just doing it ourselves, but knew that wasn't the best way to handle it. I was practically losing my voice with all the nagging when J reached over, picked up a flashlight that was supposed to be put away and said, "When I shine this light on something, you put it away."

The two kids fought over who got to clean up the most.

I could list a jillion reasons I love J, he truly is the best of the best.

Today, his magical ways of getting kids to clean up is at the top of the list.


Charlotte said...

I tried this, but all I ended up with is broken eggs and a missing purse. Guess I just don't have the magic...

S said...

Bring that magic man over and the waffle machine please!

Big Jay said...

for the record, part of my impatience that morning had to do with the fact that I was trying to get out the door and go to work. I of course left right away b/c i knew I wasn't going to be doing anyone any good. Just creating weird childhood memories for the kids.

Sarah Tilley said...

my dad once convinced me and my sisters to clean up after coming home to a mess and hurling a box of cheerios across the room into the tv.

Klin said...

So let me see if I got this right. . . .If I throw something across the room and get mad then my kids will clean?

Well, let the throwing begin.

The Mom said...

And I've been trying to teach my boys that tantrums are NOT magical. ;) Shoot.

I think Avee's recount is hilarious.

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