Saturday, January 16, 2016

learning moments abound

Ever since we've been parents, Charlie and I have vacillated on having someone come in to help clean our house. For a while, we had a service come through twice a month, and then once a week. They'd mop and vacuum, scrub counters, dust, and change linens.


But I always found that I spent so much time getting ready for this housecleaning service, if I wanted to get the most out of their visit.  It wasn't like I could just let the SWAT team of maids loose and expect it would be done to my satisfaction.  I had to put things away where I wanted them to go, or run the risk that those things, including toys and important papers, would be stacked and placed in some random location.  To me, that's the hardest part ... putting things away.  Once everything is where it's supposed to go, the mopping and vacuuming and dusting is easy.

While the cost of having a service wasn't totally cost prohibitive, I felt like it was a waste of money because within a day, the house was a wreck.

What is it with boys and bathrooms?

Kids and muddy soccer cleats?

Lego parts?

The unending laundry?

Then it dawned on me.  We have six very abled bodies that live here.  So more recently, we're of the mindset that our children are old enough to clean up after themselves and help contribute to the running of a house.  A few months ago, I spent 30 minutes teaching the kids how I like to clean a bathroom, and then set them loose with small gloves, cans of Comet, a broom, mop, and toilet brush. I figure this solves two issues:

1) It teaches them the importance of cleaning up after themselves, and how to do it.  When they move out in to the world one day, it's unlikely they'll have a maid following them.

2) It helps us to stay focused during the week on the task of keeping things tidy because they'll ultimately be responsible for dealing with it.

Because this has been a particularly busy week and we haven't stayed on top of things so well, today, the kids helped do several loads of laundry. They also vacuumed their rooms.  With all the hands on deck, we were able to get the house picked up in less than two hours.  Of course they're still learning and their efforts aren't totally flawless. For example, today they learned that you don't YANK the vacuum cord plugged in upstairs, when you're standing downstairs.


On the upside, tomorrow, we get to learn how to replace an electric plug!