Children, Family

Pinch Me!

This day went like most others…not really anything to write home about.

Kids played, they did school, they played some more, they ran errands with Daddy, they made lunch, we all ate dinner together, they argued, they laughed they cried. They spent some time in time out. All normal things in the course of the day.

And then something amazing happened. Just amazing. This happened:

Maddux

Boy child decided that he really wanted to vacuum. In fact, he didn’t even come right out and tell us. I found him playing with baby girl’s Minnie Mouse play vacuum, just humming the motor sounds as he moved methodically back and forth.

I saw his technique and the dedication to his craft so I asked him, “Boy child, would you like to use the real vacuum and vacuum the family room floor?”

Oh, the joy in his eyes! He couldn’t nod his head quickly or harshly enough to convey how much “yes” he wanted to.

Never one to miss an opportunity to bribe my children, I told boy child to go brush his teeth and get his jammies on. If his teeth were sparkly and his jammies on, I would get the vacuum for him to use.

I have never seen such efficiency. Or quality of work. Or enthusiasm for cleaning. Pinch me! I have a child who wants to clean!!

Who is this boy? And what is going on?? You know what- doesn’t matter. He wants to vacuum, who am I to stand in his way?!

So I plug the vacuum in, and he insists on stepping on the release to bring the body of the vacuum down and he gets started. Man, he’s good. He’s got the wire in his grip so he doesn’t accidentally run over the cord and suck it up.

And then…he did something that made me speechless.

He started moving things around so he could vacuum underneath! Praise God, my boy is thorough!! He did a phenomenal job and his heart was full of clean, vacuuming joy! That is until he got to the best part…

Stepping on the lever that automatically winds up the long, twisted cord back into the hungry belly of the vacuum cleaner.

The smile on boy child’s face and his tip-toeing around his own handiwork was a sight to behold.

And just like that, he was off to something else he wanted to do.

 

Children, Family

She’s a wrecking ball!

IMG_9290The destruction a three year old can do in the time span of five minutes is both astounding and impressive. She is a force to be reckoned with and she’s hard to keep up with. We are caught between fostering a blossoming imagination and wanting sanity with a somewhat slightly unmessy house.

The internal struggle to watch her at work is intense; minding her mess and her capability to clean it up is a full time job in and of itself. There is the logic that if she can take the toys out, she can put them back. But there’s the reality that she becomes so overwhelmed by her own tornado of fun that she can’t manage or offer any real ability to clean up her own mess.

Make no mistake, we walk her through cleaning it up. It’s a dreadful process and each time feels like the first time she’s ever cleaned. She’s got a good racket going on here and there are days where she can catch us unwilling to put up with the hellishly long process of telling her what to pick up and where to put it. On those days, she happily toddles off to wreck another room while we “clean sweep” the one she trashed.

Sometimes it feels like I’m chasing a wrecking ball- it’s like I’m instructing a wrecking ball to clean up what it pulls out to play with. And I get the same response from the child as I would expect from the wrecking ball.

It’s exhausting. I just want to see the carpet on the floor. I just want to not step in something wet when I’m in my sock feet. I just want to go to the bathroom and not see a morning constitution and way too much toilet paper in a toilet that’s just waiting patiently for someone to flush it.

It’s all part of learning…and she is learning. She is getting better. Slowly. Very slowly…she’s getting better.

And one day we will miss this. Not today, but one day.