I’ve been experimenting lately with trying to motivate the kids into helping me keep the house cleaner. I was slightly tired of having things stick to my feet as I walked through the house and having to move multiple bionicles in order to find a seat on the couch. I think I have finally stumbled upon a quasi-solution. Zones! Each child has been assigned their own zone. Liam has the living room. Aidan has the dining room. Ty has the dishwasher (*this has changed as of today, but more on this as the story progresses…) Leif has the shoes. Rowan has the “sit out of the way in the chair with a book while we clean” zone.
Today, Ty offered to clean the mudroom. He carefully moved the shoes away from the wall, swept and arranged the shoes back neatly. He brushed off the dogs’ bean bags, put them neatly against another wall and swept the rest of the floor. He swiffered (this is why I keep the bloody thing!) the floor and then called me to check it out. I was effusive enough in my praise that his brothers came running to see why Momma was making such a fuss. They were impressed with Ty’s work, but were clearly calculating whether it was good or bad for them that their 6 year old brother had just one-upped them in the cleaning category. They all settled for lukewarm congratulations and walked away. Except for Leif.
Leif put his hands on his hips, paced the entire mudroom, turned around and fixed me with a very hostile look. He said, “Dis is not good for my nerves.”
Mom: “Did you just say this isn’t good for your nerves?”
Leif: “Yes. Dis is bad. Bad for da nerves!”
Mom: “What is bad for your nerves?”
Leif: “Da clean. Da clean is bad for my nerves. It is not right.”
Mom: “How can the clean be bad for your nerves? It’s good for Mommy’s nerves.”
Leif (exasperated): “Clean is bad for kids’ nerves, Mom. Dey likes dirt and dey likes to play. Dat is good for their nerves.”
Well, now. That surely explains quite a bit around here. It also should mean that my children’s mental health is ship shape.