Elizabeth is spending the night out with Kaitlyn, but Emily came by this morning to see if she were around- which she was not. I invited her in and said that I would be cleaning the house for Thanksgiving- she was more than welcome to come and help me. It is a testament to her boredom that she agreed to help. In our house, we pay the children for extra chores, so she and Ray made a list and we agreed on prices that each job would pay. And we started. Emily polishing silver and Ray cleaning the cat box.
Then, Drew came over to play with Ray. He volunteered to sweep the floors.
Then, Harmony stopped by to see if Elizabeth was around. She volunteered to vacuum.
Then, Elizabeth came home and cleaned the bathrooms and scrubbed the cabinets.
My floors are swept and mopped, my bathrooms are clean, the toilets are scrubbed, the carpet is vacuumed and my entire collection of my grandmother’s silver is polished. The shelves are dusted. The cabinets are white. The bathrooms rugs are being washed.
I cleaned inside the oven (self-cleaning over is a LIE!), did the dishes and made macaroni-and-cheese. We cranked music that they love- Katy Perry, Taio Cruz, etc. and they laughed and kept each other company. My house is clean in 3 hours, and each child made about a $1.00- Emily made a little more because she did so many tasks. They were competing with each other to see who could do the most and kept each other company at each task.
I loved seeing Drew’s face as he stood back from the shiny floor, with pride on his face. And Emily saying, “Look at THAT!” as she held up a previously brown spoon that was now shiny silver. Ray was in his element- ordering kids around, “teaching” them how to clean, and generally not finishing anything, but helping.
Pay time was a tough lesson- I “tipped” about 10%, so Elizabeth got much less than anyone, because she was gone for most of it. Ray got less, which he saw as “unfair”, even though I pointed out that he played on the computer for a good chunk of time and did not deserve as much as Emily. Tough economic lessons… but important ones.
I’m feeling very pleased with my clean house, the good time we had, and the value of teaching hard work. And rather pleased at my ability to sell cleaning as a fun activity for children.
I’m sure that Tom gloated a little as well!