Let me preface by saying...I enjoy cleaning. I really do.
I cleaned houses in high school and college...it was good money and I enjoyed it! Of all the household tasks cleaning comes second only to mowing the lawn (ahhh...the smell of fresh cut grass).
But, even someone who loves cleaning has her limits. I found it this morning.
I was in the bathroom unchaperoned (never happens!) and I looked over to see popcorn on the floor. What?! You've GOT to be kidding me! POPCORN? Upon further inspection there was also NOODLES on the floor. Ridiculous! I wanted to scream and shout, "WHO IS DRAGGING FOOD ALL OVER THE HOUSE!?! DON'T YOU KNOW I HAVE ENOUGH TO DO WITHOUT CLEANING UP THIS MESS?!" It was tough to hold it in...but I took a deep breath and instead went and found my children. Here's how it went down.
Me, "Hey, Everybody...there is popcorn on the floor in the bathroom. Who put it there?"
Me, "Did someone eat popcorn in the bathroom?"
Me, "Okay, if no one knows how it got there would someone please volunteer to go clean it up?"
Me, (with every ounce of self control I could maintain) "Would you please come to the bathroom with me?"
They walked behind me.
Me, "There is the popcorn."
Leve, "Oh. I do dat."
Kiki, "I helped her. We were feeding the animals in the zoo. See, the zoo is in the tub."
Finn, "I got the popcorn down for them."
Me, "Great. Here's the dustpan and brush. Please sweep the popcorn up and feed it to the Mr. Garbage can. We need to clean up the messes we make, okay?"
You're probably roaring about the zoo...I walked out and had to go into the other room to laugh. How many of the messes we get huffy about are made for those sorts of reasons? Do we ever take time to find out?! I have to admit that normally I don't. Yet, I honestly believe that my littles ones don't MEAN to make a mess...it just happens as they work on exploring their world...that's important work! So, instead of insisting that they DON'T make a mess (and thereby killing their creative spirit) I need to work on insisting that they clean up the mess when they are done....and I need to be a good role model of that too! How can I get after them for not cleaning up when my own kitchen generally has a "tousled" look to it?!
Just a little food for thought (though NOT on the bathroom floor!)....