Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Quiet time

Who needs a maid when you got kids?

Right now, Beau is upstairs cleaning his room. Carmella cleaned the playroom when she came home from school. I folded laundry. This is a good day.

I am most impressed by Beau. Generally when I tell the kids to "pick up your toys or I'm throwing every last one of them out" Carmella will scurry around picking everything up. Beau just keeps right on playing, ignoring me. I have even witnessed Carmella clean Beau's room for fear that I will throw out his toys. The very idea of any toy, even one of her brother's, going into the trash is extremely distressing for Carmella. Also, she knows from experience that Mommy makes good on her threats. Beau could give a rat's ass about Mommy's threats. He'll learn.

And again, this yet another prime example of just how different my daughter is than I was at the same age. Okay, at any age. I am, er, was the type of kid who would have found extreme pleasure in seeing my brother's toys thrown out because he didn't clean them up. I was even the type of kid who would probably have purposely put his toys back out even if he did clean them up just to watch him cry as they were thrown in the trash. Mwhahahahaha. . . Yep, I was the original bad seed.

Lucky for me, Carmella is nothing like me.

The reason for this cleaning is quiet time/naptime. In my house for kids under the age 4 there is a 2 hour, strictly enforced, quiet time. Everyday. Your choice is to nap and if you choose not to nap you may play quietly in your room. Usually Beau naps but today he decided to trash his room. There is also a semi-quiet time for the older than 4 crowd. The options here are: to nap, or you have to clean your room and/or playroom or where ever you made a mess that morning and didn't have time to pick it up. After cleaning you then may play quietly for an hour doing anything but watching TV. After an hour you may turn on the television and enjoy a snack. Carmella always chooses to clean and that is fine with me.

Since Beau didn't nap today and made a huge mess of his room I told him that he couldn't come out until it was clean. He asked me to help him but I told him no. I explained that since I didn't help make the mess I didn't have to help clean it up either. So he is cleaning. He has been making a lot of racket tossing toys in the appropriate places but he is cleaning.

Hang on, he is calling me to check his room.

Okay, I'm back. It was clean but his bed wasn't made, not really a big deal since he'll be getting back in it in a few hours anyway but I wanted to see how far I could push it. I told him his room looked great but he had to make his bed before he could come out. Carmella heard and came bounding up the stairs asking if she could help him-- really, is this normal?

Of course once he had Carmella's help he quit but I told him he would be punished if he didn't help her, that he was lucky to have such a sweet sister. So he started helping.

Here are the pictures from their joint bed-making effort.

Carmella even explained her technique:
"First you throw everything on the floor and you arrange the pillows.":

"Then you start putting the animals back.":

"Not that one yet," she tells him. "I like to be creative with it and do it different every time.":

"All done!":

Maybe not as good as when I do it but not bad at all for a 2 year old and 5 year old-- and, even better, I didn't have to do it! Yes, I have learned to lower my standards-- not that they were all that high to begin with.

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