Saturday, January 05, 2008
This morning we volunteered to help clean our church. It is a family affair so all four kids came along. We got the list from the custodial closet and were assigned to wash windows and vacuum.
DD came with me and washed the lower half of the windows while I cleaned everywhere she couldn't reach. DD also picked up toys she found in various rooms and (with my supervision to be sure she wasn't sidetracked by the toys) returned them to the nursery. My sons went off in different directions heading to the group of classrooms they were assigned to get those windows done. DH started vacuuming the halls and classrooms.
Not once did I hear a moan, groan, or "Do we have to?" whine.
Now why can I not have that same reaction at home when I ask them to vacuum, sweep, dust, or even just keep their rooms clean (DH being the exception as he does not whine, moan, groan, or complain and cheerfully does any task I request. He is, after all, Mr. Wonderful and his mom trained him right.) Is it because it is a different location? Because it is our church building? Because we talked last night about how it is the House of God and we need the blessing we receive from giving service?
We came home and I handed out the assignments for our own house today. DS#1 only had to be reminded once again because he wants to go to the movies and knows he needs to get things done in order to be allowed to go. DS#2 has been reminded to quit watching TV and get the vacuuming done 12 times now and I have officially lost patience (Patience being my #1 New Years Resolution. Guess I have to start over again.) I need a new plan of action here. DS#3 needs to finish his room. He gets so close and then he gets distracted. He doesn't want to clean his room, but he does want to mop the floor. I told him he could mop the floor as a reward after he gets his room done (does this kind of psychology really work? He is trying to get his room done as we speak and is enthusiastic for his reward. Hmmmm.)
The only exception is DD who enthusiastically put away her dolls and picked up garbage. She is now requesting lunch. I know for a fact that she loves to unload the dishwasher, sort socks, and help fold towels. My big question is: When does housework stop being fun? How can I change it back? I love the end result of housework i.e. a completely clean house (which in this house will never happen until the kids are grown and gone. This is where I really wish I could emulate my DSIL -Heartstrings on my links page - because her house is always spotless. She claims not to be particularly talented but she is extremely organized, goal oriented, and incredibly good at decorating. Those count as amazing talents in my book. My twin sis and I are in perpetual awe of her.)
Oh, well. Tomorrow is Sunday. I will go to church and enjoy God's clean house.