Saturday, February 11, 2012

Warning: Messes Are Bigger Than They Appear When Four-Year-Olds Are Near

Sometimes when I spill or drop something, I'll log it away in my brain's to do list for a bit later to avoid derailing my current task.  I must train myself to clean up all messes immediately...

I was making lunch for Gabrielle, Danielle and myself and managed to step in the cat's food bowl and upturned it on the floor. (AGAIN!)  I sighed, then headed to the table with my armload of foodstuffs and sat down.  After all, the invisible high chair clock is already running and Gabi's patience only stretches so far...

Danielle observed that I made a mess.

"Yes, I stepped on the cat's bowl, but don't worry I'll clean it up after lunch," I replied.

Danielle got up,  magnanimously grabbed the broom and said, "I'll do it Mama!" Dum-dum-da-dum!

Her untamed strokes of the broom sent kibble floating all over the floor.  After corralling about half of it (and some other dirt) she took the dustpan and managed to sweep some up, while sending more around the floor.  She then whipped open the cupboard door and tried to dump it in the garbage by shaking it, which instead shot it all over under the sink.   Miraculously not one kibble landed in the trash.  It's like it had a force field over the top of the can.

At this point, inconspicuous intervention is necessary.  I put the baby in the playpen and pull out the garbage can and start cleaning up under the sink.  She does a bit more sweeping and drops a few kibbles in the can this time.  (Yay!)  She then dropped the broom and dustpan in the middle of the floor.  Whack!  Now that the floor cleaning complete she moves on to the next task.  She pulled out the big bag of cat food and refilled Loki's bowl.  Then she laid on the cat food bag to admire her hard work.

"I cleaned up your mess Mama, wasn't that nice of me?" she said.

I said, "Baby, I love you.  Thank you for cleaning up my mess."  She skipped away.  Gabi started to fuss in the playpen so I soothed her, then went back into the kitchen and swept the floor, put the broom and dustpan away, put the garbage can away, and put the cat food bag back in the cupboard.

I have a wonderful kid.  She tried with all her four-year-old skill and zest to help me clean up a mistake I made, just because she loves me.  Although, next time I think I'll just clean it up right away and give her a big hug instead.

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