Saturday, July 4, 2009

No More Play Time

I've said before that my daughter has a terrible time playing. When we make her go play, we are recipients of a crying fit that would make passersby suspect abuse. No kidding! If we want to be REALLY severe, we suggest she go play outside. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! Well, I was on a cleaning binge the last couple of days. I was quite frustrated because I couldn't seem to make progress. I tried to explain to the kids that I could get things done a lot quicker if they would just go play. Poor Chloe Beth either spent the two day binge in my arms, in the pack&play, in the high chair, or sleeping. Luke managed to get into absolutely everything including acrylic paint, dish soap, and eggs. He even managed to write on my wall with mascara! Landon ceased the opportunity to play unlimited hours of Wii. Annie went all RAD on me. She started every little fight she could, broke all the little nit-picky rules, button pushing rules she could think of. And pretty resisted any encouragement to go play and have fun! (Side note: I also have ADD and am actually pretty proud of this gift. I take medicine that is quite effective, but there is always one week each month that the medicine doesn't seem to make much difference. This was the week!)
So, I finally get a "no, duh" idea. Why don't I just let Annie help me. I bring her too me and explain to her that I am going to be nice. I'm not going to make her play and I'm going to let her follow me around the house and maybe even work. I let her start with a magic eraser and Luke's mascara art. I know that having the artist clean it would be a logical consequence, but not this time. Luke wouldn't be able to do it and Annie actually wanted to. She was so happy about getting to work and not having to play. The wall that she cleaned is pictured above. She used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Funny thing, when she was almost done, the last part of the art revealed a capital A that looked remarkably similar to the way she writes her A. You know, Luke denied the work. That is unusual, he is usually proud of his adventures. That is when I decided that I needed to take some pictures. You can barely see the faint outline of the A on the wall. I guess I will never know who the true artist really is.

I was really searching for things Annie could help me with. I don't want four-year olds dealing with harsh chemicals. I looked around and realized that the bathroom floors really needed attention around the baseboards. I remembered actually enjoying the toothbrush scrub method when I was a kid. I pulled out my own toothbrush, remembering that I have a unopened new one that I got from the dentist this week when he yanked my wisdom tooth, and some Method glass cleaner. It's non-toxic and has a peppermint scent. I even let her spray it herself. Wow! What a treat. She really enjoyed scrubbing and rinsing the toothbrush. When she finished a section, she dried it with a towel. She did a FANTASTIC job and we had some great bonding time, and she even showed concern about my willingness to sacrifice my toothbrush. Go figure!
When we were finished with the two upstairs bathrooms, Annie was ready to take all the supplies to the downstairs restroom. I just cleaned the crazies out of it the day before. I would have let her go for it, but she had to be supervised and quite frankly, I was having some terrible stomach cramps. I needed an Excedrin and a nap.

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