Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the cleaning lady

Kara has pretty much always liked "helping" me with housework. At least since she's been old enough to try. In the past it wasn't very much help, and often gave me more work to do in the end. But I thought it was important to let her try, so she could learn how to do it. I am finally starting to see the payoff. Kara is finally able to really help me around the house. Not only is she able to do several things correctly, but she often volunteers, or just starts helping on her own. Today was a good helping day for her. After lunch, as I was cleaning up, she got a rag from the drawer, got it wet and started washing down the stools they sit on at the counter. She then started wiping the counters, (which I'd already done, but I didn't want to discourage her) and she even asked if she could sweep the floor. It's amazing to see what she knows about the things that need to get done without my telling her. She has just learned a lot of it from seeing what I do all the time. She even put on a little apron, as I often do while cleaning.
It does backfire on me a little when I am trying to get away with a light cleaning day, and she keeps noticing the things I haven't done. She'll say, "mom, aren't you going to clean the fridge?" or, "I think you forgot about dusting". Today as I was vacuuming the livingroom, she started moving chairs and things so I could vacuum under them. I'll admit I was just planning on doing a quick job through the open part of the room.
Another way she likes to help is with decorating. Today she said she made a centerpiece for the glass table. It turns out she had spread a bunch of her artwork all over the table. cute and cluttered at the same time.
and she also told me that she had decorated the bookshelf, which really meant that she had set up some of her toys there.
but other than a few minor annoyances, I am so glad that her helping has started to be more helpful than not. It really can cut down the amount of time it takes me to clean the house, and it's also great quality time to spend together. I realize that sounds lame, but she gets to do something she loves, while I get some needed help. And I also get to make sure she is learning the correct way to do things. She can get a little meticulous about certain things, but I only have myself to blame for that. She's just trying to do it the same as me. And I think it's better to be a perfectionist, than to be lazy.
I try to make it fun. Today we had a dusting competition. I got all the high places, and Kara got the low.
and just to prove that my 4 year old isn't stuck doing my housework all day, here's a cute picture of the girls playing Uno Moo. Kiersten got it for Christmas from Grandma VanSickle. They both love this game, and always want to play it 3 or 4 times. Hopefully Kara's love of helping me clean is going to rub off on Kiersten too. So far, it hasn't, and Kiersten will usually only help clean up when bribed. But I think at 2 years old, I wasn't really making Kara help very much either.


Josh and Jackie said...

Kara is so cute in her ballet costume!!! its so cute you got her flowers and she kept them in her room...your girls are getting so big...I really miss them and your whole family....love you so much.

Vicky Van Sickle said...

Oh Kara is really a sweetheart! It is so nice she is learning early how to care for a home. Somehow, I don't think Katie ever picked up on that. You are certainly blessed with wonderful daughters. And I'm glad that they enjoy playing the uno farm game. I Love and miss all of you.

VicandNanc said...

I have missed your last couple of posts! There is a lot to see. I know I've said a million times... Thank you for keeping us updated on these adorable munchkins!