Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Consequential Reward


Once again we have had the privilege of watching Mimi for a few days.  Last night was our last night watching her.  She is wonderful and fun and worrisome all wrapped up into a neat Mimi burrito. She teaches me a lot about trust and faith and we always love having her come by.  This time around, we got to have her from Friday through Tuesday (today). By Monday, she was very ready for us to be gone and her sister to come home.  She makes me laugh. I could see it was hard for her, so yesterday we spent the majority of the day at her house as I knew she would be happiest there, and she was really having a hard emotional day. Knowing there wouldn't be much for me to do there, I took all my bags and work with me, and was able to get a lot done.  I have been trying to sort out some unique circumstances in our primary, and dealing with that happily took the majority of my attention and time.  Aside from the necessary baby stuff, that is.  I set up camp on the couch, caged by my phone, computer, class lists, and deep thoughts. Beth sat happily hiding my papers from me right when I needed them, and playing keep away with anything she sensed I needed. I really love babies at this age. I consoled myself that I just needed to stick it out until Jeffrey got off work and could help me.  Mimi puttered about in her room, and Keith and Faye I instructed to play nicely with each other so I could sort things out. Jeffrey showed up after work, but wasn't feeling well, so laid down in his parent's bed and promptly fell asleep.  The help watching the children I had hoped for was not to be had from him, so we continued what we had been doing, Beth playing by me, Keith and Faye left to their own devices as long as no screaming or fighting was heard.  I believe my exact words to them were "I have to figure something out for Primary which may take some time, so go play and be nice to each other.  And what is the rule?  Before you can get another toy out, you have to put away the one you were playing with.  Don't forget."

In Kid Speak, this is interpreted as "Permission to ransack the house and scatter every. single. toy. from room to room as if it were parade confetti. Let the plundering and pillaging commence!"
By the time I got off the phone/computer, my problem was closer to a solution and I blinked in shock as I waded through the sea of toys, papers and books.
Had
to
get
to
the 
kitchen.

Must
feed
the
troops.

Only then, I knew, would they be able to transition from Kid Speak back into English.  I stretched, rubbed my eyes and glanced outside.  It was dusk.  Dinner was late.  2 hours late.  Poor little ones!  I threw together some sweet potatoes, chicken, and garlic bread and summoned everyone to come eat.  They straggled in like middle-aged men, tired from a day of hard "work," barely ate anything, and then crashed in their beds. Asleep in minutes.

Once the house was quiet, I was able to look around and assess the damage.
The mess from last night was first cousins with the mess Faye made in her room last month.  She is quite talented at hiding the floor.
My heart sank.  My inlaws would be home early the next morning, and I couldn't live with myself if I let them see their house turned upside down.  It was 10.  I called the neighbor across the street to see if she could listen over the baby monitor while I ran to the store and got some caffeine as I knew it would be a very late night.  She came over instead.  And she and I chatted for more than an hour!  I really miss her.  We used to visit often when I lived there and it was really good to get caught up.  Although it set me back an hour, I think it was a fair trade.

Finally, after 11 o'clock I began I pulled out my music and began...

... and finished the epic cleaning around 3:30 this morning.  Before I went to bed, I crept around the house, hiding remotes and unplugging televisions because I had tried to get the kids to help me clean up before the went to bed, and when they refused, I told them their consequence would be no screen time today.  They didn't seem all that concerned over their consequence.  If I didn't disable the televisions, Keith would be up with the sun, watching it.  

Finally it was time. My weary bones were so happy to lay down, my eyes exalted in closing.  I think I was asleep in minutes, happy that the whole house was clean and the kids wouldn't be turning their brains to mush in just a few short hours from then.

Really, though, the joke was on me.  Keith, being the smart boy and problem solver that he is, somehow found a way around my preparations and woke me up around 5:30 from the exaggerated sounds of children's cartoons. I was too tired to worry about it.

Not to make this a travel log, we eventually made it home the next morning, and Keith and Faye assisted me in deep cleaning the kitchen.

It felt so good to see them eagerly helping me.  I couldn't believe it.

Best. consequence. ever!

And now, my kitchen looks incredible.  We cleaned out cupboards, removed the baker's rack, scrubbed out the fridge and rearranged dishes and drawers.

Nothing feels as good as finishing a deep cleaning.

Except maybe watching your kids helping.

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