So yesterday morning Lincoln spilled coffee all over the kitchen counter. It was a complete accident and in retrospect no big deal. However, I got more than a little frustrated with him because he just stood there doing nothing to clean it up, well actually he didn't even notice the mess at first.
As I was helping him to clean it up I had to stop myself from saying "you know how to do this" because I realized he didn't. Not that we haven't taught him how to clean, it's just that so often when liquids get spilled I tend to *freak* out a little (okay, maybe a lot) and it is way faster for me to clean it up then to wait for the kids to do it.
However, Thursday I didn't feel like cleaning up Lincoln's mess. So after I calmed down a bit (more like, realized Lincoln didn't know what he was doing and that he needed to be taught) I talked him through cleaning it up. As I verbalized each of the steps to clean up the mess I realized how complex the proposition is. I mean it's easy once you've learned it, but in the learning it is hard. Let's break it down a little:
*You have to see the spill
*Then you have to get a towel to clean it up
*The towel has to be unfolded if using cloth, or torn off of the roll if using paper
*If the the spill is on the counter or other high surface you have to stop it from dripping on the floor first
*Then you have to clean up the floor so you don't slip while cleaning or track more of mess throughout the house
*Finally you get to cleaning up the bulk of the mess, but have to pay attention to how wet your towel is, do you need another towel
I could go on further, like moving objects on the counter to get all of the spill, cleaning off the bottoms of items realizing if the spilled substance is likely to leave a sticky residue and if you need to get soap to clean up too. I don't know about you but my head is reeling just in thinking of all those steps...add in the fact that your 4, 6, or 7 and that is just a lot of work!
However, I am a good Momma. I don't want to clean up after my kids forever, I want them to learn how to do it themselves. So this week I am going to take a mini-break from my chaotic style of posting to do a week long mini-series which will be affectionately called The Week Of Messiness! Oh yeah, I'm nuts :)
No, not really. What I'm going to be doing is planning very messy activities with my kids...this is the part where you read in cooking, painting...heck I might even get out the glitter. Really, anything that is messy and fun we're gonna try it. However, I will not be cleaning up after them! Nope, not one fleck of glitter, not one ounce of shaving cream (okay, I might help a little). The kids will cleaning up the crafty mess that they make not just because it is the right thing to do, but because I want them to be prepared for the next 'accidental' spill and know what to do.
So neat freaks I dare you to join along. Messy Momma's now's the time to teach your littles. And remember the only rules are Be Messy and Make the Kid's clean up!
Tell me what is the messiest craft you can think of? When was the last time you got dirt under your nails? Can cleaning really be fun? Let's chat!