So, I am laying on my bed the other day, and Cooper comes to cuddle with me. He looks up at my ceiling and says, "Auntie? Why is there a spider web up there?"
"Because I need to clean my room", I reply
To which he says, "Why do you get mad at Sawyer when she doesn't clean her room, and you don't clean yours?"
For a 4 year old, Cooper is a very wise little guy.
And he made a great point. I am constantly harping on my kids, but do they ever see me making a concerted effort to keep things clean? On a regular basis? They are supposed to straighten their room every day; I think the last time I straightened my room I was pregnant with Rhys (and that was in the other house...heh). I really want the dishes to be done on the days the kids are scheduled to do them, but who does them one days when the kids aren't scheduled? Um, that would be no one. Ok, this is not one of my proudest parenting moments. That how-to book of parenting I was going to write has been put on hold.
So I cleaned my room last week. I vacuumed that gray mystery lump that was sitting on my dresser for so long - I had thought it was a piece of art from the kids' preschool days - it was actually my wedding photo. (I think, those kids looked so young and enthusiastic and thin...maybe it was the picture that came with the frame. No, wait, that handsome groom is José. Yeah, he's still that cute. ). I got rid of the spider web on my ceiling (sorry for the short notice, dude, hope you like vacuum cleaner bags), I got rid of clothes, I cleaned baseboards, I scrubbed the floor, I dusted(!), and by the way, my TV screen isn't dying, it was just a thick layer of dust that was making the picture blurry. My room is spotless.
José totally didn't notice. Cooper, on the other hand, was very impressed.
So, my new plan is to try to lead by example. I hate housework, and I hate cleaning, but the life lesson here is that there are certain things that need to be done in life, even if you dislike them. Plus, isn't living in a semi clean house more comfortable? My kids all shrug and roll their eyes when I pose that question. (I do the same inside my head, but don't tell them.) I am working on it, at least now that I have a leg to stand on, because they will see me doing my chores too.
Read on for my best leading by example story....