Friday, February 01, 2008

Man, I guess I need to get on top of my housework. Yesterday, my four year old got so tired of the mess he decided to do something about it himself. He was dragging armfuls of clean laundry from the family room couch, up 2 flights of stairs and putting them away in his bedroom. He even put them in the correct drawers.

He was so proud of himself and excited. Before bed he helped me tidy his and Girly's room. He is very good at it and loves to work with Mommy and do things right. He told me that he wished he had cleaned his room before Daddy got home so that Daddy would have gone in there and said, "Who cleaned up this room?!" And then Daddy would have been so surprised when Monkey Boy said that he had done it, with Mommy.

Today he was very frustrated that his sister messed up their room. She kept taking stuff out and he kept putting it away and telling her how to put things back. I wonder if he will continue to be particular about tidiness as he gets older. Goodness knows it didn't last much past toddlerhood with his older brothers. I am lucky if I can wade through the chaos to their beds to kiss them goodnight, most nights.

I love preschoolers and their immense need to help. They love to be given little jobs, especially things they are not usually asked to do. Clean up their toys, maybe. But give them a broom and they are over the moon excited to work. Clear their plate, well okay. But come bake cookies with mom and then are jumping up and down.

Of course, even my ten year old wants to bake and cook. I really need to take the time to work with him in the kitchen, he is constantly asking to cook. If I let him help prepare the meals, I am sure it won't be long until he can at least start the meals on his own. Wouldn't that be nice!?

I tend to be a bit like my mom in that regard. She was a wonderful cook, but did not teach any of us girls how to cook. She just didn't have time. There were four of us kids and all the activities and running around that went with that. Plus by the time I was in junior high, she was working full time. The last thing she wanted to do at the end of the day was have one of us underfoot in the kitchen, slowing her down. I have to admit, that when I am in the kitchen it rarely occurs to me to ask one of the kids to come and help me. Especially when they are occupied somewhere and out of my hair.

But the kids have all this boundless energy and enthusiasm that I really should try to harness for good. Who knows, maybe my Superboy is the next Jaime Oliver?! Well, without the British accent.


  1. My 6 year old is fastidious about the house being clean and neat. I have actually had to chastise him lest he go to my friends homes with him only to have him spout "Your house is dirty."

    He's going to be quite a little helper.

  2. I feel like you are voicing my thoughts here...I have had the same thoughts about Christopher and asking him to help in the kitchen. I know he is raring to go -- he's asked so many times. But once I get started, and he's not around, I just enjoy the quiet so much...I don't bother. It's a real shame. We should take advantage of their enthusiasm and try to teach them new skills.


  3. enjoy the enthusiasm of the I find it dwindles so fast once the teenage horomones set in.
    V.J so loves to help too but the other 3 are sooooo useless.

  4. My mom is a complete neat freak, and that gene simply bypassed me. We are really hoping that Little Elvis inherited it, though. He did get a deep cheek dimple like my mom, and I don't have one, so I think it's a possibility. Maybe.

  5. My 4 year old thanks me when she notices I've cleaned something around the house....should I be thrilled that she's not taking me for granted, or ashamed of how bad things can get between scrubbings?!

  6. I taught my son to cook the basics...grilled cheese, eggs, mac and cheese...and for christmas he baked his own home made sugar cookies, from scratch. He's 12, and I hope he continues to want to learn.

  7. I hear you!! My boys love to help in the kitchen and I so seldom get them involved. I have vowed to do better but have yet to follow through. I am glad you have given me this reminder. I will try again!!

  8. please send your little cleaner over to my house. Please?

  9. What a great post!!

    I love the enthusiasm of the little ones too!! I also don't take enought time to allow my children to help when they want to - thanks for reminding me to take more time.

    Have a good weekend - Kellan

  10. Hey - come by and see me tomorrow - I have an award for you. Kellan

  11. Found you at Kellan's blog. Congrats on the award. Love this entry . . . I only have one--a 5-month-old, so I know it is all only a matter of time.

  12. Well you know how I am about the organizing, hopefully one of my kids will somehow get my mom's gene. It certainly missed me!
    That is so sweet! FOSTER IT! GROW IT! lol.

    I find i just want my own space in the kitchen. I have to force myself to let them help and even then I sort of hurry them out before they're ready. I think you're right. I need to make time to teach them cuz my mom was a great cook too and never really taught me.

  13. Last year every Thursday the boys took turns deciding what to cook for dinner then helped me cook it. Due to school activities we got away from it but I hope to start back up again.

    A few months ago I went on a mini strike. I was so tired of picking up toys, re-folding the blanket and putting in on the back of the couch and tuckng the couch cushion in... I just let it all go for about 3 days. I didn't even bother to shove the toys aside with my foot to clear the walk path.

    After about 3 days I was surprised one day when Caleb (11) came into the living room picked up a blanket, folded it and laid it on the back of the couch. Then he shoved on each couch cushion, tucking them in.

    I smiled to myself and ended my unannounced strike

  14. Miss Sniz and I love the way that Jaime Oliver says "Pinch a sawt."

  15. will loves his room to be clean, and it bothers him when it is messy-so he asks me to clean it.
    he is much more about making the mess, but he is almost 3, maybe there is hope? ( tell me there is please!)

  16. Noah LOVES to cook and Josh is becoming more and more indpendent in his cooking, we started with making your own breakfast, then lunch (nothing hot) and then lunch (hot items). It gives him a lot of confidence knowing that he can cook some items and now that he is babysitting I'm confident that Noah won't starve or just eat chocolate:)

    Anyways some FABULOUS resources you must check out. Pretend Soup (a preschoolers cookbook) and Honest Pretzels (for older kids). Both are REALLY great cookbooks for cooking with kids.

    And this website is AWESOME!!! Really look around she has some amazing resources that can be incorporated in homeschooling :)

    Also to "fit in cooking with the kids" Mondays are muffin days and Noah "helps" me make those. And Thursday nights Joshua helps me with dinner I either put him in charge of the main meat dish while I do the other things. Or he takes care of the rice/potatoes or pasta or the veggies/salad. I find this is a great time for us to spend time together and chat while we cook. It also makes him appreciate me more about what goes into a meal (well some meals haha) He also likes "suggesting" the menu for that day which is great I hate deciding what to make.

    I think cooking is really important especially for boys 1) I don't want them to starve when they are on their own OR make awful food choices because they can't make something for themselves. 2) Also I'm hoping to train my boys to be great husbands and help in the kitchen. :)

    Thanks for renewing my enthusiasm in this area.

  17. How sweet! I wish some of his enthusiasm for cleaning would rub off on my 6 year old. :)

  18. I totally feel your pain here. At school my kids are allowed to do so much independantly. The montessori program is so great for that, but when we get home I just feel like I don't have the time to slow down and let them do it. It always seems like we are on a tight schedule and I don't have the time to let them take twice as long to do something.

    I am always thinking that I just need to make the time as well.

  19. My 9 year old is the most helpful girl I've ever met...EXCEPT when it comes to "chores". If she is told she has to do something everyday like make her bed or brush her teeth, she will NOT be happy about doing it. But she will happily mop or help me with the laundry or organize her drawers if it is HER idea!

    Don't feel bad about the cooking thing. I think all moms feel that way. At least I know I do!

  20. Kids really have energy that seems to last forever. We never know their talent until we let them try.

    I'll be away for a week to celebrate chinese new year. So, see ya.