Thursday, 17 March 2011

Tidy Up Time!

The boy loves to clean. Of course, that comes with a caveat. He loves to clean when & how it suits him. He's not mopping the floors or doing windows for me (sadly). One of his favourite things to do is help vacuum. He's always liked the vacuum, there was never a time when he was afraid of it, like some kids go through. When he was little he liked to be in a carrier while I used it, and then as he got bigger he liked to be in the same room as I tidied up.

This has moved on to wanting to use the vacuum by himself. My vacuum is old, it's one that my MIL gave us when we bought our first house, and it's awesome. It's a heavy duty, pro vacuum, which means that it's not exactly light. In fact it's a great work out for me to lug it up and down the stairs every week. So if it's heavy for me to lift, imagine what that means for the boy to try and hold it up to use! But he does use it, without complaining most of the time.

While I love helping him to clean up, (anything that can help my house look less like a bomb went off at the end of the day is a good thing) it is sometimes a bit trying on my patience. Our main floor is mostly hardwood, but there is a small area of carpet, which takes me about a minute to hoover. When the boy gets a hold of it though, we could be there for ten or fifteen minutes. And when I know someone is coming over, or I have the rest of the house still to do, it's hard to remind myself to just let him do things at his own pace.

But we carry on, as I think it's really important to encourage him to help around the house. It's his place too, and so he should be involved in taking care of it too. And hopefully as he gets older he'll still want to be helpful and vacuum. Although I'm not going to hold my breath on that one!

So we've come up with a system that mostly works now, we 'take turns'. I get everything done and clean, but leave a few strategic pieces of fluff or debris, and then let the boy have his go, and he can take as long as he needs, and he gets to feel like he's accomplished something by picking up the pieces I 'missed'. So while I still vacuum in a rush sometimes, and he just has to sit and watch me do it, with a bit of forethought he gets to help clean up around the house. Now if only I could teach him to clean bathrooms!

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