When life with kids starts resembling a battlefield, children have a special way to remind me why I got into the business of parenting.
This past Sunday the kids were behaving wildly: they went to bed pretty late the night before and it was time for their afternoon nap. My son was in a particularly destructive mood, so at some point he took out his Winnie the Pooh books and threw them all over the living room floor. That’s after throwing Lego (twice), his clothes (three times) and cereal with string cheese, which all had to be picked up or swept off the floor. Sunday started looking like a non-stop sweeping/cleaning marathon, and this book throwing was the last straw. I resolved to not clean or ask the kids to clean; I was tired of fighting for a neat floor just as much as I was tired of cleaning it. I would just ignore the mess because honestly there was no point in picking anything up. The floor would inevitably get dirty within minutes.
And then something miraculous happened. DD, who is only 3 ½ and didn’t participate in the book throwing mayhem, quietly picked up all the books on her own and put them where they belonged while I was dressing my son to go on a walk with my parents. I was shocked. When my parents took DS, I took DD away into the kitchen and offered her two pieces of jelly candy (I know, I am not supposed to use candy as prizes, but I didn’t have anything else, and a reward was definitely in order!). I told DD she didn’t have to share with her brother because it was her prize for volunteering and cleaning up, but asked her not to eat candy in front of DS to not make him jealous. As if cleaning up her brother’s mess wasn’t enough of an accomplishment, DD gave away one of the candies to her brother any way.
I am so proud!