Sometimes I get asked how I get some of the projects I do done with three little kids running around. Here is my secret....They "help". If I need magazine pages (like I did for the art) they rip out pages in magazines. I let them dig the holes for planting (Porkchop especially likes this). Sometimes I come up with jobs that don't have anything to do with the project, but will keep them entertained- like vacuuming the recliner. This is tricky and you've got to admit bloody genius! but I swear Porkchop loves it. I usually preface these kinds of jobs with, "Hmmmm...I don't know. I'm not sure you're quite big enough," which of course, totally works.
Sometimes, or always, it makes for bigger messes than we start out with-like the tape and the wrapping paper that's still spread on the counter from wrapping Christmas books yesterday. But the alternative is to never sleep or never accomplish another project for the next eighteen years. I'm sort of not okay with that. They are used to being told not to touch a certain wall because it's still wet or to wash their hands in the other bathroom for the day because I just Refreshed the grout. When they ask if they can help, 85% of the time they get put to "work" and the other fifteen I say, "No." "This is a Mommy job, but you can watch." They head for the sandbox or ask for a snack. Ever watched paint dry? Lame.
Climbing up on the ladder behind me is the biggest pain and the one that drives me the most nuts, but for the most part Porkchop is starting to get that the answer is and always will be, "GET DOWN!" Now when I get out the ladder he tells Juju "Get down Juju!" over and over even if she's across the room happily playing with her blocks. I think it's his way of reinforcing the rules for himself. I will not climb on the ladder. I will not climb on the ladder. I will not climb on the ladder. And then he caves and just stands on the bottom rung. Sometimes I cave too, but at least with him standing in one spot I know where he is.
Against my better judgement I let them "help" me in the garage yesterday. Porkchop was happy to play with the keys (the wrong set) and the van- turning all the lights on and off and flipping the windshield wipers. Scrunch sat on a paint can eating Costco apple sauce cups or talking to the neighbor girl over the fence. Juju doesn't let my projects interrupt her need for a nap which definitely helps, but otherwise she crawled around making bigger faded patches in her knees and picking up all the little screws and tiny bits she could find.
It took us all damn day but with their "help" we completed phase one of Operation Squeaky Clean.
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