Just Like Mommy

Claudia: I don’t like this. This is boring.

Me: What is boring?

Claudia: This cleaning business.

The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. I don’t like cleaning either (It is, however, pretty hilarious that she referred to it as “this cleaning business”).

How do you respond to that? All I could do was agree with her and tell her she had to clean up her toys anyway. I mean – I have to do the dishes and laundry. Sure, it is boring. Isn’t that why cleaning services are so freaking expensive?

Any ideas on how to make cleaning more fun? I mean besides pretending that we are all robots that are programmed to clean. That only works every once in a while.

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  1. When I was a kid and I had to clean my room or something I would always pretend I was a poor, overworked maid for some spoiled little girl and I would talk to myself in a British accent and …… You know what? The more I describe this the stupider it sounds.

  2. i would love to find this on utube but there was a yogi bear or similar where they were cleaning up the park and they sang “pick it up put it in the sack boom boom (move your butt) its a lot of fun, that’s the way its done boom boom(move your butt again.) my mom heard it and thought later on she’d sing it to us to help us clean up… i sang along, but i was already smart enough to know what she was up to.. i guess i’ll let her go along believing that, as she brought it up the last time we visited.. duh, yogi let the other bear do all the work.. sheesh, of course i knew it already.

  3. You mean cleaning can be fun? I don’t think it’s possible. But if you get any good tips…let me know.

  4. I’m turning red even as a type this, but I know this will crack you up. When I was younger, and had less to clean, I would put on an old prom dress, homecoming dress or bridesmaid dress and HEELS, and do the cleaning dressed up.

    My mom always used to say that she knew I was cleaning my room if she heard heels on the floor in the attic!
    I haven’t tried it in a long time, and as I type this, I realize just how “fetishy” it sounds, but it was always very innocent!

  5. The cleaning game – I bet you can’t find more things to put away than I can!

    Or you could explain that there are somethings in life that aren’t that fun, but we have to do them anyway. That’s life.

  6. See, I am lucky – my kids is Felix Unger. LOVES to clean.

    But, lots of times we sing songs and dance while doing it, make games out it – see who can do it faster, that sort of thing.

  7. I really can’t make any suggestions other than to point out the fact that there is a difference between “tidying” and “CLEANING.” If you convince yourself you’re just tidying it might not be such a chore (or a bore).

  8. Once in a while, we either play music really loud and try to beat a song, or we set a timer… something to foster competition and sibling rivalry. Plus we have a big dime jar and two little ones. Each chore allows the kids to get a dime from the big jar and put it in their own. My 3-year-old has zero concept of money and just likes the noise that it makes, but the 7-year-old has started on a road to avarice already.

  9. I like to drink when I clean…but I don’t know that Claudia is quite ready for that yet…

    When I was little I was CONSTANTLY rearranging things when I was supposed to be cleaning. Come to think of it, I still seem to do that an awful lot…

  10. Yep, I don’t know that cleaning will ever be fun for me! But I try to make it productive with added exercises. I usually blog a housekeeping tip ever couple of weeks. I would much rather pay for house cleaning services, but the cash flow isn’t here yet!

  11. We set a timer at our house. And we try to “beat the clock.” (This sort of works for my son. But sort of not. At first he’s all about beating the clock and getting that prized brownie or whatever and after a few minutes he sort of forgets and loses interest. I could blame his father for the child having an attention span the size of a gnat but really, I have one too. heehee.) So after awhile I also say, “Eh. Screw this, I’m eating brownies!” Am then I sneak off.

    But maybe it would work for you guys? Am sure the attention spans in your household are far better than ours. heehee

  12. i always hang a big carrot out for after cleaning. Play on the Wii, watch a show, play a video game.. Usually kicks son into gear, if not daughter. I also try to make it into a race. “lets see if we can do it by the time the big hand gets to the six!” kind of thing. Music also is a must.

    All that … and our house is usually a tip anyway. it’s still too hard to get everyone to do it regularly.

  13. oh – also, i totally micro manage. son can usually see what needs to be done (he’s 5) but daughter (who will be 4 in march) definitely needs to be told exactly what to do. I tell her what to do, as if i am talking to a robot.

    I make her LOOK at me (that one step alone can take a full minute), say what i want her to do “go get that book and put it on the shelf” while she’s looking at me so I know she heard me and is (somewhat) paying attention, turn her body around and point her in the right direction, point at the object and repeat, “Go get that book and put it on the shelf.” Repeat it until she gets it, then “now put it on the shelf” until she puts it on the shelf… and then turn on the cheerleader with the “good job!”‘s.

    Repeat.

    It’s very tiring, but it works. After she’s done a few items, it gets a little easier, but I still pick out exactly what she is going to do next and tell her very specifically. “Now go get your doll, and put her in her crib. Great! Now go get your OTHER doll, and put HER in the crib. Great! Now pick up the crayons and put them in the crayon tub.” Etc.

    I’m tired just talking about it. Seriously though, pretending they are robots is a big help. Repeat repeat repeat repeat cheer repeat. Yay! You can play on the Wii now! :)

  14. Drunk cleaning, that could be fun.
    Reward your cleaning efforts with a chocolate, also good.
    Having the maid clean while you sit on the couch drinking a nice red wine and eating chocolate, Perfect!

  15. Pretend to be Cinderellas, and dress all silly, with rags on your head and such. (Oh, and cookies. Somewhere there should be cookies. Or cheese.)

  16. i think claudia is my soul mate.

  17. We set a timer. Sometimes it’s a “5 minute room rescue” sometimes it’s for 15.

    We also have a “job jar.” Bunch of different jobs listed on little slips of paper, everyone picks one out and does it. (for pre-readers, you could have pictures)

    Doesn’t always work, but these are some of the methods I’ve tried.

    Of course, if I’m letting Kira use the “big people” tools (like the vacuum or, oh my gosh, the Wet Swiffer) she’ll often clean all by herself.

  18. I give little bear (2 1/2) one specific pick-up task, e.g.: put all of the little cars into THIS bucket and I tell him what we’re going to do when we’re done -play w/ playdoh, watch word world, watch mommy slowly lose her mind, you know…

  19. We sing the “cleanup song” and my kids start singing and throwing crap into their toy bin.

    “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere!
    Clean up, clean up, everybody do their share”

    Yes, my kids are weird.

  20. Lately I’ve turned it into sort of a race between my two girls. Or we’ll turn on some funky dance music. My girls also love this old 50s rock ‘n roll classics tape I have. Yes, I said tape. A tactic I was using that backfired, unfortunately, was turning the timer on the microwave on, but now my 5-year-old hates it.

    Speaking of my 5-year-old, I’m finding that the appeal of cold hard cash and a chores chart is working wonders for her. That and the fact that she really wants a Webkinz. It’s a cult like phase…might as well use it to the greater good of housecleaning! 😉

  21. I think cleaning would be a hell of a lot more fun if someone else did it. That being said, in our house we blast music while we clean. The Rocky CD is very popular here at Chez Renner when we are cleaning.

    Recently I don’t have to clean, as our kitchen is being remodeled and we have so much dust cleaning everything would be akin to shoveling during a blizzard.

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