16 September 2011

Of Child Labor

The other day, I decided to ask for Micaiah's help in getting the house clean.  Though she initially wavered (she always does until the idea becomes her own), she eventually wandered into the kitchen, pulled her little red stool up next to me at the sink and watched intently as I washed.  Then she noticed something exciting in the sink: "Bubbles!"  Suddenly, housework took on a whole new thrill level.  She had to be involved!

On my next to last pan, she finally asked, "Can I wash that?"  I told her I had something special for her to wash: the cooling rack I'd used for her birthday cupcakes (that was not even really dirty - thus, relying on a three year old to get it "clean" was irrelevant).  I suppose I didn't have to worry about the thoroughness of her work.  She stood at the sink for a solid fifteen minutes, rubbing the washcloth (not the scrubby fabric I usually use because it was deemed "yucky") lightly over the rack, back and forth, over and over.  I asked every couple of minutes, "You done?"  "Not yet!"  And so she worked.

When she was finally finished, I rewarded her for a job well done.  I drained the sink, re-plugged it, turned on the warm water and poured in some soap.  A fresh sink filled with bubbles just for her.  I might have just given her the "one hundred thousand dollars" she thought she'd found in her birthday card the day before for the amount of joy on her face.  And so she played, standing on her red stool at the sink, blowing the bubbles from her hands and "washing" herself with the dishcloth.

I wish everyone was so easy to please.

I asked Philip if he thought anyone would fix our cars (which have recently decided to fall apart) in exchange for a sink-full of bubbles.  He doubted it.

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