Spring Cleaning

When I think of Spring I think “fresh start.” I think of the Crocus starting small so as not to overwhelm us with the potential that sun could be coming! I think of Spring cleaning and I think of how I wish I had actual metal coils on my feet to bounce through the house as if I were Kanga shouting “it’s Spring everyone-Quit hibernating and pitch in! Then I wonder…. how did Spring become named Spring anyway? The season after Winter, “Spring” simply appears to have its origins as “a time when plants “spring up” and old English “springan” which is “to leap and burst forth,” according to Steve Pool. So, it’s fitting that I spring forth into my kids faces as they sit on the couch plead for them to please find some joy in what will be a constant in their life, tidying. What can I do to unearth their intrinsic need for cleaning?
How do I motivate- let me count the ways. I call their rooms “mini homes” and I tell them it’s practice for when they too have a home to call their own. I buy bright colored sponges and cool metal buckets with their names on the side for all projects from tie dye to car washing, their very own buckets with their names on the side. I toss lavender sachets in the drawers so when they open them up- it smells like an English garden where they will want to go again and again. I even toss chammomile tea bags in the drier to sedate them and keep them happy while they launder their one sock. I invite them into the kitchen and show them my prized knife and appease the thrill seeker in them that is lured by potentially dangerous tasks and insist I can show them how to properly chop things…. as to never chop off the finger they will need later when they learn to drive. I let them pack their lunches to instill trust that they will put in all the food groups and make friend with food and skirt all threat of eating disorders. I even suggest they throw in an occasional Twinkie, like mom did-the one they purchased on Ebay when the Hostess plant shut down. I give them small doses to work with, straighten your desk, knowing that they -the smart-asses I raised will simply move the desk more perpendicular to the window to cross off “straighten desk” without actually doing work. I tell them, a well made bed is the first thing your girlfriend will watch for, before she agrees to move in with you….and then I throw a shock tactic. I tell them “walk down to the end of the street and check out the hoarder on the corner and see for yourself a real “how no to do it” example. I hold back the words that almost come and instead just THINK them… “if I wanted to raise pigs I would’ve bought a farm. I tell them, if they should have any mental illness regarding cleaning, I would prefer it be OCD, instead of habitual collecting. The real value in their world will be space- to clear their head and breathe a sigh a relief that Summer will be here soon!

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