This past weekend, a good friend from out of town visited. We had great fun going to a local parade, eating picnic meals and spending hours at the beach. In the midst of all that fun, schedules and nap times and bedtimes were thrown to the wind. It was wonderful. Then the weekend ended, the friend went home, and Monday morning arrived. With it came mounds of dirty laundry and dishes, piles of miscellaneous things to deal with and put away, and worst of all tired and crabby kids who had been spoiled with too much fun!
What to do with those kids? The housework simply could not be put off! Usually I would say "Go outside and play" but considering the horde of mosquitoes trying to get inside the screen door, that wasn't a very good solution. After all, no matter how crabby my kids are, they deserve to keep most of their blood supply inside their small bodies! Then, I remembered that we needed to make anniversary cards to send to my Grandparents, who will be celebrating their 60th anniversary in a few days. A project - PERFECT!! So, I handed out card stock, stickers, crayons and markers, and left the room. I didn't care what sort of disaster occurred in the kitchen, as long as I had a few uninterrupted minutes to get some of the rest of my work done. It worked like a charm, with only minimal fighting over sticker sheets.
Eventually stickers got boring, and Ian moved on to glitter (Brynnie moved on to playing with a balloon). He was being very sweet, and apologizing for spilling glitter on the table. This unusual behavior should have alerted me to the fact that my hassle-free chore time was almost done, because the next time I came through the kitchen, disaster had struck. Not in the form of a glittered kitchen, but in the form of a flood of watered-down glue spread all over the kitchen floor. Ian's creativity left him, and even he couldn't come up with a good reason for having created such a mess. He was repentant enough to help clean it up without a fuss though, so I forgave him.
By the time we had cleaned up the glitter and glue and sticker remnants, my last load of laundry was in the machine and it was time to make lunch. That's what I call a successful project!