Teacher and coach

My boys love to clean

Now that the weather finally cooled off a little I decided it was time for some fall cleaning, so I told the Ice and the Maker that we were going to clean all the downstairs windows.  I had already taken out all the screens and gotten the cleaning supplies out, so I showed them what needed to be done.

The Maker and the Ice cleaning the windows

The Maker and the Ice cleaning the windows

It wasn’t the glass that needed cleaning so much (although we did that, too), it was all the dirt that had accumulated around the frames.  I gave them each a spray bottle of cleaner, a rag, a cleaning brush, an old toothbrush, and a small pitcher of water for rinsing.  First I had them wipe each window frame out with a dry rag to get all the basic dirt out; then I had them spray cleaner around the frame and scrub out the rest of the dirt, using whatever implement seemed most appropriate; then I had them rinse everything off with water from a pitcher.

They went at it like fiends.  Pretty much all I had to do was keep their water pitchers full and refill each cleaner bottle once.  (Also, the Maker needed help with a couple of the windows; we have those kind that you can open down from the top, and sometimes it’s hard to work the latches.)  After they cleaned all the window frames, I had them wipe off the glass with Windex, and then we went outside to do the screens.

The Maker and the Ice clean the window screens

The Maker and the Ice cleaning the window screens

After the Maker swept off a clean spot on the driveway, I had them lay the screens out side by side.  Then I had them spray them off with the hose, wash the dirt off using their cleaner and rags/brushes, then rinse them off with the hose.  Then they flipped them over and did the other sides.

The whole thing took about an hour and a half, and they really did seem to enjoy themselves.  (Actually, the Maker started getting a little bored towards the end of the window-cleaning part; I think he was anxious to move on to the screens.)  I think the reason they had such a good time is likely some combination of the following:

  1. It was kind of a novelty task (loading the dishwasher or sweeping the floor, for example, they have to do all the time).
  2. They each got to use a spray bottle, which for some reason they really like.
  3. They got to use the hose, which they also like.

Also, as soon as they saw that I had taken all the screens off, they immediately asked if they could climb out the windows.  For some reason, this activity was tremendously satisfying for them.

I was so impressed with the job they did that after everything was finished I took us all out to eat at Golden Corral.

4 Responses to “My boys love to clean”

  1. Gram says:

    I also forgot to say that I thought it was really neat that you rewarded their efforts by taking everyone out to eat. That was really thoughtful! (Did I ever reward you in a similar way?! I wonder.)

  2. Gram says:

    LOVED this one! I would pay dearly for someone to do this at my house!

  3. I love this post because we finally get pictures! (Where’s the pic of them climbing out the window?)

  4. SomeParamedicGuy says:

    (Also, as soon as they saw that I had taken all the screens off, they immediately asked if they could climb out the windows. For some reason, this activity was tremendously satisfying for them.)

    If music doesn’t pan out for them, they certainly could look to EMS and Fire work. About once a week I find myself doing this, quite often in spite of my protestations about putting someone else in there first to go around and open the door. Often, that someone is me. 🙁

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