My 6-year old cleaned my bedroom the other day. She’d decided that mom and dad’s room needed an overhaul, so for an hour on a Saturday, she did the deed. We didn’t know she was doing it – we were downstairs cherishing the silence. She’d disappeared once before like that and was found sound asleep in her bed taking an impromptu nap. Usually if something bad is happening upstairs, there are telltale sounds like bumping or yelling or the ceiling shaking. In the absence of any of those, we assumed all was well. We just didn’t know how well.
She came down with a knowing smile on her face. “Guess what I did?” she asked. That’s never a good question, so my husband and I sprung to attention. We mentally scanned her for blood, broken bones, to see whether all the appropriate teeth were intact. Everything looked good. “Come, Mama,” she beckoned me, taking my hand. The hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention, the same way they do when I’m entering a hospital room or are being shown the stirrups (yes, THOSE stirrups).
My door was closed. I looked around for the cat, who has been taken prisoner so many times I can visualize black and white prisoner stripes on her fur. Nope – the cat was behind us. My daughter was beaming. “Presenting….your room,” she said with a flourish as she threw open the door.
The bed had been made. The night tables had been dusted. The miasma of papers, bottles, and chargers beside my bed had meticulously been put away or arranged into neat piles. My dresser had been cleaned of the usual piles of clothes waiting to be mended, empty glasses to be brought downstairs, and TV/DVD remote controls. My drawers, usually overflowing with clothes, had actually be CLOSED. Cedar chest at the foot of the bed was empty of the basket of clean clothes. Only my husband’s tall dresser, which my child is too small to reach, remained untouched. [Read more...]