Amelia was 5 years old and quite a big girl who could do many things by herself. She could comb her hair, take her dishes to the sink, dry the dishes and help put groceries away on Thursdays.
That was grocery day, so she helped her mom with the shopping. She got the things off the low shelves and mom got the things up high ones. She also got to pick out the fresh fruit she wanted for the week and helped pick the vegetables as well.
She thought she helped quite a bit, so it was quite a surprise when Amelia had just finished breakfast and her mom said in a very nice voice that it was time to clean up the playroom.
Now Amelia thought this was sort of a strange thing to say, since the room was just perfect for playing. Everything was out where you could see it. She tried to tell her mom this but mom said, “Go get started. When I am done the dishes I will be there to help”.
Amelia headed for the playroom, but not very quickly. First she went to wash her hands, and brushed her hair while she was there. Then she went back and asked her mom if she had to clean everything or just some things. Mom was very clear in saying that she had to clean everything.
So Amelia headed for the playroom again, and this time she made it. But she stood there looking at what needed to be done. The kitchen area could do with some cleaning. She could wash the dishes and put the food into the fridge.
She should put the pots and pans away in the stove drawer, or maybe into the cupboard.
But she really didn’t want to do that just yet. So she looked at what else needed to be cleaned.
There was the dress up clothes that could be hung in the closet and the castle that should be closed up so it sat against the wall where it belonged.
But she didn’t really see that, that would make a difference so she looked at what else she could do.
There were all her dolls and stuffed animals and puppets that could go into the toy box or the cradles for the babies.
The baby dolls really did look uncomfortable stuck on top of the castle so she decided to move them, just to make them stop crying.
She really was a pretty good mother.
Well she looked around and saw that the castle was cleaned off so it could be closed up and put against the wall where it belonged. She did that just to get it out of the way.
The castle was put away, but now the toy animals and puppets had nothing to sit against. So it seemed a good idea to put them into the toy box. They would be much more comfortable in there. So she carefully put them away, making sure they weren’t too crowded or anything.
She looked at all the books that were around her reading chair and thought that maybe she should put them on the shelf, just so she could pick out some she hadn’t read. Away they went and she found all the farm animals she had lost a few days ago, sitting under her chair. She laughed as she remembered the storm and all the animals running there to get away from the thunder. She picked them up and put them into the barn so they wouldn’t wander away again.
Most of her dress up clothes were on the reading chair. She thought maybe she should put them in the closet, then she could sit and read a new book later. So that is what she did next.
She sat in the chair and thought it would be nice to invite Alana from next door over for a tea party. She went to the kitchen area and put the dishes in the sink drying, away in the cupboard. The pots were put into the cupboard and the tea set was set up on the table ready for company. She checked the fridge and put the milk bottle and the fruit in there to get nice and cold. The kettle was put on the stove ready to make tea when Alana got there.
When she was done with that, she ran back to the kitchen where her mom was just putting the dishtowel on the rack to dry and asked if she could invite Alana over.
Her mom said, “Not until the playroom is cleaned up.”
“But, mom that will take forever and I want Alana over now.”
“Lets go see what we can do to make it go faster then. I said I would help when I was done the dishes.”
So mom and Amelia walked back to the playroom and mom opened her eyes wide in surprise, as the room was all nice and neat.
“Amelia, you are playing a trick on me. This room is all cleaned up, and you did it all by yourself.”
“I didn’t trick you mom, because I didn’t clean up. I just put things away and got ready for my tea party.”
“Amelia, didn’t you know that, that is what cleaning up means?” “It is just, putting things away so there is room to play new things.”
“Well, mom if I had known that was all cleaning was, I wouldn’t have worried about doing it.
Cleaning is kind of fun when you want to do something when it is over.”
So she called Alana to come for a tea party and served real cookies and pretend tea in her nice clean playroom.