Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Helpers

Most days I feel a sense of accomplishment just by getting the dinner dishes squared away. But as I gaze around my house, I'm well aware of all that needs to be done. Somedays I choose to shield my eyes from any dust and grime just so my mental to do list can remain dormant for just once!

Today I decided to tackle a few projects. First in the queue: weeding the flower beds. (I'm not sure you can even call them flower beds anymore; I think the flower surrendered to the legions of attacking weeds!)

I decided to enlist Cooper as my assistant in evicting our unwanted guests. Cooper's shown an interest in gardening, and I reasoned it's never too early to groom the boys for yard work! (With four sons, Chris and I continue to hold out hope that at least we'll have free yard work someday!)

After about an hour of "weeding," I think we successfully uprooted about ten weeds. My fellow gardener, Cooper, proved to be a little high maintenance. And, his sidekick Collin threw in a few extra challenges. Here's how it went:

Me: O.K. Cooper. See how I pull the weed from the root. Do you want a try?

Cooper: I need a shovel out of the garage.

I retrieve the shovel from the garage. (By the way, he requested the snow shovel!) Then, I notice Collin bustling along in his Diego trike dangerously close to the road. I fetch Collin and reposition him near our work.

Me: O.K. Cooper, let's see if we can get the next weed out.

Cooper: I need gardening gloves.

I snatch a pair of gardening gloves from the garage. Collin is again closing in on the street. I run to his vehicle, situate his trike along the weeds, and begin again.

Me: Cooper, can we pull out just one more weed?

Cooper: I don't want flower gardening gloves. I want the blue gloves.

I exchange the gloves. Now, I'm beginning to think Collin's bike may have a magnetic pull to the road as he scurries away from the weeds moving quickly towards the street.

At this point, I call a halt to the gardening and we head into the kitchen.

Cookie making is the next task at hand. This is one job that elicits several volunteers. The boys happily assist me in retrieving ingredients from the pantry and dumping the contents in our mixer.

The recipe calls for dry ingredients, baking soda among them. Cooper offers to retrieve the bag. I start to sweat! You see, a 13.5 pound Arm and Hammer baking soda bag (thanks to Costco) occupies a shelf in our pantry. I was very hesitant to purchase such a ginormous bag. Historically, staples inadvertently (and sometimes advertently) take a tumble in our pantry, splattering the contents all over the floor. But I adore baking and knew it would be used.

As I suspected, Cooper tipped the bag. White powder cascaded over the side and fell into a heap on the floor. I peered at the powdery white mess with sadness and a little irritation.

Right at that moment, Caleb piped up, "Mom, leave the baking soda on the floor." He continued, "If our house is robbed, we'll catch the thief's footprints in the white powder and then we can identify the bad guy from those indentations." Clever thinking, but the powder would have to be cleaned.

After the cooking, I put a halt on completing any more tasks. Despite our efforts, I think my to do list elongated a little bit with all my "help!"

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