Monday, June 06, 2005

Story Time

Once upon a time (this past weekend), in a land (not so) far, far away there lived three children. These children had a huge playroom all to themselves, and in it, there were many, many toys. There were Transformers, dress up clothes, Legos galore, My Little Ponies, Barbies, Soldiers, and Matchbox cars.

On Thursday, the children's Mommy asked the two younger children to clean their playroom at 3:30 in the afternoon. She told them that as soon as it was clean, they would have a wonderful supper of Polish sausage, fried potatoes, and green beans. This was one of the children's favorite meals, so the Mommy thought it would be a good motivator. Unfortunately, these children were very, very easily distracted on that particular Thursday, and the Mommy and the Daddy and the Big Brother had to eat dinner without the children. By 7:00, the playroom was even messier than it was to begin with, so the Mommy and the Daddy decided to help the children clean up the mess. At 8:30, a half hour past the children's bedtimes, the Mommy fixed the children some grits and water, so they wouldn't go to bed hungry. The children ate and went to bed. The Mommy and the Daddy continued to clean the playroom for another hour and a half.

On Friday, the Daddy went off to work, and the Big Brother and the middle child went off to school. The Mommy spent another three hours cleaning and organizing the playroom. The children had been very, very naughty, and they had played with a burnt log from the fireplace. There were ashes, soot, and partially burned pieces of wood all over the playroom...even behind the computer, where it couldn't have gotten without being thrown. Naughty children! The Mommy vacuumed, and vacuumed, and vacuumed, and she finally got all of the floor clean. She also put many of the toys into storage, so the children would not have so many to clean up next time. Ahh, the playroom was finally clean! And after only six hours of grown-up work!

But something terrible happened on Saturday. All three children became very naughty indeed. They emptied the toy chests, tore apart the toy kitchen, and piled everything up in the center of the playroom in an attempt to make a fort. All of the Daddy and the Mommy's hard work was undone in a matter of minutes! The Mommy was very, very unhappy about this when she found out.

The Mommy was so distraught that she considered tying the children up to a ceiling fan by their toenails and beating them with a Louisville Slugger as they went 'round. As she was trying to work out the logistics of that plan in her head, however, another idea came to her. The next day, the children would learn the value of six hours of hard work!

And so, that is how it came to be on Sunday, the Mommy was not "Mommy" and the Daddy was not "Daddy." They became "Ma'am" and "Sir," and they acted like drill sergeants in the Army. And those three naughty children did, in fact, learn the value of six hours of cleaning. Those children wiped down walls, cleaned out the refrigerator, folded and put away laundry, washed windows, vacuumed, scrubbed toilets, swept, mopped, and took out trash. Yes, those children worked very hard on Sunday. And every time one of the children thought to argue with one of his drill sergeants, all three children earned five extra minutes of cleaning. After six hours and forty-five minutes, the children were released from service, and the Mommy and the Daddy had a relatively clean house. And the naughty children had learned their lesson, at least for the day...though only time will tell whether they recall that lesson later.

And thus, the family lived happily ever least, until the next time the Mommy sees a mess in the playroom.