We Don’t Eat the Crayon Muffins

My kids love to color. I’m told this is a good thing. If they have a five minute break from school or I just leave them directionless for any amount of time, they will color. And then they will cut out whatever they have drawn. And then they will cut the extra paper into tiny bits. This might be their favorite part.

This is not my favorite part.

The hundreds of drawings and millions of bits of paper are often what stand between me and a clean house. Well, that and the dishes. Today, they were threatening to do just that, and the kids’ whining over picking them up was threatening to kill me. Be warned, today’s stroke of genius involves bribing my children with candy. But most kids get candy on the 31st of October anyway, right? So I felt somehow justified in my bribing. Ha.

“OK, everybody quiet down and listen up,” I said. “I’m going to split you up into two teams. You two go into the school room and you two take your baby brother into the bedroom and give him a job. Then you’re going to clean and not whine anymore.”

“Whaaaat? It’s toooo haaard. We caaaan’t!”

“And then I’ll buy the winners their own bag of candy.”

“Whaaaat?! Yes!! I’m gonna beat you!!”

Mad-skills cleaning began immediately after my declaration. I own three brooms and a whisk broom, I have no idea why I have so many; but they all came in handy today. I pulled out my violin and played along to Pandora while my children cleaned–happily, rapidly, yelling a little smack talk from one end of our house to the other. It was a twenty minute slice of heaven that resulted in two very clean rooms. And of course, I bought them all candy. I was already planning to, anyway. Don’t tell.

Once the rooms were clean and everyone had their candy, we set out to do what I had wanted to do for days. I’m finally learning to include the kids in those little projects that are work to do alone. Or maybe it’s just that they’re finally old enough to be helpful.

We gathered every crayon, marker, and pencil from the four corners of our house. Excuse the embarrassing, random basket.

Then we set out sorting, sharpening, tossing, and organizing while we munched sour gummy worms and red laces and watched a movie. All in all, not a bad way to spend a Wednesday night.

“No, Baby, the crayons are out of the oven but that doesn’t mean we can eat them.”

And now we have brand new chunky crayons (crayon muffins), working markers, a box of marker caps (Never, never throw away marker caps or tooth paste caps. They disappear on their own, so you can never have enough. Umm…or it is just us?), and perfectly sharpened crayons and pencils.

Whoever said it was the little things sure was right!

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