When we’re all getting a little frazzled, when the kids are alternating between tearing apart the house and tearing apart each other. When the kids are bored, we’re drowning in mess, and I’m just too tired to deal with entertaining the kids while also somehow pulling my house together and all I want to do is lay down for 5 minutes of peace and quiet we play a little game I like to call “ Nap and Clean.”
Probably better known as “Hide and Seek”.
Here’s how it works:
When I’m counting I really stretch out the counting, given the kids PLENTY of time to settle into a really great hiding space. As I count to 50 slowly (and loudly so the kids still know I’m playing) I start to tidy up. One room at a time.
I count in whichever room needs the most attention.
The kind of tasks I can complete in one or two rounds of counting to 50 are generally :
- Tidying up whichever room I am in.
- Putting away the clean dishes.
- Stacking all the dishes on the sink (or in the dishwasher) neatly.
- Wiping around the benches.
- Making beds.
- Folding washing (usually takes a few rounds to fold ALL the washing, but I can make a pretty good start at it)
- A basic surface clean of the bathroom sink etc.
- Strip beds sheets (and then make a start at remaking them).
Then I keep going as I look for the kids.
- I pick up toys and return them to the toy boxes/shelves/kids bedroom
- Pick up clothes and take them to the laundry.
- Walk around with a plastic bag and collect anything that is rubbish off the floor and from around the house.
When It’s My Turn To Hide
When it’s my turn to hide I look for somewhere comfortable, where I can relax and chill out for a moment. I recommend:
- Under the bed-covers.
- Hide under clothes that I’ve just dumped on the bed for folding and sorting.
- In the laundry under the sheets I’ve just stripped off the bed.
- Laying in the bath under a pile of towels.
- Curl up at the bottom of the wardrobe.
- Under the bed (though only if I’ve recently vaccumed under there!)
- Occasionally I’ll throw in an uncomfortable hiding spot like squished into the kids cubby house, but generally I pick hiding spots on spaces I can chill out in.
Repeat until house is cleaned, children are happy and peace has been restored.