How a Nerdy Mom Mops the Floor: She Enlists Hercules

Benny & Joon

Here is Johnny Depp ironing cheese sandwiches in _Benny & Joon_ Very unconventional housekeeping! (Photo credit: quicheisinsane)

Confession time: I hate mopping the floor. (Couldn’t you tell?) If I could clean like in the movie Benny and Joon by using a rolling chair and mop like a punt boat, while music blares on the stereo– well, maybe I would change my mind! But with my little rugrats around, I know all rolling chairs have been ruled out. I can just picture my little climber trying to imitate his Mama sailing around the kitchen… Nope, not a chance.

But today I happened upon a fun and safe way to involve my kids in mopping the floor.

  • The idea started when my four-year-old wanted to know who was stronger: Superman or Hercules? I am continually amazed by all the classical references they pack into superhero stories these days. So I offered to read him about the original Hercules and let him decide for himself.

  1. We found a kid’s version of Hercules and his 12 labors on the one we read: http://people.uncw.edu/deagona/herakles/children/home.htm It’s got great hand-drawn cartoon-like sketches like this oneHercules fights the Hydra of him and the Hydra: 
  2. Then we pretended that my son was Hercules and set about cleaning the Augean stables. He thought it was hilarious pretending that the sticky spots on our kitchen floor were stinky cow-poo. He’s at the age when bodily functions are endlessly amusing.
  3. I grabbed a bunch of old towels that were about to go in the laundry anyway and wet them down with warm water. Then we rolled up our pants and skated around the floor. One towel per foot. This part is super, super fun!
  4. Once the floor was clean, we switched out the wet towels for dry ones and  My son drying our clean kitchen floor
    My son drying our clean kitchen floor

    skated some more. Now the floor was dry, so nobody would slip and crack their head open.

Everybody wins with this activity. My son got to learn his classics. The baby thought it was a hoot. The floor– whoops! I mean the Augean stables– got clean.

There’s just one question remaining: could Superman have cleaned it faster? I’ll let you decide. Leave a comment with your opinion!

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