The "rules" of cleaning with a toddler

1) You might think it is a good idea to put on fun music but chances are your toddler will a) either insist on "the horse song" even though you have no idea what she is talking about. When you ask her how it goes, all she can say is "neigh neigh neigh" so you will spend 20 minutes of your "cleaning time" selecting songs that might somehow be related to horses without luck or b) listen happily until a song from Winnie-the-Pooh or Tangled comes on and then throws a fit because she can hear it but can't watch it (apparently toddlers don't understand the concept of soundtracks)

2) When sweeping, it doesn't matter if you choose the most out of the way spot in the living room or kitchen to make your dirt pile, that will suddenly become the very spot where your toddler needs to dance.

3) If you clean and oil your stainless steel fridge then turn your back for one second, your toddler will choose that moment to test her "lunch meat will stick to a fridge" hypothesis.

4) If you are doing a task which is easy for a toddler to do and for which you have all the appropriately scaled down cleaning gear, she will be content playing with blocks next to you. If you are doing a messy or tricky task, she will insist on helping.

5) When you are finished, you can sit down and say "All done" then wait and watch as your toddler copies you, complete with sigh. If asked, "Whose mama's great helper?" she will enthusiastically respond "ME," give you a hug and cause you to remember that she is, indeed, a really great helper and you can't imagine how you ever would have done it all without her.

Do you have any "rules" to add when it comes to cleaning with a little one along as a helper?


  1. It's not really a rule, but I know that even though Zuzu "only" unloads the silverware and her dishes, I hate unloading the dishwasher by myself. I can't wait until she's old enough to take over cleaning the bathrooms!

  2. Those are Lucy's "jobs" too and yes, I miss it when I do it without her...especially the silverware. She just hands it to me so I can put it in the drawer but I really appreciate not having to bend over so much.

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  4. Hey, when you've gotta dance...you've gotta dance. ;-)