If your kids like cherries, they will watch you painstakingly pit each cherry. They will grab them all to eat for themselves before the newly pitted cherries hit the bowl. As they get older, they want to help. So they ask for a cherry pitter.
As you start to clean up from lunch one day, you realize this is their time to start helping. And what a relief it will be to take cherry-pitting off of your always growing task list. You embrace this request for help and offer them 50 cents to pit the entire package. If you offer them money, they will ask for the cherry pitter.
If you give kids a cherry pitter, they will core those cherries with smiles and giggles wafting throughout the house. It sounds cute, innocent and harmless as you put your baby to bed in a nearby room.
As the pits fall out of the juicy, red cherries, splatters of tiny red dots fall onto the surrounding areas. As the kids notice the mess, they will responsibly yell back to you and ask if they can clean the wall. Impressed by their independence, you take a break from your bedtime book with baby to suggest they grab the Lysol wipes.
If they are given the suggestion of taking wipes out of a container, they will assuredly take this advice and decide on their own that they are much smarter than the words of their mother. They will device their own cleaning options, all the while making it sound peaceful and cooperative from nearby listeners.
If you ask kids to clean a wall, they will take it upon themselves to retrieve a dirty sand bucket from the back yard, and a grungy sponge from underneath the kitchen sink.
Once they get those supplies, the only thing left to do is add water to the sandy bucket. A lot of water.
They start scrubbing and scrubbing with all their might. Anxious to remove those tiny, deeply embedded, red cherry juice spots from the bright yellow wall, they will pour more and more water onto the vertical space.
If they pour buckets of water onto a wall, it will OBVIOUSLY slosh to the ground. To the laminate hardwood floors below that were never intended for dirty sand buckets full of water to go on them.
“Oooooops” think the kids. Again, embracing their independence (and more likely, not wanting to admit this mistake to mom in the nearby nursery), they quietly get out the vacuum to suck up the water.
If kids get a vacuum made for hardwood floors, and use it to suck up buckets of water, the vacuum will make an irritated groaning sound, followed by gurgles, until it slowly (and without proper respect) takes its final breath and comes to its resting spot. R.I.P beloved vacuum.
If kids break the vacuum, they will go back to washing the walls. Everyone knows more water can only help ALL situations.
If kids fill up buckets to add MORE water to an area that shouldn’t initially have ANY water at all, this will put mom on red alert. She will quickly finish up the last pages of baby’s book, slide the blanket on, flip the lights off, and close the door.
Once she closes the door, she will make the very short commute down the hallway to check in on the cherry-pitting.
Once she rounds the corner, she will survey the damage of the natural disaster that is her 4 and 7 year olds.
She will begin to yell. Then she will begin to cry. She will think, “How did this happen in the time that it took to read The Big Red Barn??” She will question whether or not she can re-paint the wall before her husband gets home from work. She will ask herself if the laminate flooring – now bubbling underneath her feet from the weight of the water – can be dried to its original condition. She will look at the faces before her, who are anxiously awaiting a reaction.
Then, she notices the kids are smiling. One of them says, “Look, we cleaned up all the mess!” Another one chimes in, “And we pitted ALL the cherries by working together as a team!”
And if the kids remember that they pitted that entire container of cherries, they will also recall the original bargaining session that took place.
And if they remember that there was a financial reward for pitting the cherries, then they will DEFINITELY ask a question that will drive their mother to the brink of insanity:
“Mom, can we each have our 50 cents now??”