A Cleaner or not a Cleaner – That is the Question

If you google the word cleaner the definition is a person who cleans something.  In this post it does not mean a hit man or someone who removes evidence from a crime scene. You can probably tell…I raised boys.

My question is – are you made into a cleaner or are you just born that way? I suppose I never really considered the question before.  I thought all kids had to be trained (forever) in order for them to pick up their stuff, put things away, clean up their mess and wipe up that spill!

My kids were NOT natural cleaners. In order to get that result out of them, force had to be applied one way or another.   I spent over eighteen years, nagging, guilting, bribing and grounding.  The results were not always stellar.

My three year old granddaughter on the other hand LIKES to clean.  She always has – well, at least since she could walk.  For example, when she was 18 months old, as discipline for her actions, her mom had her pick up every single kernel of corn that she purposely tossed on the floor, from her high chair and deposit it into the garbage can.  She dutifully and without complaint picked up every kernel of corn (one at a time) toddled from the dining room, through the kitchen and to the garbage.  Like 25 times.  I think she enjoyed it.  I was amazed…with my granddaughter AND with my daughter-in-law’s patience.  I probably would have let her make three trips, administered praise and swept up the rest.  Possibly this is why it took me forever to train my kids!cleaning2

When she was two, my husband was at the dining room table working on his laptop, my granddaughter found the swisher broom and began happily cleaning the floor behind him, while singing twinkle, twinkle little star at the top of her lungs.  It was a sight, I wish I would have recorded it.  She was in her element.

A few weeks ago she found my stash of Clorox wipes.  She decided she desperately needed to clean the floor in the bathroom and her potty chair (both were already clean)!  There really was no stopping her, she was on a mission.  I let her finish, restricting her to how many wipes she could actually use and then washed her up when she was done.  I really think I missed it for Christmas, I should have by-passed the toys and just bought her an economy pack of cleaning wipes. She would have been thrilled.

The cleaning bug doesn’t seem to carry over to keeping the caps on markers though, which is one of my pet peeves.

I have already informed her parents that I plan to take full advance of her love of cleaning when she is old enough to earn money for chores.

So what do you think?  Are cleaners made or just plain born that way?


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