Tonight after dinner I informed the girls that the television would remain off until the main level of the house was clean “to Mommy’s satisfaction” and we were all going to work together.
The first order of business was to get the laundry put away, so I handed the girls stacks of their clothes and sent them downstairs. They sorted them on the floor in the playroom and then put the clothes away. Alice came back upstairs and found me folding more laundry, and stood very rigid and spoke in a monotone:
“WHAT. SHOULD. I. DO. NEXT.”
So we started calling her AliceBot and she was a monotonic robot slave for about 45 minutes, calling us MommyBot and DaddyBot. She threw away trash, swept, raked the carpet (yes, we have a carpet rake — we have dogs with foot-long hair), vacuumed, put toys away, put sofa cushions back where they belong, everything without complaint.
Helen, on the other hand, was WAILING. Partly because she gets out of control emotional every time we ask her to clean and partly because I think robots scare her or something. She was in hysterics every time we’d talk to each other in robotic monotones. So we started calling her DramaBot, which just caused more wailing.
(I wonder if we called her the Robot Princess if she’d be more receptive. Will have to try that.)
It was finally cleaned to my satisfaction and then we had to turn the Bots back into little girls so they could have their showers and go to bed.
I am SO totally going to enjoy this AliceBot phase while it lasts. She was FUN, eager, and hilarious. That is a seriously funny little kid.