After last week's meltdown over cleaning their room, the girls have been doing a great job of straightening up each afternoon. I decided to capitalize on their current level of cooperation by having them join me in Saturday morning chores. So this Saturday, after a decent amount of cartoon time (we're still doing really well with our tv-free school days, by the way), I told the girls it was time to clean their room. They marched off cheerfully and cleaned to the song stylings of Joe McDermott, coming out a half hour later to announce they were finished.
After my inspection, I told them they were going on a treasure hunt, which got their attention. The treasures were all of their books scattered throughout the house, and I promised a prize to whoever found the most books. Of course Ella won, but I told Lily there was a prize for second place. Ella's prize was getting to dust my room. The look on her face was classic: on the one hand, she knew she'd been had, but on the other, she loves getting to use the feather duster. She she twirled off to my room, duster in hand. I told Lily her prize was getting to dust the living room. She burst into tears and said, "But I want to vacuum the kitchen!" So I pretended to think about it for a few minutes before letting her vacuum to her heart's content.
Then she asked to mop, and again, after "thinking" about it, I agreed to let her mop the kitchen if she did a good job vacuuming. Ella arrived to protest that it wasn't fair that Lily got to mop but she didn't. So I told her she could mop the living room and their bathroom. But then Lily wanted to mop more, so I told her she could mop the hall and one of the bedrooms. Before I knew it, they had vacuumed and mopped the whole front of the house.
The floors weren't spotless when they were done, but they were pretty clean. Plus the girls had fun, and I got to fold laundry instead of vacuuming and mopping. It was a good deal all around. So we celebrated by going to "Chick-ill-a" for lunch.