Growing up in a family of 10, you can imagine that most summer days were filled with ... cleaning the house, cooking, and cleaning the house some more. My best friend Keri, who was over at our house like Eddie Haskel was to the Cleavers, says that our house would stay clean for all of 10 minutes, and then it would be back to its original chaotic mess. You know, take the cushions off the couch, build a high tower, and play "king of the hill," sprinkled in with popcorn and a smattering of shoes, books, and puzzle pieces all over the floor.
We'd always try to make games of cleaning. Sometimes it was "clean during commercials." Other times we'd put on music and try to clean to the beat of the songs. (I've always loved cleaning to the Bee Gee's Saturday Night Fever album.) We'd try dividing and conquering: sister would clean living room while I cleaned the kitchen. We'd try the team effort: we all clean one room then advance to the next room. I don't remember my brothers helping much, nor do I remember where they'd be. I know they were in charge of the lawn, so I'm not complaining (too much). I mostly remember it being just Mary and me. My older sisters had "real" jobs. We'd try to make Hetty work, but she was under the age of 6 and not the best help.
Another technique we used a lot was to pretend a certain drink was a "power" drink, and if we drinked it, we'd have the energy to clean the house. I've enlisted that idea with my girls as of late to get them to help me around the house.
Patrick works for Xango, and he dropped off a few bottles at our house. Kulani loves the stuff. The other day I poured some Xango in a special teacup and told the girls that drinking a swig of it would give them ultimate powers to clean. I demonstrated for them by taking a swallow, then proceeded to clean like a mad woman. The trick worked.
Then yesterday, Melissa swaggers into the kitchen with boots on and a red cowgirl hat saying, "How can I help ya, ma'am?" I almost died of laughter.
So I answered her: "Well aren't you the rootinest-tootinest little cowgirl I ever did lay eyes on. By golly, you'd better take you a swig of this here power juice and get ta cleaning up your room, you gun-slinging rascal."
Worked like a charm. After drinking her power juice, she goes off to clean her room. She comes back to tell me her room was clean and says, "I cleaned my rootinest tootinest room, ma'am."
So, yeah, I'm teaching the girls that "power juice" will help them with their performance. I'm sure Barry Bonds' mom did the same.