"The Pickup Fairy is sort of a grouchy sprite who lives deep in the woods. Every night, she listens carefully to the world, and if she hears any small children saying things like, "I'm not picking up my toys" (or even worse, "You pick them up, Mommy!), she telephones the mother of that child and asks if she can come over. If the mom says yes, she arrives with a big patchwork sack and takes all the toys to her house for a week."
As many of you know, a lot of my infinite wisdom comes from reading parenting magazines and doing other online "research". This particular dose of "wisdom" came straight from the August issue of Parents magazine. It came at just the right time. Earlier in the afternoon I was trying to persuade Kaitlin to begin picking up her toys and the mess she and Zoey had created while I was working. It turned into me trying to convince her WHY she should pick up her toys - which ultimately failed. Toys still on the floor, I decided I'd wait until she was older to press the issue of cleaning up.... (after all - she's only two.)
THEN, like a miracle from Heaven, this article appeared on page 92. As we sat and ate dinner, I read Kaitlin the excerpt explaining how the Pickup Fairy worked. We talked about how she likes new toys to play with and how long a week is. You should have seen the way Kaitlin's eyes lit up!
That night she agreeably picked up every single toy. The magic of the Pickup Fairy has transformed our house! All we have to do is mention the Pickup Fairy and clean-up begins. In fact, after picking up all her toys the first night, she "called" all her friends on her play phone and asked if they had already picked up their toys. (Kaitlin was pleased to announce that Hailey had already picked up her toys and Bronwyn still had toys downstairs to pick up but was on her way to get it done right now.) She even called Grandma to tell her about the fairy and ask if she had picked up all the toys at her house.
Do I feel a little guilty for lying to her? Maybe. But, then I look around at the clean floor and picked up toys and figure that we should all enjoy the "magic" of childhood for as long as we can.....