I've been with the twins from 4:45 through now, and, since they don't go to bed until 10:30, we had a lot of time together. And you know what? Most of that time was great.
Their dad suggested we make pizza; he had dough from Trader Joe's that he pulled out of the fridge for us. I put the twins in the chairs at the high table in the kitchen and put flour all over the wooden cutting board. Patrick and Lilly got it all over everything, thankfully including the dough which they shaped into mostly circular shapes. We each made our own mini pizza. They spooned sauce from the jar, rubbed it around with the back of the spoon, and then took great handfuls of cheese and dumped it on top. Into the oven on the pizza stone, and back out to cool off. While the pizzas were baking, we cleaned up.
In thinking about Montessori and talking to V last night (now that she's started classes, she's a wealth of information), I realized that I tend to make a common mistake. Kids tend to be rendered impotent. Sure, they can "clean up," but there's almost always an adult after them to do the actual cleaning. I'm now trying to weed this out; just because they are young doesn't mean they can't contribute meaningfully.
With that in mind, I gave them wet paper towels and told them to wipe off the table and chairs. If they got it on the floor, that was fine. We would sweep later. The two of them totally cleaned off the area where we'd been. By themselves. I swept the floor, and Lilly held the dustpan while Patrick picked up crumbs with his paper towel. And just like that, it was clean.
The pizza was yummy, too.
Okay, this is getting long, so I'll hold off on the tantalizing second half. I think their parents are home!