So far, this housekeeper idea is working way better than I anticipated. I forgot to factor in the tendency my girls have to show off for people they don't see every day. It hasn't been on my list of desirable kid-behaviors before, since all it's done is raise whine-levels and mess with sleep schedules.
The day after she came the first time, the girls finished cleaning the toy room that she had started helping them with. And we kept it clean for two whole days! That's never happened before. Then another first: Bree was the one to clean it the next week. Alone! I was visibly astonished by what I saw when I went up after an hour- she laughed at the incredulous look on my face and was so proud of herself she didn't stop talking about it all day.
Mia spent an entire morning helping me catch up on laundry. Granted, she was procrastinating starting schoolwork. But still... she was excited to keep going until it was done, and usually these guys poop out after fifteen minutes.
My first hypothesis isn't very generous: they are trying to show up the housekeeper. They didn't give a hoot about helping me before they saw someone else doing it. There is a small chance they've been willing to do this all along, but were just too overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff they let accumulate on their floors when I let them.
In all actuality, we're not getting any more done than we did before Zach was in residency and I wasn't pregnant. She is just one person- there's only so much you can do in two hours. But with hers and the girls' help, we've reached functional again. Stress-level has gone way down- I've stopped growling and started just yelling "time-out" again. For an entire week, no one has told me the clean pajamas are all gone, we've had clean dishes when we needed them, and our feet aren't blackened from crossing the famous Nevada dust layer covering our entire ground floor of tile. (Which I can walk across at the end of most days without gimping... bonus!)
I'm crossing my fingers that the girls' eagerness isn't because of the novelty of the situation. If this mini-trend continues, and the girls are really getting a little neater, then when I've got my body back and mostly to myself, and we don't need help anymore, things should end up better than they started, right? Right?
Okay, I'm back from a laughing fit. Kael is now taking his third bath of the day. I think we might not be going ice skating for a while.