Dust Wars

I was recently telling someone about a game I play with my kids in order to get them to help me with dusting and this person thought it was a bit genius.

Now, I've played this game with my offspring for practically ever so I hadn't really thought about it being genius so much as our way of doing things but after I thought about it, I concurred, it is rather brilliant if you - like moi - hate the tedious task of dusting your whatsits and whatnots.

So - without further ado - I bring you the rules of DUST WARS.

*Disclaimer - I loathe dusting. I do not choose to do it regularly. If you, unlike me, are a standard-Saturday-morning-duster - this game probably will not work for you. This game is made for people who let their dust sit and think about what it's done for a while. And while I'm at it, this game is also meant for people who aren't above bribing and tricking their children. If you are either of those things, this isn't the game for you. ...Likely, this isn't the blog for you since, you and I probably have extremely different styles of parenting.

Okay, now we're ready.

To play DUST WARS you will need:

-Children (as many as you have, even more if you can find extra)

-A white dust cloth for each child and yourself (I personally use the Swiffer cloths that are intended for the bottom of my dry Swiffer, but you can use a basic dishtowel if you so choose.)

-A gift card for bribery

-A timer

-A relatively dusty house that is ready to be somewhat cleaner

-A friend/sister/mother or someone that can be the judge via text. (Please note, this person may judge the ever loving heck out of you when they see the results but fear not, I will cover that at the end.)

Game rules:

Lay the shiny gift card on the table where everyone can see it. This is the prize of the person whose cloth collects the most dust in the time given. Have each person take a dust cloth in hand (you included, trust me on this) and explain to them they will have five minutes to find the dustiest spots in the house and get them dusted. (Side note, this game works spectacularly well if you are getting company that you weren't given notice about!) When the timer starts, watch your children scatter.

They will likely go to their bedrooms and find the end tables of the living room because these are the places they routinely see and therefore that's what they think to dust. This is great for two reasons; 1) your end tables get dusted and not by you, and 2) you know there are 75,000 other places that dust hides that get dusted even less than the end tables and you are going to go find THOSE places to ensure something called a "mom win." (Also known as, that gift card will continue to sit in your drawer until you are ready to play the game again.)

As your children scurry around like crazed-dust cloth-wielding-maniacs, you can calmly walk over to the top of the refrigerator, the ledges above the widow trim, the over-the-door trim work and get as many of those places done as you can in the five minutes.

When the timer sounds, have each person lay their dust cloth out for the judging photo. Snap a picture of the dust cloths and zing it over textland to the judge of your choice. When the judge announces the winner - put on your best surprised face that they chose yours and happily snap that gift card back off the table.

At this point, thank your children for playing and wish them better luck next time. (And there will be a next time because you likely have at least ONE child that is uber competitive and will want to best mom the next time.)

Then go to your phone and read the text from the judge that probably says something along the lines of "OMG did all that dust come from your house??!! Holy smokes, how often do you dust? Once a year?? It's not good for your lungs to have to breathe in all that dust on a routine basis you know!"

To which you can reply: House was dusty - but it's not anymore! Thanks for judging! And you and I will both know that you're really talking about her judging your housekeeping efforts. ;-)

Now, pour yourself a cup of coffee... or heck, maybe a glass of wine, I don't know what time of day it is for you. And sit for a bit and enjoy your semi-dusted house. Breathe in deeply.. it feels good to be a little conniving sometimes.