LUCY: Mommy, what are you doing?
ME: Sweeping the floors.
LUCY: The new floors?
ME: Yes. The old carpet and tile is gone, right? We have to take very good care of our new floors.
LUCY: Can I help?
ME: Of course. (Handing the sweeper to her)
LUCY: Mommy, you are SO SWEET!
ME (trying not to laugh): I am? Why?
LUCY: For sharing your beautiful Zuma.
ME: My Zuma?
LUCY: Yes! This is Zuma. Because it zoom, zoom, zooms around the floor and picks up stuff.
ME: What kind of stuff?
LUCY. Food. Schmutz. Your toes. All that stuff.
ME: Well, I'll be in charge of my toes. You and Zuma can keep the rest of the house clean.
LUCY: Yes, we are good helpers! I will sweep under chairs and tables and everywhere.
ME: Sounds like a plan. I will sit on the couch watch you. (I sit down and surreptitiously turn on the TV. She's so distracted by the sweeper, she doesn't even realize one of MY shows is on, instead of the ever-present cartoons. I contemplate getting a coffee too.)
LUCY: Will you cheer?
ME: As long as you’re sweeping, I’ll be cheering. Believe me.
LUCY: Hey, wait a minute. I have an idea! (Puts down the sweeper and runs to her room. She returns wearing a superhero cape.)
ME: Are you a super cleaner now?
LUCY: Yes! I am Super Lucy, and I love to sweep!
ME: Along with your trusty sidekick, Zuma.
LUCY: Yes! No one will catch MY super power!
ME: And what’s your super power?
LUCY: Sweeping power! Say “Go, Lucy and Zuma, go!”
ME (very excited about this new game): Go, Lucy and Zuma, go!
ME (totally willing to say it a million times if she keeps sweeping): Go, Lucy and Zuma, go!
LUCY (gasps and sits down on the floor): Oh, wait. (Puts the sweeper across her body) I’m stuck in a gate.
ME (panicking slightly that the game is already over): Oh no!
LUCY: But I know what to do! (Singing and wiggling around the floor) Dance, dance, dance! (Moves the sweeper) Yes, I’m free!
ME: Did Zuma let you out?
LUCY: She did!!
ME: Now go get that dirt, Super Lucy and Zuma!
LUCY: We will! Watch out, dirt. Here comes trouble!
So she played for the next half hour with the sweeper– and, as an added bonus, her efforts were so quiet and concentrated that she didn’t even wake up her baby brother. I got that coffee and put my feet up for a bit. Lucy is happy, I’m happy, and our floors are spotless. I’ve got plans to introduce her to more potential sidekicks, Mr. Dust Spray and his buddy Rag. She may be the superhero, but Mommy is the mastermind!