So, Daniel was actually cleaning his room. This doesn’t happen too often. Meka finds it’s easier to clean it up herself than coerce Daniel into putting things away where they need to go. As for me, I feel slightly hypocritical getting after Daniel about his room when I need a snow shovel to deal with the paperwork in my office. Still, it would be nice to walk into his room in the dark and kiss him goodnight without risking a tetanus shot. I was supervising Daniel, which meant controlling my urge to scream watching Daniel wrestle with putting the books away in his bookshelf at something slightly slower than a glacial pace. Finally, an hour (and about three books) into the mission, I suggested he take all the books off his top shelf and arrange them on his bed by size. He would have room to sort them out that way.
“Then, you can work on the next shelf and then the next shelf.” Daniel looked surprised.
“That’s breaking it in steps,” he told me. “This isn’t math!”
“No, but you can do lots of things in steps,” I said. “You bake a cake in steps, you build your tracks in steps…”
“You follow a treasure map in steps,” suggested Daniel. I nodded. “This isn’t a treasure map either.”
“You never know,” I said. Daniel looked skeptical, but grudgingly got going on his books. After a bit, I heard a cry of surprise.
“My Yu-Gi-Oh cards!” he exclaimed. “I thought they were lost forever!” Apparently, they had fallen behind a stack of books. I noticed Daniel had shifted gears and was working with a bit more gusto. Through the afternoon, he recovered a number of items thought to be gone for good. He located several rare Lego parts he had been looking for. He found one of his favorite Hot Wheels cars wedged in a corner. At dinner time, Daniel came down and handed me a strip of cardboard with a picture of SpongeBob SquarePants on it.
“I made you this Valentine’s Day card, but then I lost it,” said Daniel. “Here you go.” It was six weeks late, but better late than never.