“The Cleanup Crew,” Friend, Jan. 2016, 8–9
Sarah: It’s time for an Official Children’s Conference. Let’s decide what to do while Mom is running errands.
Laura: We should play pioneers! We can pretend our pillows are bags of flour and drive “wagons” to Utah.
Chris: Let’s make cookies instead!
Alicia: I think we should go outside and ride our bikes.
Robert: I want to look for insects.
Sarah: Those are all great ideas, and I think we should try them. But what if we did something nice for Mom? She looked like she could use some cheering up.
Laura: Well, Mom likes it when we play pioneers.
Chris: She likes cookies.
Robert: And looking at bugs.
Alicia: She loves it when we go outside.
Sarah: Hmm … Maybe we could find something extra special to do, though. Something to help her out.
[Everyone taps their chins while they think.]
Laura: [Laura jumps up and down.] I know! We could clean up The Desk. It’s covered in all sorts of stuff, like crayons, pencils, schoolwork, toys, and mail.
Chris: That would be a really big job.
Alicia: How will we do it?
Robert: It will take forever!
Laura: But we can try.
Sarah: Let’s do it! Everyone pick just one thing to do.
Chris: I’ll stack up the mail.
Alicia: I can put the toys away!
Robert: I’ll organize everyone’s schoolwork.
Laura: I’ll line up the crayons and pencils by color!
Sarah: There are a few things I don’t know what to do with. I’ll put them in a box.
[Everyone steps back to admire how clean The Desk is.]
Robert: That went by really fast.
Alicia: And Mom will love it.
Sarah: Now let’s do something fun!
Laura: That was fun. Maybe even better than playing pioneers!