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It’s no surprise that HGTV’s Home Town and Home Town Takeover stars, Erin and Ben Napier, know a few things about sprucing up a home. After all, the couple has been bringing a keen eye for design, woodworking know-how, and a fondness for found materials to their historic home renovations since 2016. But it turns out that they know how to get kids in on the effort, too.
That’s because, in addition to being home renovation experts, the Laurel, Mississippi-based Napiers are also parents of two: daughter Helen is 4, and baby Mae is just 9 months. Erin and Ben spoke to SheKnows about their new partnership with Swiffer and Swiffer WetJet Wood , how life with a new little one has changed, and how their preschooler helps by — parents, you’ll want to pay attention here — doing daily chores.
Yep, you read that right. While 4-year-old Helen isn’t quite pushing a Swiffer of her own around the house (yet!), the Napiers revealed what she does do to help keep the family home tidy, and frankly, we’re impressed. “Helen, her big thing is dishes — she clears the table. She helps empty the dishwasher,” Ben says, as Erin adds, “she has to unload the silverware from the dishwasher and put it away in the trays. And she has to get the wet clothes out of the washer, into the dryer.”
In true 4-year-old fashion, Helen also helps “wash” the dishes by using the sprayer to fill up all the cups of water, Erin says with a laugh. But all kidding aside, having their children take on the responsibility of chores, and have an active role in how the household runs, was something the couple agreed on early — and as one of four boys, it’s something Ben grew up doing himself. “It was absolutely the only way they could function at Ben’s house when he was growing up,” Erin explains, “because his mama couldn’t do all that laundry and be a sane person.”
“It was a constant battle that we had to help fight,” Ben adds.
An all-hands approach to cleaning is even more important now that baby Mae is on the move. “It’s actually twice the amount of pick up and cleaning now because May is mobile,” Erin explains, “so she’s getting toys out of the toy basket, and it’s just a lot to keep tidy.”
That includes those hard-to-clean places that many of us (or is it just me?) like to ignore — like underneath the couch. The Napiers aren’t getting that reprieve, explaining that now that Mae can scoot around, her favorite thing to do is to crawl under the edge of the sofa, lift the skirt, and look under it.
“She keeps her head under there for forever,” Erin says. “I don’t know what she’s looking at, but she got dust bunnies in her hair, on her arms… So now I’m trying to make more of an effort to clean under the couch.”
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