This is how I clean my house:
I turn on the water in the kitchen sink.
Me: (in my staged-panicky voice):
"Oh no! Would you just look at this messy sink! What ever shall we do!"
Addie:"Oh!!! Mommy!! I want to do the dishes!!"
Ian: "Ditheth, Ditheth!"
Good to go. Chairs at the sink, and they will last 1/2 hour while I vacuum, fold laundry, clean counters, etc. Granted, there is a river to clean up after wards (a soapy river), but I have a clean house!
This is how I make dinner:
Me (in my overly-distressed voice):
"Oh no!! Dad is going to be home soon, and we have got to make dinner fast!"
Addie: " I want to make dinner!"
Ian: "Make dough!"
Great! Chairs at the counter, I hand them any thing I can find. The other night it was lime rinds, hot pink sugar cookie sparkles, frozen peas and salt. Mmmmmmmm. I can work at the stove without little fingers getting dangerously in the way, and It makes my cooking look REALLY good:)