The following chart appeared on my Facebook feed this morning. Take a look and carefully read the appropriate chores for 2-3 year olds. What helpful suggestions! Don’t forget to read below for some added tips.
My 2.5 year old loves to “help” too. Her version is slightly different. It goes more like this:
Throw toys toward toy box. Decide that’s no fun and dump toy box out instead.
- One by one, remove books from shelf. Make a tower out of them. Stand on the tower to reach books from higher shelves. Fall over and scream.
- Remove brother’s dirty underwear from laundry hamper and place on head. Dance around the house and sing, “Underwear, underwear, underwear on my head!”
- Collect all the full trash baskets from around the house. Use them to make a tower, with each basket upside down, of course.
- Carry firewood around the backyard. Find some nails and a hammer and start banging. Get a splinter, hammer your fingers and cry.
- Remove all clean wash cloths from the cupboard. Unfold them. Use each one to tuck a dolly to sleep on the bathroom floor.
- Help clear the table after supper. Place each dirty utensil carefully back into the utensil drawer. Throw plates onto the counter.
- Fetch 17 diapers and a package of baby wipes. Wipe each of your older brother’s plastic super heroes’ bottoms with four baby wipes and attempt to diaper each one. (I don’t make this stuff up!)
- Find a water sprayer and some of mommy’s good towels. Drench the baseboards and big picture window until they are dripping with water. Wipe with a white towel. Repeat.
This picture reminds me of the time my daughter “helped” me clean the bathroom:
In Developmental psychology, the age of reason is the age when a child is capable of carrying on complex conversation with an adult, usually around seven or eight years old. My BA was full of psychology courses but all the textbook reading and expert opinion comes alive as I actually watch my own children go through the different stages.
My son is turning six this week and I can see glimpses of the age of reason popping up all over the place. Suddenly we are having conversations about death, about right and wrong, about why some daddies don’t live in the same house as the mommies and kids. I watch my son thinking about the things he overhears me saying to my husband and I’m more careful when I talk, knowing that he misses nothing.
The sweet filter of innocence is starting to fray around the edges as my son realizes that not everyone is kind and good and not every story ends the way he thinks it should. I’m torn as to how I feel about his approach to this new age and stage.
On one hand, I adore finally having more in-depth conversations with him; conversations that go beyond, “Can I have some juice?” and “Mom! My sister broke my Lego!” It’s been almost six years of baby and little-kid conversations and it’s nice to change things up. It’s exciting to see my son maturing and taking on little bits of responsibility all by himself. “It’s okay, little sis, I’ll get your dolly for you.” and “Mom, today I took my friend to the office because someone hit him in the face.” I wonder, is this stage a reward for a mom who’s talked about only snacks, toys, sleep and bodily functions for six years?
On the other hand, it breaks my heart. Walking up the hill from kindergarten the other day we had our first conversation about death. “You mean everybody dies, Momma? But I don’t want to die!” The look on his face almost finished me off then and there and I realized that this was just the beginning of the tough discussions. Ready or not, they are here. I hope that the listening and responding I do now will be good practice for when he is a teenager and the questions get even harder.
I saw the best quote on Facebook last year that has stuck with me:
While roaming the aisles of a big-box toy store the other day, I realized that my 18 month old daughter could care less about 99% of the stuff for sale. I know what she wants for Christmas and it’s not a dolly that sits on the toilet or a pink plastic household appliance. Here’s a list of what every toddler really wants to see under the tree:
- A Kleenex box. The biggest one you can find, with the cardboard piece already ripped off the top. Free reign to pull the tissues out when she pleases, shred into tiny pieces and fling around the house.
- A box of Christmas oranges to dump, line up and move in and out of the box to her heart’s content.
- A toothbrush to chew as much as she wants, swirl in the toilet and poke her big brother with.
- Her own roll of tape. She can rip the tape out over and over with no one saying, “Give it back to mommy, please. Give it back to mommy” and prying it out of her tiny hands. A roll of wrapping paper from the dollar store will also go over well.
- A family sized box of rice to spread over every room of the house, just for fun. She already knows how to do this. She learned it last week in Sunday School.
- A Lego set for her to step on and throw against the wall while laughing with glee.
- An extra $10 to put towards the water bill so she can play at the kitchen sink and yell, “water! water!” as she pours, stirs and splashes joyfully.
- An expensive fabric angel decoration to hug and kiss with spaghetti-sauce-stained hands & face.
- An old plate to take to the cement floor in the garage, lift high over her head, and smash to smithereens.
Ah…the perfect Christmas.
*If you’ve been following me for over a year, you will recognize this post from last Christmas. I can’t resist posting it again this week.
Visit Momma Be Thy Name today to see my post in her 12 Days of Christmas. Comment and you will be entered to win some great prizes!
*UPDATE! If you donate $1.00 to my chosen charity, you earn an additional entry for the prizes. Simply go to: www.paypal.com and send $1.00 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to indicate my name (Anna Sorgard) and my cause (Love 146) in the memo line so Momma can sort out which cause your donation will go to. Thanks!
Today marked the beginning of Momma Be Thy Name’s Twelve Days of Christmas. It’s really only five days this year but who’s counting?
Make sure to check in all week for some fun Christmas posts, including one by yours truly on Thursday, December 19th.
You can comment each day on that day’s post. Just by leaving a comment, you’ll have a chance to win goodies:
- Kindle Fire HD 7″
- Hallmark 2013 Keepsake Ornament
- Godiva Gold Ballotin
- Monsters University on Blu Ray or DVD (Winners’ choice)
- $25 Target Gift Card
“Momma. Momma? Momma!!!”
It’s the darkest time of night.
A little voice crashes into my slumber.
Creak, crack go the floorboards as I fumble towards her room.
Her tiny face, muddled with sleep,
is happy to see me.
Like in the old days
hour after hour she would call and her daddy or I would go
Creak, crack on the floorboards, fumbling towards her room,
Again and again.
A steady hot river of coffee flowed into our veins, lifting us above the days, weeks, months and years of
Now the nighttime calls are less frequent.
They are almost a privilege,
The closing of the chapters of six years and two babies.
When the call comes I go
Creak, crack on the floorboards, fumbling towards her room,
To hold her close and rock her
Breathe in her warm smell
And listen to her gentle breaths
That echo those long, long nights that are slowly fading.
The minute I saw the subject for this week’s weekly photo challenge I knew I had just taken a perfect picture for it. It’s a little blurry but captures the excitement that’s going on in our house now. Ages 2 and 5, my children are at the ideal age to revel in the magic of Christmas. Our neighbours had their lights up early this year, in mid-November, and my son insisted we follow suit ASAP. Of course one string of lights wasn’t enough; we had to stretch out all the lights we could find all around our family room. My daughter (almost 2.5) was right in on it this year. My son is the perfect teacher, bringing her up to snuff on all that is important about preparing for Christmas.
It’s 5:00 a.m.. My daughter woke a few minutes ago, crying “Dollo! Dollo!” so I crept from the big bed to find her favorite dolly in the mess of stuffed animals and blankets that fill her crib. After a few minutes of rocking and a restart of Twinkle Twinkle on her stereo, I crept out. I tiptoed into my room and silently picked up my slippers, cursing the random toy that slipped off the dresser when I passed. My husband and son were splayed out on the big bed, still wrapped up in the cozy wonderfulness that is sleep.
I yearn for a few minutes of quiet each day, a snippet of peace when no tiny child needs another snack, help fixing a Lego airplane or a big hug after a fall. Sometimes I find my quiet at 5:00 a.m., if I can sneak downstairs and will the coffee pot to do its magic quietly. Then it’s just me, the hum of the refrigerator and the occasional flicker of the outside motion light from a deer rooting around in the yard, enjoying her peace too.
My days seem to sort themselves out better when they start this way, even though it’s early.
What about you? Where do you find your quiet?