|Me and the kiddo.|
I think it's interesting how my daughter likes to "help" me with various chores around the house. Granted I usually try to get these done while she is napping or distracted (because she has more than proven she can't be trusted around cleaning supplies just yet). Still, there are a few things I do when she's around, and she always wants to get in on the action. Her favorite chores are:
- Dishes (She likes to hand me things to be dried. Many a plate and mug have met their match in this way.)
- Putting Away Laundry (This usually entails various clean clothes being tossed at me while I am trying to put something else on a hanger.)
I try to do my best to encourage this behavior. Every once in a while I catch her wiping off the table on her own when she's made a mess during a meal, which always makes me happy. She's also got a pretty good grasp on the concept that it is good to keep things picked up when they are not in use (although she doesn't always think about putting things away on her own without a reminder yet).
Hopefully once she's another year or two older I can start passing off a few chores to her completely, to get some help around the house and teach her responsibility. I'm not gonna pretend that most times when I clean the bathroom I don't get lost in a lovely little daydream about her being old enough to clean that herself. That's gonna be awesome.
The trick, I think, is going to be timing the transition just right so that she still thinks it is fun and doesn't realize that chores are something she might complain about until she's already too used to doing them to bother. It's an interesting little parental rite of passage that I am sure every parent goes through but somehow seems to be one of those things that never actually gets mentioned to you when you start thinking about having kids. I have a few ideas on how to get her to be a willing participant in keeping the house clean. Hopefully this desire to be helpful will keep up long enough that my plans will go off without a hitch.
Of course, I know that however well it does or doesn't go, when she hits her teen years, all bets (and likely cooperative feelings) are off.