Monday, April 23, 2012

(towel folding) Monster

I've created a monster.  A towel folding monster, that is.

It all started when I noticed something about my sis, Chip.  She is really good at finding things that her little guys, who are 4 and almost 3, can do to help out around the house.  For instance, she has her little one take grapes off the vines and put them in a colander for washing.  Seriously, isn't that a great idea?  I mean, it's totally something that he can do, with little to no supervision, and it's something that needs to be done.
Chip's big and bigger guys, plus Roger, helping AKD feel welcome
Then there was the time she had me help her bigger guy cut up a block of cheese into cheese sticks...but we're not gonna go there.  I'll just say I've never quite figured out how those cheese slicers are supposed to work, and leave it at that.  On the bright side, Ua and I had a rip-roaring, hilarious time--I'm pretty sure they still talk about it at their house, which means it was the stuff of legends.  Right? 
The mysterious cheese slicer

Chip is always on the lookout for little ways to make her boys feel important and contribute to the family.  Always.  In fact, I've seen her in action at other people's houses.  Other people who look at her funny when she asks if her boys can help by doing some small, specific action.  Because Chip knows that it's a great way to keep them busy, and therefore out of trouble, plus build up their self-esteem and confidence because they're helping.  She's brilliant, Chip is.

My own family's supper-time chore rotation was born as a direct result of me watching Chip's big boy take the recycling out to the garage.

MC taking out the trash (22 months old)
So I've had it in my brain that I need to be on the lookout for opportunities like that--little jobs that the kids can do, not necessarily so that I don't have to do them, but so that the boys feel like important and contributing members of the household.

MC helping with the laundry (22 months). 
He's completing the crucially important whisking step,
after which he completed the equally important
dump-everything-out-so-you-can-crawl-into-the-basket step.
So the other day, I was folding laundry while Pal was over.  Pal wanted to help, so I handed her a couple of washcloths and asked Roger if he would like to help, too.  He politely declined, but watched with great interest as Pal started folding.  As I came to more washcloths and hand towels in the basket, I added them to her pile, while Roger started slowly inching closer.  Finally Roger grabbed a washcloth and folded it.  Success!  I asked both of them if they wanted to try something bigger, but they were unsure of their abilities and done for the day.

Fast forward to another day.  I was again folding laundry (never.ending) and Roger asked if he could do the washcloths.  I said sure, and when those were done he thought he'd try the hand towels.  And then, all of a sudden, he couldn't get enough.  He actually unfolded the bath towels that I had already folded so that he could refold them.  I managed to stop him before he refolded all of the towels in the bathroom.
The towel folding monster strikes again!
I've created a monster.

But you know, there are worse types of monsters to have.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea. It is so tempting to just do it yourself to get it done faster and better, but it really is important to involve the little ones. What cute pictures.


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