Lately S. has been into helping us around the house. She usually makes any given household chore take at least twice as long, but she enjoys helping and we enjoy watching her attempts at helping. Her favorite household chore up until this weekend was laundry; she likes taking it in and out of the dryer, pushing the laundry basket around, and unloading it. This weekend she started “helping” with a couple new chores. The first was spraying any surface possible with a squirt bottle and wiping it, the only problem was we gave her an empty soap bottle that didn’t really squirt. She was quick to improvise though and figured out how to make the squirt sound with her mouth which seemed just as satisfying to her. The second chore that she helped with this weekend quickly became her new favorite: washing the car.
We parked the car on the front lawn because water in Austin is precious and we very rarely water the lawn so when we wash the car we give the yard a little bit of water at the same time. We don’t use any soaps or cleaners either, water and a good scrubbing seem to get the job done just fine. After Matt parked the car on the front yard S. grabbed her rubber duck (because you just never know when you will need your duck) and was ready to assist in whatever task was coming her way.
You could see her start to get excited when the hose came out and then when the water was turned on she was thrilled.
She quickly got into the action and loved squirting the car down with the hose. She was actually pretty good at squirting the car, but we were afraid that she would swing the hose around and the metal nozzle would hit the car so after a little while we changed out the metal nozzle for a rubber one.
She did spend a little while hosing herself down as well. She accidentally squirted me with the hose and I shrieked a little while I tried to keep the camera dry. She thought this was hilarious so for a little while I was the primary target instead of the car.
S. didn’t get quite as into wiping the car down as she did squirting it with the hose. Matt tried to get her to help on the roof, but she wasn’t really sure what to do or think so very little cleaning actually got done.
“Wheel” is one of her many new words so she has been into wheels lately. Wheels on toys, on office chairs, on bikes, on buses (she loves singing about the wheels on the bus), in books… so of course she didn’t pass up the opportunity to help clean the wheels on the car.
And S. never passes up a good opportunity to stick the hose in her face and try to drink water straight out of the nozzle. I try to make sure that she waits a little bit after I turn the hose on so that she doesn’t drink the water that has been sitting in the hose, but there is no stopping her from drinking water straight from the nozzle; if the hose is out and water is flowing, at some point it will go in her mouth.
After a while she wandered back into the garage and we emerged with her little push car. It was decided that her car could use a good washing too, so we parked it on the lawn and she hosed it down a bit.
She also decided to clean under the hood which turned into filling the little trunk full of water.And then sticking her head in the trunk full of water. Over and over and over again. It is as if she just cannot resist any opportunity to get her head wet even if it means sticking it inside a small plastic compartment. Some day I am sure household chores really will be just that for S.; chores that she doesn’t necessarily want to do. Watching her help out this weekend made me realize that before I know it we will be telling her to pick up her toys, put her clothes away, wash her dishes, clean her room etc. I know there will be days she doesn’t want to do certain tasks, there will be chores she hates doing, there will be things that we ask her to do that involve more work than her regular day to day household chores (oh no, is that when we have to start making decisions about allowance?), and there will probably be resistance on her part at times. However, right now household chores are more of a game for S. and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. She loves copying us and trying to do what we are doing, she likes it when we play games that involve her following directions, and she over all just loves to learn and do new things. I am hoping if we make chores enjoyable for her now that she will grow into a little kid who loves to help out, and that she will learn to take on responsibility with a smile.