I just wanted to talk about my big little helper for just a bit here.
Mostly, I just want to make sure I have a written record of a time when she actually liked to clean and help me out with chores. :)
Sorry there are no pictures. :(
Let me say that Katie LOVES to clean. I really do not know where she gets it from. I am not a clean person. I really am not. I don't know how many people actually know this fact, but I truly am a slob. Brad is a clean person, but he does not enjoy cleaning. He doesn't go out of his way TO clean. He just doesn't really do much to warrant cleaning. Can't make much of a mess going to work and then playing computer games all night. ;)
If Katie sees me cleaning anything, she immediately runs over, says "keen!" (clean) and searches for some way to help. Here is my list of what my 2 year old absolutely loves helping with:
Although she can't put away most of the dishes in the dishwasher, she really enjoys helping with what she can. She is allowed to put away the silverware (though I have to reorganize the drawer afterwards), the cooking utensils (nothing sharp of course), pots, pans, and lids. She stands next to the dishwasher and dutifully waits for me to hand her the next item to be put away.
Setting the Table
This is probably her second favorite chore ever! And it's probably my first favorite one that she does. I love that I can finish cooking dinner while Katie puts everything we need on the table! She runs into the kitchen and I hand her items one at a time to be put on the table- plates, utensils, salt and pepper shakers, cups, napkins, juice (if it's not too heavy), and various food items that are not too heavy and ready to go, like a bowl of salad or a plate of sliced fruit or something. Brad often helps her out in putting things in the right places, like putting her plastics plate/cup by her high chair and putting mommy's and daddy's plates by our respective chairs. I also want to mention that sometimes she acts like a puppy while she is setting the table. It's pretty hilarious.
Katie is very good about picking up her dirty clothes and putting them in her hamper. She is also great at handing me things from her hamper to put in the wash, and them later putting them in the dryer. I've started hang-drying almost all of our clothes now, and Katie loves to help hang things up. We're still working on the folding part. She is much more of a destroy-that-pile-of-clothes-mommy-just-folded kind of person.
Oh my, this girl loves to cook! If i'm in the kitchen and doing anything that looks even remotely interesting, she yells "cooking!" and pulls a dining room chair up to the counter so she can help. Adding ingredients to a bowl is her favorite part. I let her dump in the flour/sugar/eggs/vanilla/whatever else is needed for a recipe. The only downside is that every once in a while, she discovers that one of the ingredients tastes good all by itself. She was helping to make chocolate chip cookies a while ago and when I asked her to pour in the chocolate chips, she instead ate a few, grabbed the bag, and walked into the living room to eat them. Haha! She also likes to help stir, though she gets tired of it pretty quickly. Even the simplest tasks she enjoys though, like setting something in the microwave or rinsing fruits in the sink.
I have a little swiffer duster that is specifically for Katie. She takes it and dusts random things for me. She never really accomplishes much, but she enjoys pretending. She also likes to try and "seep" (sweep) with the broom. It's a pretty long broom, so she has a rough time with it. Instead, I usually try to give her one of those small broom and dustpan combos. I hold down the dustpan while she sweeps big crumbs into it.
There is no cleaning task Katie loves more than having a spray bottle in her hand, spraying something, and then wiping it down with a paper towel. With heavy supervision, she is sometimes allowed to wield an actual cleaner and spray things like the toilet or the sliding glass door, but usually I fill up a small spray bottle with water or give her my little spray bottle that is filled with vinegar that I use for cleaning most things. She does tend to over-spray however, getting a little too trigger happy with those spray bottles. After the item is thoroughly soaked, she grabs her paper towel and wipes it down. For little messes, I hand her baby wipes to use instead.
- Whenever we get home, I remind her to take off her shoes and after doing so, she immediately puts them on the shoe rack by the door, without being asked. Katie is much better at this than Brad. :)
- For some crazy reason, she enjoys throwing things away in the trash can. When I hand her a piece of trash and ask her to throw it away, she actually takes it and says "thanks!"
- Though this doesn't happen all the time, Katie is pretty good about picking up her toys without being asked to do so. Many times, she will finish playing with something and just put all the pieces away where they belong. It's pretty awesome when this happens. When she forgets, a couple of gentle reminders will prompt her to pick up her toys before she gets anything else out.
-She also enjoys putting away the groceries, putting the cats outside, trying to clean the litter box (I say trying because I do NOT let her do this, but she tries very hard to be sneaky and scoop that poop. Time-outs are more often than not related to Katie attempting to clean the litter box), closing doors, flushing toilets, turning lights on and off, and picking couch pillows up off the floor.
Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without saying the most common thing she does around the house. Or really, the most common thing any 2 year old does around the house, and that is to make as big a mess as possible each and every day. :D