I’ve been trying to get Isaac to do a few chores around here. Andrew’s been doing chores for a while (clearing the table, making the beds on the weekends, cleaning up messes, helping with the trash), but it was trickier finding things Isaac could do. Or, maybe it was just easier to do the things myself instead of teaching him how. :)
He now has three daily chores.
1. He picks up his toys. I’ve been really on and off about him picking up his toys for a long time. Sometimes it felt like he had NO idea what it was I wanted from him. Or it was such a battle that I admitted defeat and Andrew and I cleaned up his mess. But, it’s become clear that they have the kids pick up the toys in school. I’ve never seen it happen, but I can tell that it’s a skill he’s been practicing because now he understands EXACTLY what to do. And, sadly, he sings the Barney clean up song while he does it. And so, now, I sing the Barney clean up song too. Annoying? Yes. But it’s a signal he responds to and he happily gets the job done.
2. He sets the table. Mostly this means he brings the placemats and napkins to the table. Sometimes forks. And once, the plates. When I’m not rushed to begin dinner, I talk him through spreading out the placemats at each person’s spot (“this one is for Daddy! Put it at Daddy’s spot!”). Then I talk him through putting a napkin on each placemat and a fork on each napkin. He still needs a lot of cajoling and instruction to get everything in the right spot, so when I can’t take the time to do it, Andrew does it! (Hooray for big brothers!) But when he CAN do it, he jumps all around the dining room with his breakdance moves, SO excited.
3. He puts his clothes in the washing machine. This one was his idea. He sees me do it all the time and one night, as he was getting ready for bath, he went and stuffed his clothes in. So now, I often ask him to run and put his clothes in the washing machine (where they sit until I’m ready to run a load). He really, really loves this chore. But he always wants to put his dirty diapers in the machine too…and if I tell him not to and take the diaper and put it in the trash, he takes it out of the trash and puts it back into the washing machine. I’ve been getting good at getting the diapers out when he’s not looking. But once, I forgot. I ran a load of laundry and half way through the cycle, I remembered that there was a diaper in there. Luckily it didn’t explode and get that gross gel everywhere before I caught it. But at this rate, that’s bound to happen sometime.
Last night I made this page about the Art Class that Andrew was in for a while. It was such a great experience for him and making a scrapbook page about it gave me an excuse to make my own mess…which maybe one day I can teach my kids clean up. Another chore for the list! :)