A memory from my oldest son when he was a toddler.
When Toddlers Want to Help
“NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” Sigh. That’s my son, quite obviously upset over something that has disturbed his little world. His daddy just left to go do some yard work. “I’m Daddy’s partner! I need to go to work with him. I can cut the grass!!”
It’s like this with everything; where we are, doing our ‘work’, he is. I turn around with a basket of laundry in the way-too-small laundry room and trip over a toddler.
“Why are you right there? Do you have to follow me into every room?”
“Mommy, I’m your helper! I can do the laundry too!”
I need to start writing these statements down and having him sign them. It’s so nice that he wants to ‘help’ now (you know how toddlers ‘help’…), but what about in ten years when we actually need his help? He’ll be nowhere to be found.
I’ll have to give him ‘three special steps’ like Special Agent Oso (remember him?) just to get off the couch. Yet if I have these ‘contracts’, I might have some leverage…like my mom did when she had me sign the ‘prom promise’ when I was seven and declared that I did not want to go to the prom.
Of course it didn’t work, but what an idea!
Sign on the Dotted Line, Please
Here are some of the ‘contracts’ he will be presented with at the helpful old age of thirteen:
- “I can help! I like to fold the clothes!”
- “I’m daddy’s partner! I can get the garbage and put it outside.”
- “I can clean up my toys all by myself.”
- “Look! I’m sharing nice with my sister.”
- “I can put away my shoes.”
- “I know how to clean up my room. I’m a big boy.”
- “Mommy, I need to do my homework like you and Daddy.”
- “I fed the dog and gave him some water like Daddy!”
- “I can eat without making a mess!”
And my personal favorite:
- “I love you, Mommy, forever.”
Ah. How cute. Now sign on the dotted line, please.
Originally written in 2011.