Who knew how much fun housework could be! I know, you think I’m either nuts or sarcastic, but I’m not. Okay, so I am, but not this time.
I’ve mentioned a few times that we’re looking into Montessori for Khaila. I’ve heard great things about their philosophies, my step-mom’s sister works at a school, and my step-mom, coincidentally, brought up to me how she could imagine Khaila going there around the same time I started thinking about it.
I’ve often thought that a two year old couldn’t possibly be old enough to help out with housework other than teaching her to pick up her toys. After reading the Montessori site, I decided to allow her to be a part of our family. Their philosophy is that by allowing your child to help you are showing them respect and showing them that they are full members of the family.
I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but I asked Khaila to pick up some empty bags and put them in the garbage. She did that and then started to ask me if other items were garbage. Luckily, she seems to know what is garbage and what’s not and she asks before throwing something away. The next task was laundry. I put the basket in front of the dryer and she started loading the dryer, piece by soaking wet piece. When it was time to load the washer, she tossed the dirty clothes on top of the washer and I would push them in and make sure that laundry was evenly distributed. When we do dishes, I fill the second sink for rinse water and she gets up on a chair and pulls the clean dishes out.
To see the look of accomplishment on her face reassures me that I am doing the right thing. I used to think that it would be “mean” to expect her to help out more. Now, I think that it would be worse to NOT let her help me. She doesn’t have the attention span to complete a task but that’s okay. I let her help me as long as she’s interested and then she goes off to play while I finish up. Just having her there with me for a little while has made all the difference in the world.
I’m currently trying to find non-toxic cleaners so she can help me wipe down the counters and we’ve switched to vinegar water for the windows and glass. If you want to have fun with a toddler, give them a paper towel, spray the TV or the windows, and race to get it clean. Then, run to the next window and do the same. Usually, we can get all of the windows and glass done in our house within five minutes and we’re laughing hysterically by the time we’re done!