L, aged four, loves his little jobs around the house. Him getting actively involved in a few daily chores does actually help me out (sometimes … ) and it gives him a real sense of achievement – he loves to feel busy (even if only for a minute!) and he gets a real kick out of contributing to something we can later feel great about (“Mummy’s happy … this has to be a good thing … ” etc etc ..). The other marvellous thing about all that, is that he still gets excited about doing the things I hate : emptying the dishwasher (I’ve learnt not to watch), mopping (hahaha), cleaning mirrors (hahaha again) but his all time favourite thing to do, is lugging the paper-baskets outside and emptying them, sheet by sheet, ad by ad into the big. blue. bin.
It’s bigger than him, so the whole thing has become a bit of a ritual: first I carry the overloaded baskets of tripe they put through the door every day (ok, so not tripe = the occasional reeeeally good Monday / Thursday offer from Lidl, #lovethem (phssst) ) down the stairs and line them up strategically ‘inside’ the front door (very important, as he wants to take them ‘out’, which he can’t do if they’re already ‘out’ …. he said), then we both go back upstairs and he supervises while I export his little wooden chair and place it next to the blue bin. He climbs up and lifts lid of said bin as far as he can reach and I put my back out on a fortnightly basis elevating him in a sort of arc manner not uncommon to Superman-setting-out-sideways-from-the-pinnacle-of-a-large-rock, so he can flap it open the rest of the way. Done and dusted. Except:
Today, I suggested he bring down a half box with some papers in it, then he could have fun flattening the box and putting it in the bin too. Well let’s just say, my child loves a good challenge :
This was the box
We had to amend our strategy … Linda was proving to be a tough cookie and L was having none of that:
so we had to get serious
L learned quickly that you can’t ‘bash a box’ with a tractor and more of the desired effect was lost in in the fact that ‘running it over’ just resulted in Linda being trailed across the yard. Face down..
We had to get the heavies in
Plan C and we tried overloading it with every random thing we could find,
including .. ahem …
But then, and not for the first time in his life, my little man looked outside of Linda …
and came up with an alternative, eco-friendly, make-Mummy-laugh til she cried solution:
… and then we went in.