I was handwashing a bunch of dishes this morning, partly because a bunch of non-dishwasherable things had stacked up and partly because opening the dishwasher while Charlie is awake has become a three-ring circus that I can't hardly manage.

Calvin came in, and just on a whim, I asked him if he'd like to dry the things I put on the counter and put them away. "Sure," he said, and he got out a towel. He started chattering away while he was drying, and innovating as he went: "Mom, how 'bout if you hand me the pans after you wash them, then I won't have to go back and forth." I explained that I just wanted to stand in one place, too, and wash everything first then I would help him put things away.

Then he disappeared for a minute and I thought I had lost my brief helper. But he came back with a large bathroom towel and said, "Since I'm carrying wet things across the floor, I brought this towel to keep the floor dry."

"I'm doing a good job, huh, Mom?" he asked a couple of times and I assured him that he was.

"I like this! It's fun to work with you. We're going to be done quick because we're helping each other," he said a little while later.

He stayed in the kitchen and helped me dry every last dish (there was quite a stack!), lining up all the things that he couldn't reach to put away in a perfect line on the edge of the counter for me to take care of.

It made me happy to work along with my little boy like that and he smiled so proudly when I told him thanks. It made me realize how eager he actually is to be a help and to please me, how he wants to do things better. I definitely need to remember that at other times, when he's not so helpful or pleasing, and build on what I know he really wants: approval and help and time with his mom.


Anonymous said...

Thats beautiful....he's getting to be a such a big boy!

And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has to develop a super secret method for using the dishwasher. Ryan can hear the beep of the dishwasher opening from across the house, and comes running to "help", which basically consists of him trying to climb in the machine, and slamming the racks around. I need to wait until he's asleep to do dishes these days!

S said...

Wow can you rent him out?

Nicole said...

Sounds like somewhat of a pleaser. I love that. I'll take all the help I can get.

Thanks for the encouraging words on my blog. It really meant a lot to get such a positive comment.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Your Calvin sounds a lot like my little Keri. Kids are so eager to help and please us, I just need to remember to let them do so more often!

Unknown said...

This is very very sweet. Thank you so much for sharing. I will carry the picture in my mind for a while.

And the reminder about giving my kids my full approval is much-needed as well.