But when we come to a moment when there is a pretty big event on the horizon, we make an effort to do some serious practice; like for Greyson's first trick-or-treating experience. So Dada and Grey (and Bully) headed outside to walk up and down the sidewalk while I stood in the door around the corner. Grey practiced and practiced
We practiced a few different days for about five minutes leading up to trick-or-treat night, so that when it came time for the real show -
...It seemed like an old routine, walking up the sidewalk with Dada..
As a note: Grey might not be old enough to totally understand it, but we definitely had a little talk with him about how Halloween is a special day that we go to people's houses and get candy from strangers. This is a holiday, not an everyday practice. Halloween came and went and it only took a few times for Grey to stop coming up to me in the kitchen and saying "chick cheet?" and expecting candy.
Besides practicing, Grey also works on mastering a few chores he has around the house. With a new baby on the way, it will be especially important to have another set of capable hands to help...even if by capable I only mean throwing a piece of garbage away. So since about 15 months, Grey started showing signs of understanding when we were asking of him AND be eager to do helpful things around the house. He only has two true "chores" that he does everyday:
1. he turns off his sound machine before we leave his room after he wakes up
2. he puts his own dirty clothes in his hamper (pajamas in the morning and clothes at night)
Besides those two consistent daily chores, Grey also has a list of things he is able to do successfully by himself that are helpful, like:
1. Throwing away garbage
2. getting his own shoes out of the cupboard in the laundry room
3. getting his own "play outside" coat from the cubby in the laundry room
4. cleaning up his own toys
5. putting his animals back on his bed
6. helping to put laundry in the washer & dryer
7. putting stuff in the compost bin
8. putting food in Bullet's dish...
...speaking of feeding Bullet...here's a little video clip of Grey practicing this chore when he was about 17 months. He was still getting the hang of it, obviously.
There have been many positives and negatives to giving our young toddler chores and things to practice around the house. Some of which include:
- it has helped him understand multiple step instructions ("put your clothes in the hamper and then turn off your sound machine, please")
- it has helped him learn prepositions ("Grey, can you hand me the ball that rolled under the couch?"
- while he does a chore (like getting his own shoes), I can use my hands to be doing something else (like putting on my own shoes)
- it has helped (we hope) Grey understand that he is a part of our family that works together to get things done and that we aren't his slaves
- helps Brandon & I work on patience
- it takes a r.e.a.l.l.y.long.time. what does? you ask...e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
- sometimes it means a new mess to clean up
- forces Brandon & I work on patience