Growing up, my brother and I were expected to do our share of chores. We picked up our toys, washed the dishes, and made our beds. (Actually, I made my bed, but I am pretty sure my brother never made his bed.) Now we are trying to get Kellan to participate more in cleaning up around the house. We encourage him to pick up his cars and trucks, which always seem to be underfoot, and we talk to him about putting things away (like paints and craft materials) after we use them. We make up games and have "races" to make cleaning more fun. For the most part, it works.
A new task we are trying lately is having Kellan bring his dishes to the sink. but he's not always willing. This morning, he dropped his bowl of cereal just as he reached me, splattering milk and granola bits all over the floor. Then he slipped on the mess and ended up soaked from front to back. I guess there's a downside to having a three-year-old put away his own dishes.
I'm not sure exactly when kids are supposed to start helping out at home. I figure it's never too early to start. Even if he's not always excited about helping out, it will probably pay off later to encourage him as much as we can. I can't imagine cleaning up after him when he's a teenager! Am I delusional or am I forgetting what it was like to be a kid?
If there's one thing that exasperates me - and amuses me - these days, it's my son's insistence on wearing his pajamas all day. When I tell him it's time to put his clothes on, he says, "I want to wear my PJ's all day." I laugh and call him my funny little lounge lizard. Then I get tough and make him put on some clothes!
The thing is, just once, I would like to wear my pajamas all day. I'm not always good at relaxing. So if I had a day with no responsibilities and I didn't have to bother getting out of my pajamas, I would finish my cup of coffee in the morning before it got cold. I would actually read the newspaper instead of scanning the headlines on the front page!
I'm just getting warmed up now. If I got to wear my pajamas all day, I would make pancakes from scratch and make a smiley face with blueberries in every one. I would ignore the breakfast dishes in favor of letting my food digest comfortably while watching something frivolous, like a makeover show. I would finish knitting the scarf that is taking me over a month to complete when it really should only take a couple of days. I would sit outside in the sunshine with a good book. Oh, and I would take a nap!
On second thought, maybe I should let my three-year-old have one full day in his pajamas. Sounds like we could both use a carefree day of lounging.
Just because it's summer doesn't mean we don't have a routine. This summer, Kellan has been going to a day camp, which he's enjoyed for the most part. But there are still times when suffers from separation anxiety. I thought that was supposed to end when the toddler years ended but I'm learning otherwise.
There are mornings, especially after the weekend, when my sonhe's is reluctant to go. Earlier this week, he clung to my leg and sobbed inconsolably. He said he wanted to stay home that morning, but I had no idea he would fall apart. After several minutes of reassurances, I felt awful prying him off my leg and leaving him there.
This made me wonder if my son had school avoidance - we call the day camp "school" since it's in the same classroom as his preschool class and he follows nearly the same schedule. After reading up on the issue, I 'm not sure that's what's going on right now. My husband told me he had anxiety about going school when he was in kindergarten and he'd go as far as pretending he was sick to avoid going. When I asked him why he did that, he said he just wanted to stay at home with his mom. Maybe our son just doesn't want to leave me? I had no idea I was that fun to be around.
Joking aside, I do want to keep on top of this. His teacher let me know that Kellan recovered quickly after I left. He played well with the other kids and participated in all of the activities. I noticed he ate his lunch, which is always a good sign. When I asked him about his day, he said he cried in the morning, but just a little bit. He still isn't able -or maybe even willing - to tell me what was wrong that morning, but I'm hoping lots of reassurance and quality one-on-one time will help put him at ease before the new school year rolls around.