Of O’s many, many annoying traits, which you can read about here and here and here, one of her more endearing quality is her helpfulness. Please don’t misunderstand. It’s not like she’s helpful whenever I ask her. Oh no! The helpfulness usually comes only when she wants, and only when it possibly the least helpful to me at that time.
Usually she really like to help when I’m making some sort of food. In the morning in an effort to save some money, I have been making sandwiches. Usually I let DH make them, but his lack of… how should I put it… love… he puts in making them, I complain bitterly at the office. He puts mayonaise on one of breads, and he just throws the salami and cheese on the sandwich and that’s it. It’s a freaking TRAVESTY! I mean, if you are going to put mayonaise on the sandwich, you have to HAVE TO put it on both pieces of bread. And you have to create some sort of height to the sandwich, not just flat pieces of cold cuts. I like to think that my sandwich rivals the best of sandwiches… it has three-dimensionality… it has TOMATO!! As you can tell, I do not thin very highly of DH’s sandwich making skills. He’s a good cook otherwise, but this… he should just throw in the towel. Except when I am tired and can’t be bothered to make a sandwich. Which usually coinscides with the same exact time he feels the same way.
But getting back to O’s, I help you, Mommy! The second she sees me pulling the bread out of the freezer, she grabs the step ladder, I help you, Mommy! Too heavy, too heavy! (referring to the step ladder that she is trying to drag across the kitchen to bring to counter.) She then yells as her father, and tells him not to touch the oven or the freshly toasted bread because it’s Too Hot, Daddy! Too hot!! Her main responsibility it to put the cold cuts and cheese on the sandwich. We discuss the strategic placement of each slice to give the sandwich the greatest height. When it comes to tomato cutting, I handle the knife, and she puts her hand on my wrist to help me cut. So there we are cutting tomato. Because there are only two sandwiches to be made, O demands her own. So I make her a small English muffin sandwich. Once it’s wrapped in the tin foil, she holds on to it for dear life, and proudly shows everyone who will listen. That’s My sandwich, Daddy. Not yours. This is your sandwich. I made sandwich for you, you and me. (pointing to everyone in turn.) I did find out that she doesn’t actually eat the sandwich. Titi ends up eating because she takes one bite and says she doesn’t like it.
If she is in the mood in the mornings, sometimes she helps me make my bed. First we put the flat sheet, then we put the quilt. Yes, I know it’s 150 degrees outside, but I always need to start my sleeping with a cover. NO matter the temperature.
Doing laundry. It seems that every Tuesday, Titi takes O and the other two girls to do her laundry. So O is now familiar with putting clothes in a washing machine; switching to the dryer. And apparently, sometimes she disrobes right in the laundry mat and puts her own clothes to get washed. She is super helpful with me as well. Granted her favorite part is to push the button to start the washer or dryer.
Sweeping. This is by far her favorite cleaning activity. However, not as the picture frame comes crashing down to the floor as the too tall for her broom handle hits the wall. I now have to do any sweeping in complete secrecy or the brief 10 minutes (if lucky) that she takes a nap. Sometimes I have to send both DH and O out to somewhere, anywhere, to get out of my way.
Doing dishes for her is by far the most entertaining. It can take up to like 20 minutes to wash a strainer. A good way to distracter.
I kind of think that Titi might have a side operation of house cleaning using the little tikes as her unskilled labor. O is much much too keen I think about doing dishes. I can only hope when she is 13 she remembers how much fun she had being helpful and will continue doing her chores!