I get a lot of weekly/monthly development emails for Hailey. When I was preggers, I signed up for everything. I wanted to me the most informed mom and learn everything I could, because hey, I never did this before. I didn't want to rely on friends and relatives opinions. I wanted to raise my child my own way and take some tips from the "experts". Well, the tip I have been getting a lot lately is what I call the Great Chore Debate. At what age should we start having our children clean up and do things? Some experts say now, they should learn responsibility as soon as possible while other experts, mostly moms I have noticed, seem to say "What, are you crazy? My little tornado clean up? Wishful thinking!"
Well here is my take on it. Ever since Hailey could walk, she learned to throw her own diapers away after we changed them. It's called "doing her job". She learned that after she was done eating, to hand us her plate and cup and wait to be wiped. I have recently started asking her to help clean up her toys as well. It works really well in the bath tub. She puts all her bath toys in her basket and we have finally learned to pour the water out in the tub before putting them the basket and getting the floor wet.
As far as her room or play room, I guess there are just too many distractions. We keep working on it though. We sing the clean up song and put things away but it is kind of hard because I want certain things in certain places. If we have her box of blocks out, we can clean just them up, but when we have EVERYTHING out, it becomes more of a mommy job. Sometimes she sees me cleaning up and she comes over and just randomly dumps out a box of toys like her little people and walks away. I don't know what the experts would say about that, but I just deal with it and continue to clean up. We address the action, but she doesn't get reprimanded. I just tell her that wasn't nice and now mommy has to clean that up. She usually comes over and starts playing to act like she had a purpose, but I know she didn't. She is just being my little toddler tornado!
I saw this great quote a long time ago and I never understood it until I had a child of my own. "Cleaning up after your children is like trying to shovel while it's still snowing" We will keep working on her helping out and we will eventually get a chore chart so she can contribute, but for now, she is just a toddler tornado having fun and if you come over to my house, watch you don't trip over toys!