- Put the little soap tab thingie in the little door in the dishwasher. If you buy the stuff that pours, and you’re going to have a toddler around any time soon, switch now. This is her very favoritest thing in the whole world, and it makes her feel like a total big shot. One caveat – she did eat one or two in the beginning, and I still have to keep an eye on her to make sure she’s not pocketing one as a snack to barf up later. But it’s very cute, she gets it out after carefully selecting the exact perfect one, sets it in a very particular position in its little home, closes the little door, and then closes the big dishwasher door. And then claps for herself while spinning in a circle screaming ‘Yah yah yah!’
- Put wet laundry into the dryer. This is a good one because she use to be a little afraid of the washer and dryer, so it’s nice that they all get along now. I especially like to have her help with her stuff since, hey, might as well get her use to it before she goes off to college. She’s good with any little items, like socks or her shirts or washcloths, and she’s very funny about making sure everything is nicely tucked in there.
- Close doors. Just make sure to remind them to WATCH YOUR FINGERS!!!! Otherwise this isn’t as much fun.
- Get the mail. It’s nice to get outside and get some fresh air, even briefly, and I hoist her up to the mailbox and let her pull it out and drop it all over the ground. Then we go back inside and sort it, and read through the catalogs and talk about stuff. I feel like it helps with language exposure (how else would she learn the word ‘gauchos’?), and it’s a nice quiet bonding activity when she first gets home before I start dinner. I read something that taking a few minutes like this helps avoid the screaming and meltdowns when the food prep starts, and it does seem to work sometimes.
- Clean up toys. I need to be better about this, mostly so that I can help her learn to pick her crap up but also because then I won’t sigh so much when I look at how messy my house is. I bought two huge tubs with rope handles at BJ’s, $7 for both, and toys get pitched in there. It’s easier and way less time-consuming than the prettier and more organized little colored-buckets-shelf thing. She’s also really good about putting away her crayons, but not so much the fridge magnets all over the kitchen floor.
Ok, now the advice time.