Tuesday, February 28, 2012

They Can Do It!

The morning started off a little quieter than usual. Itty Bitty was the first to arrive. I met dad at the door and went to say hello to Anne waiting in the truck on her way to school while dad took Itty Bitty out of her car seat. Anne was holding up a new dress mom had bought for her. She showed me the safety pins mom had placed on the sleeves and then told me she needed me to sew it up for her. She would need the dress tonight for the daddy daughter dance. “Will do” I told her and after a kiss and good bye hug , dad handed me Itty Bitty, and off dad went to drop Anne at school on his way to work.
I played with Itty Bitty while waiting for the second little one to arrive, Reese, almost three years old. I heard mom parking at my side door and holding Itty Bitty I went outside to say hello to Grace who was waiting in mom’s car on her way to school. She was excited to show me her new movie that she was watching on the cars DVD player. Now holding Itty Bitty and taking Bella with me back into the house I said good bye, “hope your day is good”, to my daughter who is a teacher at Grace’s school.
With my two loves back inside I started to make breakfast. The kids are very fond of ‘gramma’s oatmeal’ and won’t eat at home if they know they are coming here. Later when her mom calls to check on her she asks me what I do to the oatmeal that all the kids love it so much. Well, it’s nothing spectacular I tell her. But I do use the old fashion kind rather than the instant or quick cooking. Old Fashioned cooks in the same amount of time as the other kinds in the microwave. I don’t care for the texture of the other ones myself; it makes me gag. So maybe that is the secret we decide.
Breakfast is almost over and I am putting Itty Bitty down by the toys; when I turn back to the kitchen I see that there is a huge mess of oatmeal and peaches all around the table. How could one child make such a mess in a mere minute? Oh well I think, and I start to clean it up.

We are waiting for the third child to arrive when I notice Itty Bitty has a runny nose. I grab a tissue and make a plan of attack. Itty Bitty hates having her nose wiped like nothing or nobody else. There’s knocking on the side door, and May, three yrs old has arrived. The girls giggle and hug each other before tearing off to play. Mom has been called off work today so she will be keeping Itty Bitty’s baby cousin with her. I tell her to enjoy her time with him.
Soon it is time for Itty Bitty’s bottle and nap. I check on the girls in the playroom. They are playing calmly and quietly, so I take my time with Itty Bitty enjoying having these moments with her. Then with her sleeping in the pack n play in my room, I ease the door closed and then go peek into the playroom.  It’s very cleaned up looking in there. Both girls are looking at me with a big silly grin on their faces. Huh oh, I’m sensing trouble. I start really looking at the room and notice that the bookshelf is missing all its books and all the stuffed toys. The toy kitchen is cleared of all dishes and plastic food. The blanket chest is open with not one blanket is in it.

But the 3 expanding tunnels however are all standing on end in the middle of the room. (These tunnels are great by the way; anyone with kids should have these. They entertain the kids and help them use up excess energy then collapse to almost nothing for storage)

I looked into the tunnels and found that the girls have emptied every drawer, shelf, and tub they could find and threw it all into the three tunnels! Every toy in the room, movie, doll and dress up item they could find was in there! A look at their faces proved to show that they were also very proud of themselves! Well, I told them they had completed an incredible accomplishment filling those tunnels. Now they need to see how fast they could empty them by putting everything away.
They looked at me in astonishment, I heard things like ‘I will later’, and ‘I’m too tired right now’, or  ‘I don’t know where it goes’. But I calmly sat right there in the room with them, watching and supervised the putting away of every single thing. Yes, I occasionally helped. I gave them great encouragement, I was firm, not at all mean about it. I didn’t raise my voice but I did keep assuring them that they could do the job. After all they put it all in the tunnel; they could take it out too. There would be a big reward for working together I assured them, and I kept my word right after with Popsicles  Of course nothing is very organized or straight on the shelves or in the drawers. The dress up clothes are not fold but wadded and stuffed in the dresser drawers, along with all the doll stuff. But, the lesson was to work together and clean up and they did it.

It’s amazing what a child can do in just a few minutes. They are capable of so much more than we give them credit for or allow them to do. Try your kids and see what they can accomplish. Please talk to them with respect and as if you have complete faith in their ability to do the task at hand. Give good step by step instructions patiently. See what they can surprise you with.

Have you had an experience like this with your grandkids? If it ended in a way that you and the kids are proud of, I would like to hear about it!

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  1. LOL Brent ALWAYS pulled that I Too Tired thing on me when he was two! Glad to hear he was not the only one. Great story...a lovely glimpse into the daily goings on....

  2. Well I could learn a lot from you! I am STILL picking up toys from yesterday, just randomly dumped and left. For some reason it never occured to me to do anything besides cleaning them up myself....um, I think it's gonna be different next week1 Thanks!

  3. What a great post and I loved hearing all the details of your day with the grands! Amara has always been pretty good at cleaning up after herself but like you said it helps if I am just patient with her and encourage her through the process. Although! I did go through a period of hiding things like tape and scissors that she would leave laying around when she was done. After she searched everywhere for the missing item I would give them back and remind her to put them away next time. It only took a couple of times of this to get her to put things back!

  4. Precious photos! Bubby and Mac love the tunnels, too. Such simple fun. The boys do make HUGE messes all the time, especially with their millions of Matchbox cars and billions of blocks. But when we race or see how many we can pick up, counting as we go, they're usually pretty good about pitching in. So in agreement that speaking to them respectfully accomplishes so much more than nagging and yelling.


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