I have written before about Hannah’s willingness to help out with tasks around the house. She has always been naturally curious about the things we do and she often wants to participate.
Over time we have gently encouraged Hannah to be a productive member of the household. Even though she is only two, she has proven herself to be more than capable of participating in meaningful ways. What’s more, she loves it! She really seems to enjoy being able to help out and do the things we do.
Even though we are used to Hannah’s positive attitude towards helping, there are still times that she surprises us. Yesterday evening was one of those times.
After dinner last night I was pottering around the kitchen when Hannah asked for “up please” from her booster seat. I helped her down, then returned to my cleaning efforts. However, Hannah’s next actions caught my eye and quickly I found myself engrossed in watching the actions of the tiny tot.
Hannah reached back up onto the table and gently grabbed her plate. She ever-so-delicately lowered it down, then set about carrying it from the dining table to the kitchen. The whole time, she diligently kept her eyes on the plate, making sure that none of the (substantial) leftovers fell off.
After what must have seemed like a long walk, Hannah finally made it to the kitchen. She performed and amazing balancing act while she wrestled open the cabinet door and bin with one hand, while somehow managing to not spill a single thing from her plate. She was successful.
Hannah then used her fork to diligently scrape the food scraps from her plate and into the bin. She persisted at that task for quite a while, making sure that she removed every last bit of the salmon that was stuck to here plate. Finally, when she was satisfied, she took her plate over to the open dishwasher and placed it inside.
Hannah then went about the business of being a toddler once more. She didn’t seek praise for having done something good, she just toddled off and looked for something to play with.
I don’t know what I expected having a two year old to be like, but that certainly wasn’t it. If you ask my parents I’m sure they would be happy to tell you that I didn’t master those skills until well into my 20s. In fact, if you ask Emma, she would probably tell you that it’s questionable whether I have mastered cleaning up after myself at all.
I do know that Hannah’s day care centre teaches the children to perform these kinds of tasks and, as I said before, we have always gently encouraged Hannah to participate in all aspects of family life. Perhaps the consistency of this type of guidance in two key environments has helped her to develop enough awareness to realise that something must be done with her plate after dinner. Whatever the reason, I’m happy Hannah has this mentality already and I sure do hope it sticks around!