Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Keep them busy

If you have a toddler, or have ever had a toddler, you probably know the key to keeping them happy is keeping them busy. Like I said in a  previous post, sometimes household chores are the perfect way to occupy a toddler. We had a repairman out to our house today to fix some trim that had some pretty severe water damage. The Eskimo was fascinated by this stranger with a tool belt and a saw. Of course, he wanted to help, but that wasn't really conducive to the repairman safely completing his work in a timely manner. Plus, I recognize that while I think my child is adorable and I love having him "help" me with tasks, strangers probably don't want a toddler underfoot while they're trying to get their work done. As a compromise, I got out the Eskimo's tools, and let him "repair" a 2 by 4 at a safe distance. This allowed him to watch the repairman without having to be underfoot. 


Letting your toddler help you with daily tasks is another way to keep them busy. I know this can be really annoying. Believe me, I know. But the Eskimo wants so badly to do whatever I'm doing and I have a feeling this eagerness to help will not last long, so I'm taking advantage while I can. This morning I was stuffing the dogs' Kongs for the week. To do this, I fill them up with dog food and put a little plug of canned food on them and stick them in the freezer. I don't really enjoy this task, but it's something I have to do at least once a week. Normally I try to occupy the Eskimo with something else, but he wouldn't leave me alone today. I looked down at him today and realized there is absolutely no reason why he can't "help" me with this task. All he had to do was put kibble inside the Kongs. This was great fine-motor practice for him and the only real "danger" involved was the possibility of him eating some dog food. And if dog food is the most disgusting thing that goes in his mouth today, I'm going to call it a win.

Yes, it's easier to do it yourself. It always takes longer to do something when there's a toddler involved. I think that's written in stone somewhere. This is where it's important to remember that you're the grownup, and it's your job to teach the child (I have to chant this to myself sometimes). But if you don't give your toddler opportunities to practice, he'll never learn. One day, the Eskimo will be able to take over the task of stuffing the Kongs every week. Now if I could just get him to clean the bathrooms..... 

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