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Leave your mark: Let your “mini me” lend a helping hand

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My two-year-old daughter insists on helping Mom and Dad. That means she is often very close by and at risk of being tripped over.

Add two dachshunds into the mix and you have a moving obstacle course, particularly at dinnertime when the smell of food hits the air.

Keira likes to help take dishes out of the dishwasher while the dogs hover, waiting for a morsel or two to fall. It’s family time in the kitchen and I love every minute of the controlled chaos.

I especially enjoy having Keira help out as best as she can. I don’t fight her desire to mimic my activities. I see it as an opportunity to teach her about the risks lurking in the kitchen. “Hot,” I say as I ask her to step back from the oven. “Dangerous,” I add.

She watches me closely as I pull the piping hot meal out of the oven and set it on the counter, far from her reach. Then I’ll let her open the fridge to grab a milk carton. If she drops it, that’s okay, the dachshunds will come to the rescue!

Keira is obsessed with cleaning wipes or “wipesss” as she annunciates her new, favorite word. I am undecided as to whether this is a good or bad thing. All I know for sure is that I must use cleaning cloths a lot because, now, she wants to “keen” everything with “wipesss.” So, she cleans her windows, her blocks, and even grabs a wipe to help me clean spills. And why not let her? I don’t mind the help and I enjoy the company during this mundane task.

Weeding recently became Keira’s latest interest. “I help weed,” she offers as my husband and I reluctantly tackle the garden.  When she insists on lending a little hand, I wonder, “Really, Keira?” Yet, she doesn’t mind hanging out with us while we pull those pesky weeds we thought we said farewell to last month. Our little girl gets right down in the dirt alongside us and shows her teddy bear how to yank those green beasts out of the ground.

By allowing Keira the freedom to help out, she inadvertently gives us a new perspective on house and yard work. What was once burdensome work is now, in some ways, fun because we slow down to teach her “our ways” along the way.  

I don’t take lightly my responsibility to set a good example for her because I know a “mini me” with a malleable mind is watching my every move.

My “mommy oath” includes a promise to teach Keira how to live a happy life while taking care of the world she has inherited. So, we recycle and she has taken notice.

Many a times I find her toddling into the kitchen after finishing an ice pop. She will open up the recycle bin’s lid and plop the wrapper inside before padding back to the living room.

Each time she does this, I am reminded how much of an impression our actions have upon her. I also realize that the time we spend in sorting the recyclables does make a difference. She is our legacy, and I, as her mommy, will do all I can to give her the tools she needs to live a good life.

I’m her teacher and she eagerly absorbs every lesson I have to offer…with or without wipesss.  

How do you get your children involved with helping?

Trish Grodzicki is new to the Mile High Mamas. She is the proud momma to a two-year-old named Keira and two rambunctious dachshunds. She likes to say she is the mom of three little girls—-some furrier than others.

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Comments
  • comment avatar Jaime Swartzendruber August 11, 2011

    I agree, Trish! We can change the world by focusing on the lessons we teach our children in day-to-day life.

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