Since I am breastfeeding, I have had a lot more spare time to read magazines. They're entertaining and don't require too much of my focused attention. I found this awesome app for my iPad called Next Issue. For $15 a month, I get access to a ton of fantastic magazines and their back issues. I love this because it eliminates all the clutter of magazines lying around the house, which is particularly problematic for me because I feel guilty throwing a magazine in the recycling bin after one read. I feel like either a friend could use it or I should recoup some of my cash by reselling it at Bookmans for fifty cents. But, my friends don't want the clutter either and my good intentions never get me to Bookmans so the magazines start accumulating on either my desk or coffee table. This app is genius.
During one of my nursing sessions, I was swiping through an issue of Real Simple and found an article about how to get kids to help out with household chores. They even listed age appropriate chores for each age group. Listed under 3 year olds was put away own clothes. I thought "this is perfect, Cam is 4. I can easily teach Cam to start hanging up her clothes."
So I tried it. First task: hang up her uniform shirts. The article stated to first show your child step by step how to do the chore. It said to be prepared for some "eye rolls" due to how you need to explain every step. So I start, "Cam, let me show you how to hang up your shirts, first you..."
"I know. I can do it," she says as she grabs the hanger and shirt out of my hands. She then tries in vain to get the hanger in the shirt, decides its too hard and then immediately says she doesn't want to do it anymore. Thankfully, I'm persistent and she eventually lets me show her how.
"Ok Cam, we need some more hangers can you go get some from your closet?" I expect this to be a five second task where she walks over, grabs a few hangers and walks back. It's not. Cam has a sliding door closet which has two sides. Slide one door to access one side, the other door slides the opposite way to get to the other side. Camdyn does not go to the open side of the closet to get the hangers. She opens the opposite side of the closet, shimmies herself in, and closes the door.
Silence. Bear in mind, this is a pretty small closet.
"Camdyn, are you getting a hanger?"
"Mama, I'm in an elevator."
"Can you get a hanger please?"
"Ok. Ok." I hear her whispering and playing pretend in the closet. Some shuffling and I see the closet doors shake a little as she moves to the other side. The doors shake again, one side opens, her hand appears and a pink plastic hanger hurtles toward my head.
"Thanks Cam. (Must remain calm else I will never get her to complete this) now, come out and hang up your shirt."
She does come out and does a beautiful job hanging up the shirt.
"Ok now take this, hang it up and bring out some more hangers"
She takes the shirt, walks to the closet and closes the door behind her. Yes, we go through that whole process again. The article doesn't mention what to do in this situation. Thankfully, my teacher instincts take over and I start making my instructions incredibly specific. " Camdyn, walk over to the closet. Go to THAT door. Take out five hangers. Bring them over here using your hands. Sit down.
All the shirts get hung up! I still need to repeat this adventure a dozen more times before i'm able to transfer that job to her. Thus, her clothes have been sitting in the laundry basket in her room for a few days and there they will stay until I find a moment (and the energy) to coach her again. Not giving up though!