Birdie is my helper child.
If Smootch sees me coming with a vacuum cleaner and cleaning cloths, she's out of there faster than light. Birdie, though, will yell out, 'yay' and clap his hands.
He adores being helpful.
Let me clarify that: he adores being helpful and doing it his way.
I like to encourage Birdie to help with the work of our household. It's better if I focus on the process rather than the outcome. Even if a window 'washed' by Birdie looks worse than when he started. Frankly, with the house looking like it does, it really doesn't make much of a difference anyway, and it's probably better that I feel good about the mess because I helped Birdie develop confidence, a cooperative spirit and domestic skills rather than feel terrible because I haven't had time to get to it because I'm busy with Birdie.
It's all perspective.
It doesn't always go smoothly. Yesterday Birdie helped make my bed and during the process, Birdie stormed out twice and I had to scream in my pillow for a bit. Times that like remind me it's easier to change my attitude than to change a two year old's mind. And saves the neighbors having to wonder what all the yelling is about.
Sometimes I have to outright say No to the boy - No Helping. He's never been good with that word and will usually push me until I make a concession, however small, to his desire or put him in timeout. He's a little relentless that way, bless him.
Othertimes, it's fun to just let him at it. Call the shots. Caterer to his idiosyntric toddler ways. It's like reading a good book, with plenty of interesting happenings and plot twists.
And the ending is always a surprise.
I can't tell you how not excited The Man is to come home to a Birdie made dinner. The Man tries to be a good sport, but I think when you spend your day in the world of adults, where the everyone is concerned with the bottom line and the ends justify the means blah blah, it's hard to make a mental adjustment the sticky slow days with a couple of small, irrational autocrats. Which is probably why he sometimes isn't too hungry after work and then makes a pot of curry noodles after the kids go to bed.
Which is too bad. Birdie has some pretty good ideas sometimes. If he's allowed to do it his way.