Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When Caroline was about 10 weeks old, she and I were visiting my parents (AKA Grandma and Papa Z) in Toms River. My Aunt Lorry (mother of six) came to see Caroline for the first time. She and my dad (her brother) began reminiscing about their respective experiences parenting during the first few years of their kids' lives. I remember some laughter about the toddler "I do it!" stage, and toddlers' desire to "help" with many activities. I couldn't imagine that the 9 children they had between them could ALL have possibly said the grammatically suspect "I do it", or that walking, talking toddlers would be relatively, well, useless when trying to assist with even the most mundane of activities. Heh. What a sucker I am.

If you ask her, Caroline is capable of doing pretty much everything all by herself. For the past few weeks she uses her super-angry voice to shriek, "I DO IT!!!!!", whenever we mention nearly any non-Caroline-only activity. She gives herself baths (removes all of her clothes and turns on the bathwater)...she feeds herself (this really isn't anything new, except she wants to pour herself drinks from giant bottles that just might outweigh her)...and she dresses herself (stretches out the necks to 3 times their normal size to get them over her noggin, and then takes 15 minutes to find any necessary arm and leg holes). If you attempt to assist her in any way, she absolutely freaks out.

Additionally, she demands to help with nearly every activity we perform -- like laundry, leaf-raking, and cleaning. Although the thought is appreciated, this help is really not constructive. It results in tasks taking MUCH longer than anticipated. I believe this is what my dad and aunt referred to as "negative help". If their sage advice is to be followed, it seems that once Caroline has skills enough to be useful, she will no longer WANT to help us. She will, in fact, resent our asking for help.

But she is SUPER cute when she stretches that shirt over her head and yells, "I did it!!! I did it myself!!!". Apparently, if I were a superhero, cuteness would be my kryptonite. And that's just fine with me.


Blogger Melissa said...

We have plenty of laundry here, if Caroline wants to practice. She really couldn't do a worse job than I do.

Hopefully she'll get to the competent stage soon. Can you imagine how liberating it would be to think, "The baby needs to get dressed," and then just tell the baby to go get dressed on its own? AWESOME. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. . . .

I hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving today. Take care!

November 23, 2006 8:20 PM  

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