Anna, now 17 months, absolutely loves to help me. “Anna, do you want to help Mommy unload the dishwasher?” meets with an enthusiastic “please!” sign, and she sets off running for the kitchen, opening the dishwasher if it is unlatched. Anna hands me the silverware one piece at a time, plus her plates. She really would like to help with everything on the bottom rack, but I’ve mostly convinced her that the good dishes are my job.
Then there’s laundry. She loves to push the laundry bin across our laminate floors from the bedroom to the laundry. Or, really, anywhere. The other day, we were on the couch reading a book when she heard the song to say the washer was done (yes, our washer and dryer sing a song). Anna signed “all done! [I] help!” and quickly slid off the couch and beelined for the laundry. She likes to put things into the washer and really really likes to push the buttons, which also make cheerful noises. She’s pretty good at following directions “press the circle button…” Yes, the laundry has a child lock.
Anna helps with the mail sometimes, especially at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, where the mail is a journey.
Her favorite way to help with dinner is to use the salad spinner, with or without salad.
Her proudest accomplishment to date is helping me fill the bird feeder, as watching birds is a favorite pastime. At least once a day, at mealtime, Anna will look out the window at the birds and say/sign, in some order, “Mama. Help. Bird. Eat.” “Yes, Anna, you helped Mommy put the bird seed in the bird feeder!” This is nearly always followed by Anna nodding sagely.
In other news, she now says a word that sounds like a real word–“sit.” She first said it when our neighbor Janice commanded her dog to sit, prompting Anna to say “sit!” and sit in solidarity with Lulu the dog. She even helps with dog training.