Lately both of my girls are becoming increasingly capable of performing little tasks for themselves that I had been doing for them. Sometimes these are things that they instinctively start to take over themselves, and some are things that all of a sudden I realise they could do if I asked them too. I don't always remember to ask them to (and - oops - have sometimes opted not to) do these sorts of things, but I know that I should. Some of these things are: putting their dirty washing in the basket when they have a bath, tipping their food scraps in to the bin and their dishes in the sink, helping to put toys away, assisting to clean up their own spills, etc. To different extents, both girls like to do chores with me. There are several reasons why I think this is important. More on that in a moment.
Natalie often says to me, "I want to help you do dishes." Sometimes this is ok, but there are moments when I find it really hard because I know it's going to take longer and in some instances I really just want to get it done in time to cook dinner, or go out, or welcome a visitor who I know is coming soon... but I try to let her join in whenever possible, because I don't want her to get to the point where she doesn't want to do it anymore or doesn't bother asking because she assumes the answer will be no. The time we spend doing 'ordinary' things are going to be sweet memories that I'll treasure later.
One of Hayley's latest phrases is, 'do it!' Basically it means she either wants me to stop helping her and let her 'do it' herself or else she wants to have a turn at what I am doing - of course if big sister can do it, so should she! It's pretty cute.
Allowing children to do things for themselves independently when they can, and helping them to increase that capacity is so important. They grow so much in confidence and happiness as they do these little things. Cooperating/assisting in household tasks is likewise important for that reason and also it teaches them skills they will need later in life, the value of working with others, and that they have a role to play in contributing to home life. That will of course transfer into work skills
I love my girls and am always pleased to see the new little things they can accomplish by themselves. There is a part of me that shouts, "Stop growing up" but I know that I just have to spend as much time in each of these moments as I can before things shift. Then I'll have a new stage to enjoy and not have to regret so much that I wasn't living in the moment they just moved out of.
The wheel keeps turning. Time won't stand still. So I remind myself to enjoy the now.