Sunday, August 8, 2010

Help is relative.

After being friends with Real for a decade, sometimes I am not sure who came up with what and what stories are mine and which are hers. While it is fun to have a friend for this long, sometimes I feel a little touched by dementia. The saying, "Help is relative" is an example of this. Real says it and so do I, but I am not sure who said it first. What it means is sometimes help is not really help. When someone comes over "helps" by holding your three day old baby while you vacuum, that is not help. Vacuuming for you, so you can hold your new baby, that is help.

Last night, I was experiencing a bit of "help" myself. Esme (age 3) wanted to help get ready for our trip to see Real and her family. (I AM SO EXCITED!) She promptly snuck off with her suitcase and loaded several outfits. I was impressed.... until she came back to show me that she had added the dogs kibble to the top of it all. Not help. So now I have to wash everything again.

It was late and I could see that we were both overtired. Instead of pouting about this small setback, I gave her something she could do to help. She folded washcloths. Then she matched socks and put them away. Finally, my smartie pants determined these things were not getting ready for the trip. So we decided she could help by loading the water into the cooler, getting the crayons ready to go, and petting the doggies and telling them what they would be doing while we were gone. Suddenly, she was help!

It would do me good to remember that even the smallest of helpers can be real help if I take the time to give them jobs they can succeed at.


RealMom4Life said...

I have to give you credit for that saying my dear friend, and I use it all the time!

That's a good reminder of how the littlest ones can help. I've been at the point in my life that I have enough older ones (7-15) that I can assign one of them to entertain the little ones while everyone else helps me. Unfortunately I've noticed that my 5 year old still considers herself in the category of to be entertained rather than the category of helpers. I think we need to redo some of the things around here.

Do you think it would be wrong to give my 2 year old one M-n-M for straightening the shoes every day? I'm kidding (sort of). The check off chart doesn't offer him any incentive? Then again, it only offers the older kids an incentive because they cannot play until everything is done :)

WE CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU GUYS! Elizabeth is so excited to play with Esme again!

偉曹琬 said...