We have had precious few days of warmth and sun up here in the Arctic Circle. We're really not even close to the Arctic Circle, but sometimes it sure seems like it would be nice to live much, MUCH further south!
However, the other day, Clara and I had a wonderful day in the backyard... let me show you!
We have a lot of pictures of her peering into this bucket.
"It's a BUCKET!!!"
Ice Cream Sandwich Face. I discovered that they make miniature ice cream sandwiches - I think they're supposed to be for dietary 'Only 100 Calorie!' type purposes, but I'm pretty sure they're just the regular ice cream sandwiches - just toddler sized!
And she LOVES them! She gets almost to the end before it starts to melt.
She spent almost the entire day diaper-free. I think she only peed once outside of her diaper or a potty that day - and I think it was within a few feet of the potty, so that counts, right?
She's been really interested in using the potty lately. She'll come up to us and say 'I Pee? I pee!' So I'll ask if she has to go pee and she'll say 'Yeah!'. Half the time when she gets to the potty she decides it's just a fun game and doesn't actually want to go through with the diaper removal, but every once in awhile she actually sits bare-bummed on the potty and pees. She's been using the potty exclusively to poop since she was about 8 months old, so she's definitely comfortable on it.
I do not consider myself a 'natural' parent. I don't trust my instincts, although when I have heard all of the angles, I do trust my own common sense. That being said, I am always ready and willing to hear another Mom's perspective on how they do things, and I am also willing to admit that I may not be doing things very well myself.
A couple of weeks ago, we had friends over for supper and I was trying to get a few dishes done before we started dessert. The Moms were in the kitchen chatting and I can't remember where the Dads were - we were being very 'Mennonite'* in our interaction, I guess.
While I was trying to get this done, my daughter started throwing a bit of a tantrum and I recall voicing my frustration at how sometimes I'm at a loss as to how to deal with her. She throws tantrums when she NEEDS nothing! My friend very kindly said 'Have you ever thought of getting her to help?'.
I said 'Do the dishes?'
My friend said 'Yes'.
I said 'She's not even 18 months old...'
At this point, my friend suggested I pull a chair up to the sink and just let her play in the rinse water.
My daughter was ecstatic. She had the time of her life splashing in the rinse water and 'helping'. It was great.
So it started a journey for me of discovering how to get Clara involved as much as possible. I've discovered that she is not only fascinated by the prospect of helping out, she's also not too bad at it - for an 18 month old, anyway :)
Here's my proud little fuzz-head helping me with dishes. The easiest thing to get her to do is to put cutlery away. She mostly just piles it into the drawer all helter-skelter, but it thrills her to do it.
Please don't look at how gross my kitchen is...
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