Toddlers Can DO Things

I mentioned in Dylan’s 19 month old post how hard he’s working to do things just like we do.

This results in adorable things like him trying to carry things twice his size.

It also results in purely not-yet-functional things, like him trying to work a screwdriver (here on an old laptop).

Even as young as he is, his desire to participate allows him to really get involved in our daily life.

He has started carrying in firewood, for example. Yes, he’s very slow, toddling the wood in one piece at a time. But he picks it up from the garden cart himself, carries it into the house, and places it in (approximately) the right place.

He can let Basement Cat in or out when she asks.

He can turn on a light when requested. This one is awesome, because it requires tools. He has to find something to stand on and move it to the light switch in order to reach.

He’s started helping with cooking tasks, like stirring up the eggs in preparation for making scrambled eggs.

Last night I was cooking dinner, and he picked up the pepper grinder and tried to grind pepper.

It’s really easy to overlook all this effort on his part – to be in a hurry, to want things done a certain way, to be mocking of his “helping”.

But what’s happening is extraordinary! I never taught him what to do with the pepper grinder. He just thought, “I can do that,” and he did it. Each of those little steps in learning tasks and skills is fascinating and enjoyable to him. His whole life right now is, “Hmm. I can do that,” “Hmm. I can do that,” “Hmm, I can do that.”

How awesome is that!? Please, may my tedious ideas about schedules and correctness interfere as little as possible in the face of such connectedness to the tiny details of right now.

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