My little helper

Today is the last Monday that my daughter will be 1.  Next Sunday, she turns 2, which means a variety of things — most of which I’ll be writing about this week.  It means that I’m looking back over the last year and remembering what all we’ve done and how much she’s changed and grown.  It means that I’m wondering how in the world time really does go so fast.  And it means I’m cleaning my house and getting ready for a birthday party on Saturday.  It’s a small one with just some close relatives, but I still want to have a clean house for it.

This is not to say that we live like slobs.  However, we do live here.  Toys are strewn about, a stack of papers needs to be sorted and sinks must be scrubbed.  It’s all the usual house-cleaning tasks.  Having people over is always good motivation to make sure everything gets done.

My adorable little helper with her Dora backpack on a break from house cleaning.

This was my mindset on Saturday morning.  My husband was working in the garage finishing up some organization projects out there.  The kiddo and I were in the house trying to make a dent in the to do list.  My little girl loves to clean.  I don’t know why.  But, give her a broom, a duster or a dishcloth and she’s off.  One evening last week I had to make a deal with her to stop cleaning the table and finish eating her dinner.  The deal was that she could help me wipe down the table after she was finished.  My little helper loves to clean.

So, Saturday as I was sorting toys and figuring out what needed to go where, I was thinking how a couple of  years ago, I didn’t have to do this.  Sometimes I’d pick up and organize the dog’s toys, but he never has had this many and he’s never strewn them about as much.  I was also thinking, though, how grateful I was to have toys to pick up.  That means that I have a kiddo in my house who enjoys playing.  And she is cute, sweet, smart and funny.  She was running around talking about cleaning house.  My little helper wanted to put on her Dora backpack (or “pack-pack” as she says) and help.  I gave her things to put in the trash.  I gave her a magazine to look through.  She chattered; we worked.  It was actually fun.

No, I didn’t get as much done as I can when she is asleep.  In fact, I’d put something away sometimes and my little helper would come along and get it back out.  I had more to do because of her; however, it’s worth it.  She’s a happy girl.  I’m a happy mom.  We live here.  We play here.  We read lots of books here.  We even took a cleaning break to read a book.  And we took some time to color.  We talked about letters with the magnets from the refrigerator.

Honestly, I will probably let her spend a day with one set of her grandparents later this week so I can finish getting the house cleaned and presents wrapped for her party.  It will all get done.  Without my little helper, that day will be much more productive for me, I’m sure.  However, also without my little helper, I’m also sure that day won’t be nearly as fun.

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