You may be surprised to learn that in Lilly’s eleven months, she has learned how to help quite a bit around the house. Aside from resetting our home page on the computer to “http://dwww%20,/” which surprisingly fails to upload every time we start the Internet and introducing us to her technological innovations, Lilly helps with many of the day-to-day occurrences. For example, whenever one of us is vacuuming, Lilly is 1 inch behind the vacuum at all times, waving at it and trying to climb on it. She is not deterred by its loud noise; instead, she is intrigued, making the whole vacuuming process 20 minutes longer than necessary.
When she hears the dishwasher open, she takes off in a full sprint crawl (and believe me, she’s fast!) to make it to the dishwasher before we close it. She likes to pull out dirty knives and forks, and then tries to climb into the dishwasher. She loves the fridge almost as much, and I think if we let her, she would stand at the open fridge, touching all the food, for a good 30 minutes. When I’m putting on the laundry, she stands at the dryer, trying to eat the lint out of the lint trap and pulling out all the clothes as I put them in. And then when it comes to folding the clothes, Lilly meticulously removes each piece of folded clothing from its pile, shakes it to make sure it’s fully unfolded and then tosses it to the side.
So now, Jim has two of us working against him and his need for cleanliness and order (or as I like to say, his OCD). Jim can walk around the house straightening things up and Lilly follows, pulling things out of her diaper bag, her toy basket, her book basket…as long as Jim has put it away, Lilly will take it out. And she’s 11 months old. She’s not destructive; she just thinks it’s a game. Eventually, one is going to wear the other down. Either Jim will give up and stop trying to put everything away while Lilly is awake or Lilly will learn that when Jim puts something away, she should leave it there. Maybe they’ll meet in the middle. I’m interested to see who will give in first but in the meantime, it is entertaining to watch.