For MONTHS we’ve had a battle of the wills when it was time to do laundry at our house. As soon as I opened the dryer door to begin loading the wet clothes, Audrey would emphatically slam the door shut. This scenario would always end up with me strategically placing one leg between the dryer door and the dryer so I could keep it open with just enough room for me to shove the clothes between. All the while, Audrey was stubbornly pushing the door against my leg with all her might to try to show me that she WOULD have her way.
Needless to say, laundry time was nothing to look forward to (as if I EVER did look forward to it). So one day, a few weeks ago, I got the brilliant idea to let Audrey help me put the clothes in the dryer. PURE MAGIC! I finally realized that all Audrey wanted was to be involved. She really didn’t care whether the dryer door was opened or closed, she just wanted to participate.
It may seem like an insignificant thing (or terribly obvious to the experienced mom), but it really made me aware of just how much it means to Audrey when she gets to do things with me. Somewhere along the way, she became a little girl, no longer satisfied to sit by and observe. Since then, I’ve seen the same behavior played out in a hundred different ways. It’s not WHAT we do or even HOW we do it, it’s that she feels special when I involve her – when I acknowledge what she is capable of. Now, if I can only get her to do the dishes!