This is my little sassy one:
Now, for a 3 year old (2 months until she’s 4!!) she actually does REALLY well at cleaning up after herself. She even has started clearing her spot at the table with reminders, asking whether she can put her stuff in the dishwasher, etc. Toys are a little trickier. Sometimes, she doesn’t WANT to put them away. She wants to leave them out. If I tell her that something isn’t safe for her little sister, she complies almost immediately and puts the toys away. If she knows they’re okay, though, it does take some doing sometimes to remind her what to do. Having been with her for the last 3 years teaching her to clean up, you’d think she had the gist of it down: big toys first (farm set, etc), put the little toys that go with the barn IN the barn, then the trucks get parked in the garage (cubbie), small toys in the buckets, and finally books on the bookshelf. Pretty simple, really. I planned it that way. Every once in a while, though, she just doesn’t know where to start, it seems overwhelming..
Now I had heard her the other day tunelessly singing what sounded like a clean-up song to herself. She often sings little made up songs, so I decided to use it to my advantage. I asked her if she wanted to sing a song while she cleaned up. She was stunned, and couldn’t think of a thing to sing.. then she came up with her good night song (again, probably made up by her in the spur of the moment).. once she had bottomed out with ‘good night, goodnight’… she started on the clean-up song. Sure enough, in much faster time than normal, she had all the toys cleaned up, and was in a great mood. I was thrilled and gave her a high five, pure delight on her face (and mine).
Mommy fist pump!