So, I decided this little red-head needs more responsibility... he's craving it! We've started implementing little things into our daily routines:
- When I vacuum the carpet, I ask him to help me unwind the cord and plug it in. Then, when we're done he RUNS over to the wall and pulls it out of the outlet, bringing the end of the cord proudly back to me. I thank him and get that winning smile in return.
- When we're feeding Devany, we ask him to carry her feeder over to the gate and hand it up to us. Sometimes, he grunts and groans in the process, confirming that this is definitely a hefty man-chore.
- He is responsible to carry Caspian's feed bucket (full of feed) from the tack room to the truck where he helps us hoist it into the bed of the truck.
- He has his own spray bottle (full of water) that he can use to spray the animals with - he sees us spraying fly spray on the horses and wants to help, but since it's toxic to breathe, that is obviously not a realistic option.
- He has a play area where his wagon/toys are located, but it is part of our "work area" at the barn, so he is very much an active part of the hustle and bustle of morning/evening chores. When his toys are pulled out of the wagon he is always good about putting them back in when we're finished. His friend Sophia has really helped to teach him this.
- When we fill water buckets he is the "hose holder" and, yes, water often does not make it into the buckets but the wasted water is well worth the happiness it brings to that sweet little helper. He's always soaked afterward, but there's isn't anything wrong with riding home in nothing but a diaper.
- He has his own "man sized" broom which he uses to help mommy sweep out the tack room after all the chores are finished.
- He has been assigned the task of helping mommy with cooking. He pulls a chair up to the counter and helps munch on yummies that are just lying around idle, runs his fingers through the batter no matter what stage of preparation it is in, rearranges the silverware drawer in an often extremely unique fashion, wipes the counter top with a washcloth, stirs when something needs to be stirred and is the chief taste tester of all prepared and unprepared food items.
- There are many other examples, but this is a start. Today he "helped" Auntie take apart our vacuum cleaner, using his screw driver to assist as much as possible, lifting the vacuum up and back down, bringing a washcloth over to clean the vacuum, etc.
It's almost scary to realize how much he understands, how much he absorbs. He is created in God's image with so many unique abilities. He has such a desire to be needed and to be useful to the people who love him. And let me tell you, this Mommy loves him!