Owen always wants to help us do whatever it is we are doing these days. He will forcefully say, “You help me!” by which he means, having mixed up his pronouns, “I help you.” In the morning he wants to help me feed the cats (which means he wants to sit up on the counter and play with all the stirring utensils while I feed the cats and try to make sure he doesn’t fall off), and help me feed Dorothy (by using the scoop in the kibble bin, although generally not using it to scoop kibble into Dorothy’s dish), and he absolutely insists upon “helping” me wash dishes (which of course means he pours water out of a cup, often onto the counter and always on to the front of his shirt).
Unhelpful though his helping is, it is always much worse to not let him help, unless of course one enjoys tantrums and crying.
Lately he has become obsessed with scissors, and kept sneaking the cats' nail clippers and then trying to cut something with them. So last weekend, I bought him a preschool pair of scissors, green, with all sorts of safety mechanisms in place. He can’t use them with one hand yet, but loves for me to hold paper up so he can close the scissors on the paper with two fists. After he has done this for awhile, and we are surrounded in little scraps of paper (that were more ripped using the scissors as claws, then cut using the scissors as scissors), he will happily run and get the dustpan and handbroom and sweep up (some) of the paper and run it to the trashcan. We do have to be a little careful with his helping to throw things away, because he tends to throw the baby out with the bathwater—he’ll throw out food, for example, and the bowl that the food is in.
Last weekend Owen helped Sean make me a birthday cake for my birthday. He very much enjoyed watching the mixer mix the cake and then the icing, and then he helped Sean ice the cake. Ever the picky eater, he wouldn’t trust me and take a lick of the icing from the bowl, but loved it when it was served to him on the cake. In general, he does not trust our food profferings, although he will still be polite about it and say, “No thank you. I don’t liiiiike it.” The cake was the first cake and icing Sean had ever made from scratch and it was delicious! Owen would tell you the same—he kept saying “It’s deeee-licious! It’s a perfect cake. It’s yummy in my tummy.” Although we weren’t quite sure if he was saying a “perfect cake” or a “birthday cake”—it can still be a little difficult to decipher his language. But trust me, the cake was both.