Tuesday, July 7, 2009

And a not-so-stereotypical Daddy moment...

Most of our previous attempts to get Theo to clean up his toys resulted in Ruth and I scrambling all over the living room to put stuff away while the kid either stood around and laughed at us, or foiled our attempts by spreading puzzle pieces all over the floor.

After a while, we just gave up; easier to put him to bed without fighting that particular battle and we're both so beat by the end of the day that a room littered with toys just isn't our highest priority.

So tonight, Ruth was even later than usual, dinner for Theo was leftovers and whatever I thought he'd eat and afterwards I was facing the prospect of putting him to bed by myself.

As we walked through the toy clutter in the front room, I threw a couple blocks into their box and said, "Wish this stuff would get put away."

And the craziest thing happened -- Theo stopped, picked up a toy and put it in the toy box. Opportunist that I am, I JUMPED on this development and started talking him through the full cleanup. "Theo, can you put all your toy cars in this box?" He suddenly became a toddler WITH A PURPOSE, something that I never knew existed.

Ten minutes later and the room was fit for company.

I realize this sounds weird and desperate, but hot damn, anytime some of the work around here can be transferred from me to him, I'm a happy guy.


LindaWright said...

Congrats on this HUGE achievement!
This idea might help - I saw it on TV. Tape a photo of the type of toy you want in each container. A car and truck picture versus a stuffed animal picture, for example. Then, Theo has a clear plan of where to put his toys when he is finished with them.

Megan said...

Go Theo! (And John.) Maybe he'll turn into one of those little neat freak children who would rather spend the afternoon with a mop than make mud pies in the backyard.

rico567 said...

Well.....maybe not that far, hopefully. But they DO change, y'know.

Thomas Litchford said...

That's awesome. I need to teach Sean to do that. He used to be good about putting things away after he'd emptied a drawer or cabinet, but that's not so much the case anymore.

Azzy said...

So there is hope for us with Connor & baby2? In a few years anyway... I'm counting down already.