Being a parent is amazing.
The beauty of watching your child grow from a helpless infant to a crazy toddler is a pretty dramatic event. Our daughter Cecilia is only 19 months old and astounds us everyday. I think the most amazing thing that we see is what a big help she is (and is trying to be) despite how young she is at this point. Every moment of the day I feel like she is at my side wanting to help whether it’s clean dishes, sweep the floor, feed the chickens, she always wants to help. The thing I didn’t realize when I became a parent is how quickly this stage happens, from a suckling infant to the “helping” toddler.
Back in the old days people had larger families, especially those who lived on farms or ranches. Even though children can be difficult to train sometimes they end up being very helpful on the family farm. This is not to say that people deliberately had children so they would have help around the farm, but the family as a whole could work together to make a living and a sustainable lifestyle. This is something we hope to strive for with our family. It is so neat watching my husband working side-by-side with his father and his two younger brothers. His family has worked hard at making work fun and enjoyable and fostering an atmosphere of respect and learning as they all work together to make the ranch a better place.
At this point Cecilia is quite the little helper. I’m coming up on my last couple weeks of pregnancy and Cecilia is helping me with one of the biggest things… Picking stuff up off the floor. Seems simple, but any other woman out there who has been pregnant knows what it’s like in those last couple weeks of pregnancy that if you drop something on the floor you either: A. Avoid it and have your husband pick it up later. or B. Painfully suck it up and do one of those squats that takes you about a minute to get up and recover from. So picking stuff up off the floor is huge. She is also the laundry queen. When laundry needs to be moved from the washer to the drier I simply throw the clothes on the ground next to the drier and she picks them up and throws them in. Then when the buzzer goes off she runs to the drier and pulls all the clothes out and picks up little handfuls and brings them to the room where we sort it all. If the floor needs swept she follows behind with the dust pan and holds the dust pan for me, then attempts to go to the trash can and throw it away… It typically makes it in there but sometimes I have to sweep again.
Children want to learn. I feel like she is just like a sponge watching every move and action I make, sure makes me feel like I have to watch what I’m doing/saying all the time! But it’s a beautiful thing! Kids were meant to learn from their parents how to cook, clean, how to be kind, help others, etc. But this doesn’t always come in all rosy colors. Sometimes… A lot of the time, learning can be messy and hard on the emotional tank. Just like yesterday… I was putting together a big plate of lasagna for lunch when Cecilia got up on a chair and wanted to “help”. I allowed her to eat some cottage cheese while I assembled the lasagna, within a couple seconds I heard a big crash and spagetti sauce everywhere (don’t worry it’s was chilled). Who knew sauce could end up on places 10 feet away. The next picture is another example of Cecilia “helping”.
Despite the troubles of toddler helping hands, its still worth every moment to teach them about how life works. Sean and I look forward to working side-by-side with our children and passing down knowledge about farming and ranching that only can be learned through hands-on experiences.