Dear Toddler, Please Stop Helping Me

This “care-frontation” comes from a place of absolute love and complete exhaustion.

Your enthusiasm for helping Mommy do the daily chores is really sweet. It is so amazing to see your budding confidence and growing sense of pride as we work together to tackle the innumerable responsibilities around this house.

Except today it’s not so amazing. Today I need you to put that plate back in the dishwasher and back away slowly.

Because today I’m really, really tired. Today my patience is waning, and I don’t have the energy to do this with you right now. So maybe don’t lick that clean plate before trying to reach it up to the countertop where it slips off and chips on the tile floor. Maybe don’t sit on the open dishwasher door while pulling the bottom rack of dishes off its rails for the third time. And maybe don’t reach your hand in through the bars where you can’t get it back out and cry until I help rescue your little hand. Seriously, didn’t I just say not to do that?

Don’t get me wrong. It’s important that you have developmentally appropriate responsibilities in this family. I want you to be an active participant in the daily functions of our house and to know your contributions are valuable to me. I want to encourage you to continue to be mommy’s amazing fantastic totally awesome little helper. Because you are! You are my gold star helper!

Just not today. Today I need you to get out of here.

Go watch tv, eat some Play-Doh, jump on the couch, or play in traffic – okay, maybe don’t play in traffic, but go do something else. Anything else. While we’re on the topic, let’s talk about a few other things I don’t need your “help” with, like carrying the bread and eggs in from the car or cleaning the kitty litter box. I love your enthusiasm, but I don’t need you to “help” pour my hot coffee in the morning. Most importantly, I don’t need you for you to “help” me use the bathroom. I promise you-I’ve got that one under control.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe tomorrow you can come back into this kitchen and eagerly grab for the sharpest knives in the dishwasher. Maybe tomorrow you can bang some pots and pans around as you clumsily put them away in the lowest cupboard where I moved them just so you could reach them more easily. Maybe tomorrow you can chip plates, put your sticky fingerprints all over the stainless steel appliances, and use your stool to try to climb up on top of the counter. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have the patience to spend 35 minutes unloading the dishwasher with you.

Maybe.

But probably not.

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