Getting Him Involved

This is the unpacking disaster in our living/dining area, also known as our "bodega"
Keeping It Real: This is the unpacking disaster in our living/dining area, also known as our “bodega”.

Two weeks ago, Carlo and I arrived from a vacation in Manila. That photo above encapsulates the current state of our home. Charlie says he’s okay with it. But I’m not. It took me over a year to get rid of all the moving-in boxes that we had parked in the “bodega” and now there’s another mess in the same spot.

There are our boxes/luggage from the Manila trip. There’s various Ikea stuff for projects I’m working on. There are yet more boxes full of Carlo’s old toys that I’m trying to hide from Carlo with other boxes because I need to either keep them or donate them to charity. Good grief, I think our winter gear is in there somewhere.

My OC-wanna-be-Martha-Stewart-undomestic-goddess self is in a tizzy.

But… Life, or rather, Carlo gets in the way.

Helping me assemble Ikea furniture.
Helping me assemble Ikea furniture.

Carlo’s always been a very curious sort.

When he was a baby, I could tell by watching his eyes that he was alertly observing everything that was happening around him. Now that he has just turned three, that eagerness to learn has grown enormously. I can almost see his brain expanding with each new thing I talk to him about or teach him. It’s immensely fascinating (and rewarding as his mama) to see him absorb it all with such wonder.

Washing the dishes with me.
Washing the dishes with me.

Everyday chores these days take more time because my boy likes to help. And more often than not, there’s more of a mess to clean up (e.g. water all over the kitchen floor because he was splashing while we rinsed the utensils). But that’s okay in my book. I figure that making chores a fun game for Carlo is also a good way to teach him about cleaning and how things work (like why we use hot water to rinse oily plates and why we need to use dish soap).

When I tell him these nerdy little nuggets of information, there’s usually no reaction from him. Not even a nod or some sort of acknowledgment. But I’ve learned that even if it seems like he isn’t paying me any attention, he retains what I’ve taught him. There have been many times that he’ll just blurt out things I taught or mentioned in passing months back.

Me and my little assistant putting the fan together.

This morning, we assembled the stand fan we bought at Costco to beat back the summer heat while we’re in the playroom. He excitedly told me while we were putting it together, “I’m helping Mama assemble da eklektic faaaaaaaaan!” And when we finished, he yelled “Taadaaaaa! We did it, Mama! Let’s give ourselves a big thumbs up!”

This boy of mine. He totally cracks me up.

I probably could’ve unpacked in a day, two at most, if I really wanted to. Washing the dishes by myself would probably be more efficient. Assembling the Ikea furniture on my own would definitely be faster. That mess in the “bodega” would likely be gone by now if only Carlo didn’t get in the way.

But the thing is, I actually love that he IS in my way.

I love that he loves to help me. I love encouraging his innate curiosity. I love getting him involved in my projects.  What better way to learn and grow, right?

Now if only I can get him involved in my plan to potty train him.  Hahaha.

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  1. Ahhh… potty training, how do we get him interested in THAT!? is there a way to assemble such things? LOL

  2. and teka! i helped assemble on the first pic! i carried all those up! LOL… where’s my picture? j/k. spare the readers of my pic… haha

    • Because the “him” in Getting Him Involved was about Carlo, not you. Belat. ;p But sige, next post, I promise to put a big picture of just you at the beginning of the article. 🙂

  3. At first, I thought Charlie hahahaha!!!! I love the pics. I have to learn how to do that 🙂

  4. So true Treena! A line that I always say, “This too will pass!” So when my little guy gets in the way cuz he is interested in doing what Im doing, I try not to get irritated because there will be a time that I will walk into the room n he is sitting there watching or playing videos and I would have to yell, “Hello your mother is here! Anyone home!” just to get his attention!

    • Josh!!!! Exactly!!! Right now, we’re still cool and everything we do is fascinating. But I too can imagine the day when he’ll be like “Mamaaaaaaa! Do I have to?!”