Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Little Helper

Being helpful is a behavior that we were all taught at a young age. "Help your grandmother get up from the chair", "Please grab my bra that's hanging from the doorknob", "Mija, grab me a Coke from the fridge, please", I recall my mother saying to me as a little girl. Since I was the youngest child I never had a problem understanding the correct time to be helpful. However, I believe that this is not the case for the oldest child.
One of the greatest things about Bean {Etta} is that she has the most loving heart, and always has your best intention in mind. "Mommy, are you OK!?", she asks after I cough. "Here, let me help you", she says as I struggle with the laundry from falling to the floor as I transfer from washer to dryer. So it was not to my surprise that she would apply this behavior to her little sister.

Our morning routine consists of 30 minutes of Dora the Explorer for Bean while Ladybug {Adelaide} struggles with having to endure tummy time. I was brushing my teeth and looking at my reflection in a daze when I heard Laybug's binky roll off the bed and to the ground. Before I could even run to get it, I see Bean excitedly slide her thumb into Ladybug's mouth and exclaim, "Here Addie, use my thumb! Shhh, shhh, shhh, it's OK!" Of course, I had to run to Addie's aid and explain that although I know she was trying to be helpful, it was not appropriate to put fingers in anyone's mouth. A sigh and an eye roll followed my reprimand.

Instead of our morning walk we ended up running a few errands. Bean's "little helper" instinct came in handy by helping me carry a few light bags of fruit, pick out baby food flavors, and ever-so-politely saying "thank you" to the lady who finally moved out of our way in the baby aisle {Bean could tell that I was annoyed and ready to plow her down since she had selectively ignored my request 3 times}. We got some lunch and decided to have a little picnic at the neighborhood lake to watch the birds and look for turtles. We were enjoying our lunch and Bean accidentally spilled the entire cup of lemonade on herself. "It's cold! I'm soaking!", she squealed shivering. I jumped up and ran to the stroller and grabed the stroller blanket and t-shirt that I keep handy to clean up the mess. No sooner did I hear "Here, Addie! Eat some more food. Open your mouth!" Time seemed to be in slow motion as I dropped everything, pushed the stroller aside, and yelled "N-n-n-n-n-o-o-o-o-o-" - hands flailing. My first thought was that she was trying to feed Pirate's Booty to Ladybug but she was attempting to feed her the baby food that I {ignorantly) left at her side. I quickly apologized and explained that only adults feed babies, not kids. "Sorry mommy, I was just trying to help" Bean said while pouting and lowering her head. This, of course, broke my heart.

The rest of the day was filled with chasing butterflies, spraying the vomit off the baby's stationary entertainer with the waterhose, and enjoying a late dinner at the local Italian restaurant. "It's going to be one of those nights", I thought to myself as we finally paid the bill and I realized that it was close to 8pm {girls are usually in bed by 7:30}. When we got home we scrambled to clean up the playroom, give baths, brush teeth, and get them in their pj's and in bed. Ahhh, quiet time. Ten minutes later the baby started screaming and crying. My husband and I glanced at each other and it was an unspoken decision that we'd let her cry it out. We continued with our nightly chores until I realilzed that Bean wasn't asleep but singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" as sweet and as quietly as she could. She sometimes sings herself to sleep during naps but not usually at bedtime. I started to head to her room when I realized that the singing wasn't coming from there, but from the Ladybug's room! I peaked in and saw the baby sound asleep with Bean delicately holding her hand.......The Big Helper.

1 comment:

jane said...

love the big helper story
(of course grammie & tampa would)