“Daddy, I Do?”

With her increasing mental and physical faculties, Elena likes to announce all the things she can do, or at least thinks she can do. Whenever possible, she then proceeds to do them. Whether it’s putting on her own shoes, setting the table, or something else, we love to see her try.

Most of the time we like it when she does chores. She’s just the right height to put clothes into the dryer and pull them out, but also likes to reach up high and put them into the washer too. Jenny’s the one who does the laundry, but I hear about it when we read Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and she says “daddy, I wash clothes!” after we read the first verse. She also likes the second verse, where she gets to say “daddy, I clean room!” She does–both while she sings a clean up song to herself when we put away her toys before bedtime, and when she helps make our bed, which we recently took off bed risers so it’s shorter.

Among other chores, Elena likes to wash dishes, but there her help is less welcome, because she just wants to play in the water. She doesn’t usually like wet clothes, but is willing to overlook that small inconvenience when we let her pull a chair up to the sink. She likes it so much that she cries when her time is up.

In other aspects her statements are more aspirational than actionable. There are lots of pictures of bicycles in her books, and she likes to say “I ride bike?” I think she wants to learn to ride as soon as it warms up. She sees me ride sometimes, so she knows I’ll be able to teach her. On a similar note, she found a photo album with some pictures of me in younger years. I don’t know how she puts the pieces together, but now she can melt my heart with “Daddy row boat–I row boat?”

We like to color together. She asks me to draw something–a car, or a choo-choo train, and then says “Daddy draw car? I draw car!” She scribbles madly for a few seconds, then proudly points at her work and declares “a car!” A few minutes later, she usually remembers that she drew a car, but can’t always figure out which scribble was the one.

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