Wednesday, October 18, 2006

How Much Ambien Will Put a One-Year-Old to Sleep?

Folding laundry is not my favorite activity, nor is emptying
the dishwasher, but I do them every day. They used to be simple tasks that I could complete within a few minutes,
but not anymore. My time folding
clothes is now spent strategically placing all of the folded items in piles
that are at least three feet high so that my daughter does not dismantle them
the second they are folded. Loading and
unloading the dishwasher has become an exercise in futility. For every one dish that I put into the
dishwasher, my daughter takes two or three out. She’s so fast that if I turn my head for a second, I’ll find her
walking towards the living room armed with a steak knife. I have to focus so much energy on
distracting her and keeping her out of range of our knife collection that it
ends up taking me thirty minutes to do a five-minute task.

I know that it is right on target developmentally for my
daughter to want to participate in every activity that I am engaging in but I
am done with this stage of development. I am ready to move on. It is
challenging enough for me to keep my house clean without
distractions. I’ve read some literature
on this subject and the most common advice is to let the child have involvement
in the task on some level. It made me
think of that commercial where the Mom is telling her infant daughter all about
the stain lifting power of “All” or “Tide” while she folds laundry
peacefully. Yeah right. I simply cannot talk to my daughter about
laundry for ten minutes. I cannot talk
to anyone about laundry for any length of time, nor would I want to. Plus, if The Wiggles cannot hold my
daughter’s attention, there is no way that detergent talk will. And what about the dishwasher? I’ve tried giving her one safe utensil and a
dish so that she can pretend to cook while I get the dishes done but that works
for about five seconds. The only thing
she really wants to do is take the dishes in and out of the dishwasher and put
them in her mouth. This creates a real
problem, especially when the dishes are dirty. So until something changes I guess I’ll just have to add laundry and the
dishes to my “Things to do while the kids sleep” list. That list keeps getting longer and
longer. Pretty soon I’m going to have
to start crushing up a little Ambien and lacing their pre-nap drinks.


  1. It's harder in the short run, but it really does become worth it over time if they get to, "help" you do the housework. Leah's actually getting good at folding clothes now, but it started with my just handing her a few items to, "fold" while I worked on the bulk of the laundry. And she can almost independently put a prefold cloth diaper & diaper cover on her baby brother, too. A friend of mine recently told me she's even got her 2yo son able to actually help her wash dishes - she washes, he rinses (this I've got to see)! I'm constantly trying (not always succeeding, mind you) to remind myself to encourage the kids' help instead of pushing them away - otherwise, I can't complain when they turn into lazy teenagers who expect Mom to do everything for them! :o) They're capable of alot more than we give them credit for, even as toddlers.

  2. Lauren-
    My son has never showed any interest in helping to change his sisters diaper. He's pretty grossed out by the entire process. I guess I should consider myself lucky. I encourage him to help as much as I can and he really enjoys feeling like he contributed something. My daughter, on the other hand, is another story. Maybe I'm not giving her enough credit but I think distraction is key until she gets a couple more months under her belt.

  3. I have started bribing Maggie with money for her to pick up her Barbies, dolls/doll clothes, toys, etc. without grumbling. She used to complain because she had to do it, and Aleita didn't have to do as much. Now, Aleita is old enough that she does help, but Maggie still ends up doing the bulk of the work. Maggie has now discovered that she can "earn" money for these chores.....I use a little system....I'll say, "Maggie - if you pick up the playroom and do a fantastic job (defined as everything put away correctly and nothing left out...) then you can have 2 nickels....if you leave some things out, you'll only get one nickel." She will bust her butt to make the room look fantastic so she can earn the two nickels, which she sticks in her bank. Chris rolls his eyes at me, but it has stopped the battles over picking up, and now she does a really good job instead of doing it half-assed (this first time she only got one nickel, she wasn't very happy, so from then on, she inspects her work carefully before I come in to take a look.
    Not that any of this will help you with the Tater, mind you, but just thought I would share.

  4. Great idea Aunt Becky. I can't wait until Maggie is old enough to realize all of the work she did for 10 cents! :)