The Helpful Toddler Experience

I am astonished.  For the first time, I have gotten to experience a truly helpful toddler.  Usually, when I talk about Norton being a helpful toddler, it’s done with a heaping serving of sarcasm.  You know, like he’s so “helpful” when he decides to push the carpet shampooer when I’m using it, or how it’s so “helpful” when he goes into the dishwasher and throws clean silverware on the floor.

But today, Norton was really a helpful toddler, and it just amazed me.

I started out expecting to be annoyed.  I’d heard Norton in the dishwasher again (since he long ago defeated the child proof locking mechanism we put on it), which usually means, yup, that silverware on the floor again.  This time, I heard the sound of glass.  Norton surprised me.  He brought me a clean glass from the dishwasher and actually handed it to me nicely.  When I went into the kitchen to put that glass away (and planning to shoo Norton from the dishwasher anyway), he handed me another.  Before I knew it, he had helped me unload the majority of the bottom rack of the dishwasher.  Best of all, he looked so happy and so proud that he’d managed to be such a helpful toddler.

I’ve been wondering for a while now how long it would be before I could get Norton on board with helping with minor household things (like picking up his toys).  Helping unload this dishwasher was actually a little bit cooler… especially since bending over isn’t a lot of fun for me right now.

Hopefully, this is a start of a new and improved helpful toddler.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. LOL, that’s wonderful that he chose a task to help with that is hard for you to do at the moment! Great timing, Norton! 🙂

    • He made up for it later, though. He decided to run across the couch and jump on me. Then he threw his lunch across the dining room and kitchen. 😛 But, hey, he’s still a toddler. And the dog ate it.

  2. Isn’t that a WONDERFUL moment! To see your child try to help and actually BE helpful! my little guy just tried to unload the dishwaher the other day (huge improvement compared to climbing in it like he usually does). It was SO cute, and it made me glad I keep the plastic plates in a lower cupboard so he could actually put them in the right place!

    ( I keep them there so the big kids can help set the table, not because I thought a baby would actually want to do this.)

    The best thing is, that PROUD SMILE when he realized he’s shocked mommy with his helpfulness! 🙂

  3. Cute! I call my girl Little Miss Helpful. She tries to help but she doesn’t do a very good job of it! She has mastered helping me to unload the dishwasher though. Helping with the laundry is another story!!

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