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First off, let me apologize this post did not go out on Monday, as planned. It also didn’t go out Monday evening. I feel like a bit of a flake and I hate feeling that way. I’ve noticed my energy is really starting to wane now that we’re entering 3rd trimester with this pregnancy. Legitimately, my pregnancy induced carpel tunnel has also really been bothering me. Needless to say, the blog and writing has suffered the last few days and I apologize. Hopefully, I can get myself back in order as the week progresses. Now, on to this week’s life skills post.
I’m willing to bet just about everyone believes life skills are important. But, exactly how does one learn life skills? And when? Is there a best or better age to teach? Do you even teach these skills directly? And, if so, is there a method?
I may not know the answers to all these questions. I may not even know really the answers to any questions, although Baby Boy still believes I do. Nonetheless, in our family, we strongly believe that life skills should be taught and opportunities to practice those skills should be freely given.
By no means, are we child development experts, nor do we want to be. We are parents and we have been both inadvertently and intentionally teaching Baby Boy a whole host of life skills. Hence, this short series was created to discuss these skills a bit more.
Today, we’re talking vacuuming. As with any other skill, there’s a process. Baby Boy’s process has gone from one of comfort with the vacuum, to one of fear (can’t explain that one), to one of fear only if the vacuum is on, and then to both wanting to help vacuum and finding (or creating) opportunities to vacuum on his own. Of course, as a growing toddler who’s interested in doing everything there is to do, creating opportunities to vacuum isn’t hard at all!
Of course, we’ve vacuumed his entire life and when he was just a wee infant, there wasn’t a bit of an issue. Sometimes, he even slept through me vacuuming. Then, as he started to move, the vacuum freaked him out. He’d literally look terrified at this loud, moving object he didn’t understand. I had to hold off on vacuuming until Hun came home and could hold Baby Boy, otherwise distract him, or take him outside for a bit. It was an interesting time, because as time went on, he wanted to touch and play with the vacuum unless I went near him or the vacuum.
Later, he’d try dragging it around, taking the cord off and otherwise being interested in it….that is until I turned it on. Nonetheless, I still continued to vacuum and because he wasn’t so young any longer, I’d put him on the couch and he’d gladly watch me vacuum. Now, though.
Now, he wants to do everything vacuum related on his own. He loves to get the vacuum out of the closet (thank goodness we now have a closet to keep it in!) and pull it into the living room. Sometimes he’ll even do this without notifying us and the next thing we know there he is with the vacuum wanting to use it. He’s often been found with the vacuum pieces strew about the hallway as he takes it apart.
And, yes, when something genuinely needs vacuuming, I do allow him to do most of the vacuuming. This absolutely includes plugging it into and out of the wall socket. When I need to vacuum the entire room, he insists that I don’t start until he’s ready. And will repeatedly say, while watching for my response/reaction, “don’t vacuum Momma”, “don’t turn it on”, “I want to help Momma”. Then, he’ll grab the handle and we vacuum the room, ever.so.slowly, as his feet and reach are much smaller than mine. Then, of course, he gets to take care of under our coffee table. (and please excuse the stained carpet…)
So, that’s how vacuuming works in our house. And, I do have to say I’m quite grateful that we only have the one room with carpet, so it doesn’t take an entire day to vacuum!