After sharing stories with a friend over the weekend, Stuart said I should share some of them on here. They all relate to Callum's self-sufficient and independent nature.
Long before Stuart turned round to me and said "How do I do it?" in response to asking him to polish the lounge, did I decide to ensure I would bring my son up being completely self-sufficient, knowing how to cook, clean and look after himself, in the way that I would bring up any daughter too. It appears, I may be on the right track with Callum!
A couple of months ago I was hankering after the lay-ins of 8-8.30am of a month or so previous, when Callum came in around 7am. I tried to convince him to go and play with his pirates in his bedroom for a bit, ignoring his cries for "milko" (cruel mummy!) and thought he had gone to do just that when he disappeared from our bedroom. Then, after a short while I heard cries of "mummmmyyy" then thump, "mummy" thump, "mummy" thump....."milkoooooo". I gave up on the lay in and went to investigate....obviously, after failing to get me to go to the milk he was bringing both the milk from the fridge and his cup from the draining board up to me. Bless him! He must have really wanted his milk.
Then, when Stuart was looking after Callum when he had chicken pox last month, Stuart was distracted with some work around lunch time but then heard Callum scraping a chair in the kitchen so thought he had best see what he was doing. Callum had got out the bread, butter and cheese and was about to make himself a cheese sandwich - think he must have been hungry!
Callum also took Stuart up his own version of breakfast in bed the other day. I had left a little smarties egg thing, that had broke in my handbag, in the fridge. When I was staying at a friends for the night, similar to me a couple of months before, Stuart was desperate to try to get a bit more of a lay in after working until gone midnight the night before. When Callum got up, Stuart went downstairs with him and got him his milk and gave him a banana for breakfast then told Callum he was going back upstairs. Stuart went back to bed but kept half an ear on Callum downstairs. A while later, Callum came upstairs with a bowl - inside was the egg, with the foil removed and broken up further with the smarties and gave it to Stuart. Of course, with the intention that Stuart would share it with Callum.
On the cooking front, I often have Callum helping me. I keep a careful watch on him but he gets involved with all parts from cutting vegetables, to mixing ingredients to stirring a boiling pot or holding a frying pan on the hob.
He helps us make tea by being in charge of putting the tea bags in the cups, squeezing them when the tea is ready and taking the bags out again.
Believe me, I am VERY careful with him and would never leave him alone and I teach him how dangerous everything is. Don't worry, it will be at least another 6 months before I expect him to put it all together and bring us our bacon sandwiches and tea in bed! JOKE!!!
I remember when he was about 2 or even before he was 2, I was cleaning the work surfaces in the kitchen after making lunch or dinner and he started copying me putting his hand at the edge of the worktop while wiping a cloth towards it - not understanding exactly what he was doing, he wasn't particularly good at catching the crumbs but all in good time!
In addition to this, at the risk of passing on my own OCD to him, he is very good at tidying up after himself and a little too obsessive in making sure things get put back in their right place. I like things to be put in their right place. After a bath, both Callum and I put all the toys back in the toy net or wherever they are meant to go. Recently, I decided the bath books I always put back behind the taps would actually be better put in the net. Callum wouldn't have any of it - "no mummy! There" and he put them back behind the taps and wouldn't let me put them in the net. He did the same when a little younger when I, without thinking about it, always put the flannel over one of the bath handles. When I tried to put it over the other one, he corrected it.
He has gone to our friends' house and started tidying away the toys that their sons had previously got out to play with before we arrived.
Callum helps me load and unload the dishwasher, put out the washing on the line and get it in, he insists on helping me feed Lotté too.
One thing's for sure, if he keeps this up, I'll have to start giving him pocket money soon!!! What's the going rate for a 2 year old? 10p for every year of his life maybe? That makes it about 25p.
That's if I don't get Social Services calling for being a negligent parent!