Little Helping Hands

These days it seems like all my daughter wants to do is help me do things, whether it’s washing the dishes, cooking dinner, or sorting laundry. Apparently, this is standard-issue toddler behavior



A funny thing happened the other day: I was finishing up the dishes when Coraline started having one of her “I’m tired and need your undivided attention” meltdowns. Up to my elbows in soapy water and determined to have the kitchen cleaned before I took her up for bed, I asked her if she wanted to help me. “Mama help?” she asked, her interest piqued. “Would you please go get the laundry basket from the dining room so I can empty the dryer?” I asked her, thinking the question alone would suffice as redirection and she’d find something in the other room to play with. Two minutes later she stumbled back into the kitchen, dragging the empty basket behind her. Without saying another word, she went to the dryer, opened the door, and began pulling the clothes out and dumping them in the basket. When everything was out she carefully shut the dryer door and looked at me with the proudest ear-to-ear grin and said “All done Mama.”

I was so surprised at not only her willingness to help but her ability to do so. These days it seems like all she wants to do is help me do things, whether it’s washing the dishes, cooking dinner, or sorting laundry. But apparently, this is standard-issue toddler behavior. It’s certainly a helpful (yet hard) thing to remember when I need to get stuff done around the house and she needs to be engaged!

Green Living Tip of the Week:
The brutal natural disasters that ravaged Japan on Friday are a sobering reminder of just how bad things can get. I am beyond saddened by the death and destruction, and frightened by the ongoing nuclear crisis and its implications. So instead of a tip this week I’d like to direct you to information on how to help the Japanese, if you’re so inclined. Check out this list of resources from the Huffington Post, and share your thoughts here.


One mom's plan to raise a kid — without raising greenhouse gases

About This Blog

Shannon Gallagher

Shannon Gallagher
Rhinebeck, NY


Dutchess County native Shannon Gallagher is a contributing editor for Hudson Valley Magazine. An erstwhile thrill-seeker, these days she courts disaster of a different variety wrangling a spirited toddler, honing her vegan baking skills, and chasing the ever-elusive work-family balance. She teaches Pilates and does fascial bodywork, and lives in Rhinebeck with Coraline, a cat named Otie, and Sushi the Fish (named, of course, by the toddler).

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