Today it took Benjamin two hours and twenty minutes to put away the dishes, and by dishes I mean the silverware and the plastic plates and cups. It's not that intense of a job. There were tears and time outs and utter rebellion.
"Grab another plate and put it away, Ben," I'd urge.
"No, thanks," he'd say.
"You need to put away your dishes before we have lunch," I'd remind him.
"You put away the dishes," he'd say.
"I already put away my dishes. You need to do the rest. It's your job."
Eventually Miriam and I gave up and had lunch without him, which just about broke his achy-breaky heart into a million pieces. But, honestly! He was driving me crazy.
"Where this fork go?" he'd ask.
"You know where that fork goes," I'd say. "You know where everything goes. Just put them away!"
He put a bunch of silverware with the tupperware and then put some plastic plates in the silverware drawer—just for kicks. Then he'd open the drawer and hang on it like a monkey, which is a big no-no. Did I mention he was driving me a little bonkers?
Finally, finally he finished his job and I gave him his lunch. And, truthfully, he's still getting on my nerves. He's not being terrible; he's just being two.
The other day I was equally frustrated (with everybody). I can't even remember what everyone was doing, which probably means no one was being terrible but sometimes things just get a little loud/overwhelming in our house and I start to lose it. Andrew stepped in and said, "Rachel—you need to stop doing x! Miriam—you need to stop doing y! Benjamin—you just need to stop being two!"
And he almost can, but then he'll be three and...that's not much different. It's a good thing the hilariousness of two- and three-year-olds offsets the hysterics otherwise I don't know what I'd do.
Thankfully, Miriam was wonderfully helpful today. She helped me fold the laundry (in exchange for points) and then said, "I ran out of time to do my Saturday chore so I guess I'll do that today to make up for it!" She tidied up the living room and vacuumed all by herself (for no points) while I was doing my postprandial workout this afternoon. I could have kissed her (and I did)!
So I guess it was worth it to spend those two painful hours haranguing Benjamin about dishes—because hopefully by the time he's five he'll be as capable/helpful as his big sisters (which will leave me free(er) to pull my hair out over Zoë's two-year-old antics).