My sister Allison is pregnant and she watches another woman's 6-month-old baby during the day. They were all loaded in the car and the baby started to cry. Her 4-year-old son Jack promptly picked up the baby's bottle and stuck it in the baby's mouth. "Sweet," she tells me excitedly, "a helper monkey."
Well, Lillian is pretty helpful herself:
Exhibit A: The blue paint.
Last night, I went downstairs after feeding Nora to help out with the dishes and to talk to Tyler. Lillian was playing quietly upstairs and we didn't think much of it. Tyler walked out into the family room to find Lillian there. "My, you're... blue." She had found a bottle of blue craft paint and painted herself blue, and in so doing, got blue paint all over the carpet on the stairs. When Tyler took her by the hand to lead her up to a bath, Lillian said, "careful Dad, there's paint here."
Exhibit B: The car seat.
It's windy today. We went to story time at the library and when we came out, the wind whipped Lillian's hair right out of the clips I put in it. Enter a meltdown. Who knew those clips were her favorite thing ever and having them out of her hair was tantamount to the end of the world? Good thing she had this meltdown in the middle of the busy parking lot and me with a crying baby on my hip, right? See what I mean, helpful.
Just kidding, I'm getting to the helpful part. I got Nora into her car seat and moved to work on Lillian. I hoisted her into her seat and started to put her clips in, not without much crying about how they came out in the first place. And, I'm hungry. After slapping her hands out of the way for the one thousandth time as she was trying to do it herself and succeeding only in poking herself in the eye, I shut the door and got in the driver's seat. "WAIT MOM! I'M NOT STRAPPED IN!" Sure enough, I hadn't buckled her in what with all the clip brouhaha.
See Allison, you're not the only one with a helper monkey.