Continuing on in the grand tradition of child labor, I have been instituting chores for Dominic at home. Since he was a baby, he has "helped" me in the kitchen. He has always cooked with me, first in my sling, then, when he reached out and cut himself on my knife, from a walker safely on the floor. For a while he simply played in the kitchen, but then he became much more interested in helping me. For about a year now he has been pushing chairs up to the counter to "help" and has been thwarted in most of his attempts.
At first, I would only let him help me mix baked goods, but he quickly graduated on to stiring pots and pans full of hot food. Don't worry, I don't leave the room and I'm never more than an arm's length away from him. In other words, don't report me for abuse or negligence. But Dominic has wanted to do more and obeying that first instinct, keeps reaching for my knives.
Last night I was hit with a memory of what I used to do for my mom before I was allowed to trim beans.
I peeled! Carrots, potatoes, cucumbers. Thankfully, these vegetables make pretty regular appearances in our home, especially the carrots. So, I tested it out and Dominic did a beautiful job! I'm still feeling a bit guilty for letting my 3-year old handle what could be considered a sharp implement, but he didn't come even close to hurting himself, so he'll be my official peeler from now on.
Other chores he does: putting silverware on the table, clearing the table, cleaning up his toys. Now if only I could teach him to make his bed... but he may still be a little to small for that. It's hard to make a bed that's on the same level as your chest, or at least, I imagine it must be.