…And sometimes it borders on embarrassing (like that he’s, in some situations, essentially the parental figure). I’m thinking some of this is normal two year old stuff, and some of this is extra, but I have no clue since I don’t have many friends or family members.
Tonight Fredrik drooled on Mark’s shirt and Joel went to grab Mark a new shirt out of Mark’s drawer. All day Fredrik had been pulling up on me, drooling on my arm, and each time Joel would go get a rag out of our kitchen rag drawer to dry me off.
Fredrik had some diaper rash issues develop about three days ago, and each night since, Joel has grabbed the A&D ointment from the changing area to make sure that we remember to use it on Fredrik.
Joel always wants everyone to have their proper cell phone (including Sher when she worked for us this summer). If he finds a cell phone he’ll return it to its rightful owner, and someone using the wrong cell phone is pretty unacceptable to him.
Sometimes I do a half assed job taking out the trash. I just take the trash bag out of the trash can and tie it up and throw it in the garage. But if Joel ever witnesses this he’ll insist that I actually walk it out to the outdoor trashcan.
Each day Joel is the one who feeds Howie. And he often instructs us to take Howie out and walk him too.
Before we take Howie out, Joel goes into the correct drawer to grab a poop bag. And if/when Howie poops, Joel screams at us until we pick it up. Sometimes we say we’ll pick it up later (if it’s in our yard or our private gravel street), but this usually doesn’t fly.
When you go to the bathroom, Joel will often come in (if the door is unlocked) and hand you toilet paper. He’ll also watch after the toilet is flushed to ensure all contents of the toilet bowl disappear. If you leave a shit streak in the toilet bowl, Joel will point to it and yell until you use some toilet bowl cleaner to clean it up.
If Joel needs a diaper change, he’ll grab the necessary items for you. If he’s peed, he’ll grab a diaper. If he’s pooped, he’ll grab wipes and a diaper.
Joel picks out his own outfits and Fredrik’s outfits too, throws dirty dishes into the sink, and tosses laundry into the hamper. When a hamper is full, he drags the hamper to the laundry room. When clothes are done being folded, he distributes them throughout the house to their correct locations. Before meals he distributes plates and grabs the necessary silverware and bibs. He likes to sweep up messes after meals too.
On the playground he insists upon throwing away litter.
He shuts doors behind him, makes sure the gate to the stairs is always closed and locked, and sometimes even asks us to turn off lights when we leave a room.
If Fredrik gets a hold of something that’s too small (like something that could be a choking hazard), Joel yells, “No, no, no!!!” and takes it away from him, often replacing the item with something more appropriate.
If there’s a booger in his nose, he grabs a Kleenex. If there’s one in Freddy’s nose, he examines it with the precision of a surgeon before attempting to grab it.
At the grocery store, Joel pushes a little shopping cart, picks out appropriate groceries that we actually eat, puts the groceries onto the conveyor belt, pushes the groceries out to our vehicle, and returns the cart to the proper location. The other day we picked out too many things for Joel’s shopping cart, so we put some frozen food under Fredrik’s stroller. Then we forgot about said frozen food and paid for our other groceries and started to leave the store. Joel proceeded to point out our forgotten groceries, so we backed up and separately paid for them. Our two year old legit prevented us from inadvertently shoplifting.
Sometimes I wonder what Joel’s thinking (since he can’t yet articulate it). I wonder if it’s something like, “Who IS this irresponsible bunch of yayhoos, aka my family, that I was born into?!? They’re so forgetful! A hot mess!”
He’s our first rainbow, and we’re so beyond thankful for him. And he constantly helps manage our household and teaches us how to be more responsible humans.