Kathy's comment on my last post is the license I need to brag about my little helper guy.
I'll say having young toddlers participate in the everyday is very, very normal to me. I have 17 first cousins and my mom and two aunts did foster care for most of my life taking kids ages 0-5 primarily. There were always jobs tuned to everybody. For example our dryer had a broken buzzer and would keep beeping until the door was opened. All of the kiddos raced to be the one to open the door. The littlest pulled socks, a bit bigger folded washcloths, etc.
Montessori appealed to me because it is what seems normal to me. I've always seen how happy and proud children are when they're part of the team.
We've been giving Andrew jobs since he was really little. Like when he was old enough to grasp toys and release I would hold him and let him grab toys and take him to the toybox to drop it. I think Michael was skeptical at first but as he saw how much he was capable of and how proud it made him, he was sold too.
His current helper activities include:
Pulling laundry out of the dryer and diapers off the clothes line. Then together we push the laundry basket into my bedroom.
He's awesome! He isn't always in the mood for these and that's ok. We are currently working on a few everyday musts. Like teeth and laundry in the basket.
Cooking dinner together is 1000x more joyful because he knows his jobs and gets truly occupied. We have a lot of fun measuring and tasting spices. He gets a little full of himself and wants to take over and we aren't comfortable yet putting him in charge of our seasoning levels.
His jobs have a double benefit for us too. He used to be VERY interested in the trash can but now since it isn't off limits it also is much less interesting.
There is always a struggle, at least with us, to balance giving him things that are appropriate, giving him the time he needs to figure it out and living life on a schedule. But I truly can't imagine any other way. He may be the nuttiest member but he is definitely on the team!