Elma Family Kitty Photography {the ordinary moments}

Laundry fairies


As the girls have got bigger I’ve always tried to involve them in what I’m doing around the house.  Kitty dropped her nap just after she turned two and then Elma followed a similar path, so it’s been a while since there’s been a distinct ‘nap time’ in this house that I could use to run around to do the chores, or even just sit down for a minute by myself.  And even when I have occasionally had two of the three snoozing at the same time, I always want to take the chance to have a little one on one time with whoever is left awake, not immediately abandon them in search of the loo cleaner.

So we do chores together.  I wash up, Kitty dries the cutlery and Elma puts it away, both girls fight to be the one to clean the loo because the magic toilet brush makes it change colour, and they’re my best helpers sorting out the dried laundry into the baskets for each of us. It sounds like slave labour I know, but honestly truly they love it.  I think they just take a huge satisfaction out of doing real meaningful work.  Most of their play at this age is copying the things they’ve seen in their day to day life or their Sunday film, so it makes sense that doing the things they play, only this time for real, is even better.  I don’t make them help, I ask and if they say no then I leave it at that, but we do make it all fun, we take it in turns to choose the music or what we’re going to sing and generally we all end up together anyway.

I’m hoping that if I can get them into the pattern of helping out now, just because that’s what we all do, then it might continue on a little longer into childhood, maybe, possibly even as teenagers – mothers who have walked this path before me, tread softly, you tread on my dreams!

So far, it’s all going well, well actually that’s a bit of an understatement, because this week, the girls showed me what they really can do.  One of their first ever jobs was to help me pull the wet laundry out of the washing machine, as anyone with a toddler knows, it’s less a job and more just what happens when you open the washing machine door in their presence, and recently I’ve been able to ask the girls to empty the machine between them and bring the basket out to me in the garden where I’ll be taking in the dried laundry that’s already there.  Until one day when Pip, umm, needed to be attended to in the vicinity of the changing mat and he and I headed for the stairs while the girls were still filling the basket.

And a couple of minutes later, as Pip and I walked into the garden, there, in full view, in daylight, large as life, were two laundry fairies.

Space for the Butterflies - Laundry Helpers

I quite often use the top of the slide to balance the laundry basket when I’m pegging out but Kitty had pulled it underneath the washing line and was stood at the top, reaching up to peg a sock on the line, while Elma untangled clothes and handed them up.  And from the look of the washing line they’d clearly managed to get quite a few things up to dry before we arrived.

Space for the Butterflies - Laundry Helpers

It was one of those moments of such sisterly harmony that I almost didn’t want to breathe for fear of disturbing the moment, not to mention the fact that they were doing a pretty good job with the washing.  But Pip squeaked in delight at seeing his sisters and the spell was broken.  So we finished it all together. Space for the Butterflies - Laundry Helpers

And it was a different sort of reminder of just how big my girls are getting. I see it so often when I look at how tall Kitty is, or I hear it when I’m chatting to Elma and I realise that she can say her sister’s full name now, but the getting bigger is so much more obvious than the gradual acquisition of skill, and it’s the latter that really hammers it home.  The girls can hang the washing out, what else are they going to turn out to be able to do?

Space for the Butterflies - Laundry Helpers

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  • Mandycharlie 05/07/2015 at 7:50 am

    Such a lovely, lovely moment, I am so glad you were able to capture it.

    • Carie 05/07/2015 at 9:33 pm

      Me too 🙂

  • Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) 05/07/2015 at 9:56 am

    Wow that is really lovely and so nice that they like to be so helpful! Hope it does continue for some time to come! Xx

    • Carie 05/07/2015 at 9:33 pm

      I hope so too!

  • Nicola Bradbury 05/07/2015 at 11:25 am

    I love these photo’s. So cute. Isn’t it scary how fast they grow up. I think it’s so lovely that they did this ‘chore’ on their own. xx

    • Carie 05/07/2015 at 9:33 pm

      it was rather sweet!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 05/07/2015 at 2:04 pm

    Aw such cute photos Carie and I really need two laundry fairies to visit my house too- do they have wings and can fly here? 😉 x

    • Carie 05/07/2015 at 9:32 pm

      Alas I believe they were a magical one off even for me, though I shall continue to leave laundry in tempting places in the hope that they visit again!

  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure 05/07/2015 at 2:36 pm

    What clever girls! I think they need to have a word with my boys – my two are great and shoving everything in the tumble dryer but they haven’t msatered the line yet.

    • Carie 05/07/2015 at 9:31 pm

      I think part of it is height, Kitty is only just tall enough to reach – a couple of months ago she had to have me pull it down first. The tumble dryer assistants sound great – our dryer is in the garage so it’s just Mummy alas!

  • Mummy Vs Work 05/07/2015 at 8:06 pm

    Aww how sweet do they look! Its great that they are willing to help, we try and get our two involved when they want to be and it is great watching them wanting to be able to do it, im making the most of it whilst it lasts!

    • Carie 05/07/2015 at 9:29 pm

      And isn’t it even lovelier when the helping actually is helping!!

  • Yanic 05/07/2015 at 8:08 pm

    Well, how lucky YOU are! We have fairies that love producing laundry here, but have yet to be visited by the ones that help doing laundry… 😛

    • Carie 05/07/2015 at 9:28 pm

      I know, I’m hoping they come again but I accept that it was a moment of magic and wonder that may never be repeated!

  • Denise - die guten Dinge 05/07/2015 at 9:08 pm

    such a great story! I hope the girls stick in to it for a little longer!
    lots and lots of greetings to your wonderful family

    • Carie 05/07/2015 at 9:27 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • claire 05/07/2015 at 9:35 pm

    Amazing! So cute too and I bet with 3 you are grateful of the help!
    My little girl is just 2 and sometimes likes to help. The other day she helped my unpack the shopping handing me each item from the bag telling me what they were. She even carried some bits I’d left in the hall through to the kitchen without being asked!

    • Carie 06/07/2015 at 6:51 am

      Oh how sweet! The wanting to help is so lovely and it’s so nice for them and us when they actually can!

  • Kirsty 05/07/2015 at 10:03 pm

    This is just wonderful! You’ve inpsired me to turn my three into laundry fairies. Such gorgeous photos!

    • Carie 06/07/2015 at 6:51 am

      thank you 🙂

  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 05/07/2015 at 11:34 pm

    Bless them! That is so sweet! Heidi is my laundry girl… She loads the washing machine, puts in the powder ad switches it on… Se hasn’t mastered hanging it out yet though… Maybe I need to send her to your girls for some lessons?!x

    • Carie 06/07/2015 at 6:54 am

      Oh that’s wonderful – I’ve had helpers try to turn on the washing machine but it’s got a crazy button program thing and goodness knows what we’d get!

  • barnraised (Jen) 06/07/2015 at 5:50 am

    Awww…what sweet little laundry fairies! I could use a few around here now and then 🙂

    • Carie 06/07/2015 at 6:54 am

      couldn’t we all!

  • Suzanne3childrenandit 06/07/2015 at 7:17 pm

    If you can make chores fun Carrie, then I think that’s brilliant. Long may it continue! Cute pics 🙂 x

    • Carie 06/07/2015 at 10:00 pm

      Fingers crossed – they definitely seem to like laundry, but I wonder whether that’s genetic because it’s one of the tasks I don’t mind either 🙂

  • mummyofboygirltwins 06/07/2015 at 7:50 pm

    That is so cute! Your girls are very good, and how sweet to help you! However my Lottie always wants to help me – literally anything I am doing I get “Can I help Mummy?”. It’s a hinderance but I don’t mind, as she adores it 🙂 Such a lovely post xx

    • Carie 06/07/2015 at 10:00 pm

      Oh there are times when they want to help and I really want to say no – but I try to make myself say yes unless we’re in a tearing hurry in the hope that it will pay off later! It’s pretty good fun too in the end 🙂

  • Tanita 07/07/2015 at 9:02 pm

    Aw that is so lovely that you involve them in the tidying of the house, I think it is a great idea to start them early, its a great way to learn respect for your home and to see that mum also needs help. Sophia is really good at helping around the home, Archie is only 18 months so actually sometimes makes more mess then help a lot of the time, but i look forward to when he is a bit older and both can help together. it is a lovely thing to do together with your children. Lovely photos. Tanita x

    • Carie 08/07/2015 at 7:04 am

      Oh sometimes the help is definitely messier but if we’ve got time I try to let them help just for the practice – although sometimes it’s so much easier to whizz round myself!

  • Mummy here and there 12/07/2015 at 5:26 pm

    Awww that is adorable, my son loves to ‘help’ lol

    • Carie 12/07/2015 at 8:42 pm

      thank you 🙂