I told Caleb to smile and this was his best effort – looked more like a grimace, but it was a great try!
I decided that when Caleb tunred 4 he would be in charge of folding his own clothes and putting them away. I got out a laundry basket and some stickers and patiently taught him how to fold clothes. Pants were pretty easy for him, but shirts were tough. I had to make up a story about making a bed, laying the sleeves on it,and then putting a blanket on them. He finally got it, but by that time he was pretty tired of doing it. He announced, “I’m done” and started to walk away!
I didn’t want to make him hate doing the laundry so I said, “Let’s go get Buzz and have him do it!” (one of my more brilliant ideas). Caleb was excited about that. We got Buzz and I had Buzz fold them incorrectly and then Caleb would show him how to do it properly. It was so awesome to see Caleb teaching Buzz. He was a GREAT teacher! I had been giving Caleb a sticker for every item of clothing he folded and he insisted Buzz get stickers too! He said, “Buzz, pick a sticker!” Buzz would pick a sticker and Caleb would say, “Mmmmm, no, you don’t like it. You like this one!” and he’d pick out the sticker Buzz wanted and put it on Buzz. By the end of the folding session, Caleb and Buzz were covered with stickers. Daniel got stickers as well.
Caleb has been folding his laundry now for a couple of weeks and is getting faster and faster and neater and neater. He rarely needs help and although he still gets sick of it and we have Buzz finish up the rest (with Buzz making lots of mistakes and Caleb correcting him), we are making good progress. Caleb also puts his own clothes away and dresses himself all the way now (except for socks – those are still pretty tough for him).
Caleb got dressed yesterday and he put his shirt on inside-out and backward so you could see the tag in the front and the collar sticking straight up! It was so cute. The only problem is that if Caleb dresses himself, you CANNOT fix it. So if he puts his pants on backwards, they have to stay on backwards the whole day!