Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It Finally Happened!

Since about 10 months old, Animal has loved to take down as many DVDs off their shelf walk around the house with them and leave them EVERYWHERE.

If was kinda of cute at first because it delighted him so. He would just stare with a special gleam in his eyes at all the mess he had created. We would squeal with such joy at his piles of movies. 

I would tell him, "No Animal, these movies belong on the shelf. Please make a mess with your own toys. These toys belong to mom and dad". It was all in vain. Animal only loves to play with what is not meant for little baby hands. 

We would pick up the DVDs and put them back on the shelf several times a day. Everyday. 

I kept getting emails from baby center that said that my baby would love to take things down and put them back. Empty his toy box and then fill it again. Take nesting toys out and then put them back together. All Animal wanted to do was pull things down, empty boxes, cabinets, drawers, baskets, but never, ever put anything back.

I've been wondering for months when he would finally start to put things back. Yesterday as I stared at all of Animals mess around the living room. I was about to clean it up and put him down for his afternoon nap, when I said "Animal pick up the DVDs and put them back please", to my surprise he bent over and picked them up. I got so excited, and said, "Now put them on the shelf, here". He smiled at me and then walked away. I repeated myself and tapped the spot on the shelf where the DVDs belong. He dropped the movies and smiled. I asked him again to pick them up and put them away, again tapping where they belong. He picked them up again and walked back to the shelf. I about burst from happiness. Then he dropped them again right in front of where they belong. I didn't give up. 

I asked him again, he just looked and me and started to walk away. I picked him up and brought him back to the DVDs and asked again. He walked away again. I picked him up and brought him back to the DVDs and asked again, but added he needed to do this before he could do something else. (This is the method I use in my classroom) Just like the headstrong two year olds in my class, he continued to walk away. I continued to bring him back to the DVDs and each time would ask him again to pick up his DVDs and put them back on the shelf. He cried for a couple of minutes, frustrated that he couldn't go about his business. Then he stopped. Picked up the DVDs and put them neatly on the shelf. One on top of the other like he'd been doing it for months. 

I was so excited I clapped and said YAY!

I asked him to pick up his toys and put them back in his toy box, and he did!


  1. Yay! We've always lived in a small place, so the boy knew from age 1 or so that he had to put away a toy before pulling out a new one- there just wasn't any room for a mess! He's still pretty good with it. USUALLY.

  2. Awesome! You obviously knew when to start and it's paid off. Good Job, I'm always impressed at some moms instincts.

    Because he's not very verbal I guess I just kept thinking of him as a baby. obviously he could have been following instructions, if we'd bothered to give him any! oh well live and learn.

  3. Fantastic!! I can't stay on top of my girls fast enough to get them to put their crap away. I can't decide whether it's more work to just pick up after them or to get them to do it.

  4. My experience has been it's harder at first, and with twins I imagine way harder at first. But once they get it and you're consistent, it's much easier. With the occasional hiccup. Yesterday was day three of me asking him to putaway toys. day 2 was similar to first only more crying, but last night no crying. in another week it will be normal. try it when you have patience to stick with it.