This morning I asked Andrew to go pick up toys in the living room so the rug could be found by a vacuum cleaner this afternoon. He disappeared for a few minutes and when I went in later to check his work I found that he had done an excellent job. I was mightily impressed that he had done it a)without my reminding him three or 30 times to do it; and b) that he hadn't come back begging for praise when he was finished.
This afternoon I got right on eye level with him and gave him what we probably all want from others for a job well done. I gave him a million dollars and a four-week vacation. No, wait, did I write that out loud? Really what I did was got on his eye level, gave him a hug and thanked him in very clear terms for helping me. I told him I appreciated his hard work, that I had noticed and that I was proud of him and thought he should be proud of himself. I might have poured it on a little thick when I added that I thought it would be great if he would choose to be such a great helper everyday.
He looked me square in the eye and said, "Mommy, I could be a good helper like that everyday but I can't."
I was, as you might guess, a little confused and I asked for clarification.
He said, "Mommy. I like to help you but if I did it everyday, it wouldn't be so good."
Still confused, I assured him that helping me everday would be great and he said, "No, mommy. Everyone likes happy 'churprises' and this was my 'churprise' for you. It's not a 'churprise' if I do it everyday so you'll just have to keep waiting for my next 'churprise' for you."
If you need me I'll just be sitting around waiting for my next surprise and wondering who it is exactly who's in charge here.