Team work

This afternoon my 12-yr-old daughter coaxed the three year old to help her clean the living room. I say help in the loosest sense of the word, because vacuuming can be challenging with the weight of a 3 year old attached to the vacuum handle.

But it was amusing to hear the two of them chatting and working together. At one point the 12 year old (who arrived from Ethiopia 9 months ago) handed the three year old a couple of pillows. “You know, couch have a backward? You put?”

“Yeah, I know, ” says the three year old, not at all confused by her big sister’s unconventional use of English. With great assurance she runs to toss the pillows into their stash-spot behind the couch.

“I have sweat on me!!” huffs the 3 year old as she triumphantly drags chairs away from the dining room table. The 12 year old and I share a grin.

“Mom!” calls the 12 year old a few minutes later, grinning again at the three year old who is now sturdily shoving the vacuum around all by herself. But soon she gets the vacuum snagged in a tight corner and needs some assistance.

“Uh, oh, ” says big sister to her. “Thank you. Right now my turn. And then you again.”

The 3 year old is much displeased at this and pouts away in a huff. The 12 year old relents at her distress and calls her back. “OK– let’s go, same time, both.”

And off they go again, vacuuming in tandem.



  2. I just vacuumed with a just-over-three-year-old attached to the handle today. And my, was he proud!

  3. I love this!!

  4. haha, so cute!
    and so culturally interesting.
    Love it.

  5. It’s moments like this that just give you warm fuzzies all over!

  6. Precious! Thank you *so* much for sharing!

  7. awww…too cute! I want a family with kids working as a team someday! (I just have one baby so far…) 🙂

  8. That was so cute. I’m sorta new here and I’m so intrigued! My twin is waiting on a baby from Ethiopia.

  9. That is too cool!!! Reminds me of my two sons from Ethiopia with their unconventional language! They have been home nine months and are 8 and 12, and at times listening to them speaking with the rest of the kids (two girls 8 and 11, and one boy 13) is just hysterical. But we all generally get our points across!!!! They have come so far and are doing so well! God is good!

  10. Darling girls!

  11. I still pray for your 12 year old, especially when you mention her in a post. Her grief and struggles have broken my heart. I will be praying for her this Mother’s Day… Even though I don’t know that they have “Mother’s Day” in Ethiopia, I imagine that the reminder will be difficult. It’s always a tougher-than-usual day for me.
    Glad to hear a happy story about her bonding with her little sister. Babies and toddlers can reach places in broken hearts that the rest of us can’t. Praise God for sweet little ones full of love!

  12. What a blessing that you were able to witness this! That’s why I still keep the baby monitor plugged in in our girls’ room. I claim it’s for the 4-year-old who still has trouble during the night sometimes. But really, because they have forgotten it’s even there, I get to hear some wonderful exchanges. (And they always wonder how I seem to “instinctively” know when they’re getting into trouble!)

  13. thanks for sharing this precious interchange. My sweet four yr. old (home 17months from Ethiopia) still gets words in the wrong order & does the little phrase-sentence-thing as she hurriedly gets her ideas across. It makes me smile that there are other families living through this process of watching children move slowly from one culture to another.

  14. Rachel says:

    So sweet!! [:-)

  15. “I have sweat on me!”

    so cute! And can’t we all relate? Who wants sweat on?