When I agonized about going back to work, a coworker with the wisdom of 5 yrs' parenting told me something like, "You'll have the best dishwasher-unloading helper, grocery shopper, etc." (because being at work during the day means quality time and basic chores often overlap.) And it's true.
Loading and unloading the dishwasher always has the Guajolotita gleefully participating. At this point, her efforts are nearly always detrimental to the short-term goal of taking care of the dishes (pulling all the silverware out, on to the floor, is her main self-appointed task) but great for the long-term goal of spending time together, learning the names of different kitchen implements, and having her grow up to be expected to participate in such mundane activities. Or at least, that's the hope.
Also, she has become a not entirely unuseful cooking assistant. She always helps mix eggs for baking or scrambled eggs. She dumps the flour from a full measuring cup into a bowl, and helps mix the contents of the bowl together. She helps sift baking soda into a mixing bowl. She hands me the containers of vanilla and cinnamon when asked. (She doesn't know which is which, of course.)
This weekend, I made huevos con chorizo. Super fast and easy. I got the chorizo started, then sat on the floor with a mixing bowl, whisk, and the egg carton. We were going to use all of the eggs, so I just opened it up, and took one out and broke it into the bowl. Then I asked her (in Spanish) to hand me an egg. I think she knows the word for "egg" from "Are You My Mother," one of her recent favorite books. She handed them to me one at a time from the carton, and watched with great interest as I broke the egg, dumped it in the bowl, and stacked the two halves of the shell together back into the carton. For the mixing of the bowlful (for pancakes it's the bowl of flour, etc.), I asked her for the whisk. She grabbed it and stuck it the bowl and waited for me to grab her hand and help with the scrambling. Then I mixed in a bit of milk, more joint stirring. Then I picked her up so she could watch as I poured the eggs on top of the chorizo and she was so interested (as she always is) as I combined them in the pan and the eggs cooked.
Not to get to long and drawn out, but she also knows how to make coffee! OK, sort of, and with lots of help. First I put the water in the coffeemaker so it's ready to be started. I take out the coffee filters and hand her one, and she puts it in the filter basket. I take out a cinnamon stick and hand it to her, and she puts it in the filter basket too. I replace the filter basket in the coffee maker. Then I fill the grinder with the beans (under her supervision) and together on the count of "Uno, Dos. TRES!!" we press the grinder. (It's high up on the counter, I have to lift her for this, don't want her messing with those blades herself.) Then we make an inspection and observe how the beans are now polvo, and dump the coffee into the basket (I do that part, under her supervision). Then she presses the button to start the coffee maker.
Since she was 12 months if you ask her anything about "cafe" she will go to the kitchen and point at the coffee maker because she helps me with this every morning. I'm hoping by 6 or so she can make (pre-ground) coffee for us all by herself. :)