spaghettipie

Getting a Little Messy

Today we spent a leisurely Saturday morning as a family; what a precious time. My husband vacuumed the dead goldfish carcasses and pretzel parts out of my car while my daughter and I painted a huge cardboard box that came in the mail earlier this week. She loves to paint (hence why we had a painting party for her birthday), but she’s not a very neat painter. In fact, at one point she was inside the box painting with her feet. She paints with her fingers and toes as much as a paintbrush, if not more.

We cleaned up a bit from the paint, and then decided to play with bubbles. I have a whole bin full of bubbles and wands from her first birthday, so we got those out. We turned on the bubble blower and blew our own. When my daughter began to pour the bubble solution out and rub her hands in it, I nearly stopped her. We were just getting so messy. And then I realized that she was having a lot of fun and a little mess really didn’t matter. I mean, we can always clean it up.

When is it that we become so obsessed with not making a mess? Why do we stop ourselves from having fun and enjoying life because we don’t want to clean up later? How many opportunities to experience life have we missed because we were avoiding a little disorder?

I want to be comfortable getting a little messy in my life – whether it’s pursuing relationships, trying new things, or simply playing with my daughter. The experience and the memories always end up being worth the extra time and effort.

Photo: Painting with feet (2007) – This one isn’t actually from Saturday . . .

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4 comments

  1. I have always had a hard time with this one. Still do sometimes!

    On one hand, I do have to say that when you have more than one child, the messes get bigger and the energy (mostly in those infant/toddler years, when they can’t really help with the clean-up) is lower.

    On the other hand, keeping my house clean, organized and kept up was (and sometimes still is) about control and outward appearances for me. As long as my house looked tidy and neat, maybe people would believe everything else in my life was too.

    Sometimes when I would struggle with the play/messes factor of parenting I would think about my Nannying years in college. My best friend at the time was a nanny too. We used to say that the children who were allowed to be kids, allowed to finger paint and play in shaving cream, play with mud in the back yard, the kids who were allowed to get dirty, were always the children we like to be with. They were well adjusted, low maintenance children who were a joy to be around. (Remember – this was the opinion of two young women without children “who knew it all”. But, I would remember this when The Boy wanted to stand a chair at the sink in my pristine kitchen and want to do water play…OR when The Boy and The Girl wanted to make Potions out of mud and glitter and glue and food coloring….or….or…or…and I would remember that it was important for thier development to get messy! Not to mention they seem to remember those times the best!

    Wow, who knew this one post would send me down memory lane! Thanks!

  2. spaghettipie

    K – What fun memories! Thanks for sharing some.
    D – Me, too! I’m working on finding a balance in it all. Thanks for stopping by.

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