19 July 2010


The Littles

Ahh, the joys of parenthood.  And the messes of toddlerhood.  And the crazy loudness of childhood.  These are the days of our lives.  

Little kiddos make big messes.  As a mess-hater, I get very tense when toys are scattered and forts are built.  But as someone who works with children, I know that this is how children learn and develop.  Imaginations get too stifled with technology, educational videos, and overcommitments to organized clubs, classes, and sports.  

This is veering into a soapbox, so I'll just sum it up.  Kids need to make messes.  And yes, they need to clean them.  But messes are fun.  Knocking over towers teaches them boundaries about where their bodies end and the rest of the world begins.  Sticking both hands into a pile of shaving cream develops neurons in their brain, enabling them to make sense of their senses.

I've learned over the years to allow the fun.  And to even enjoy it.  For my own sanity, I have to put a cap on its time limit (fort stays up for 2 days, then we build something else), location (no secret elevators in the oven), and items available for use (no, you cannot create a water zoo with a colander, but here's a tupperware container), and cleanup is a FUN group effort also.  Because of the personality of my kids, I've had a couple regrets, namely involving scotch tape and sharpie markers.  But we've learned and moved on.

And guess what?  Our house is FUN!  And our kids are super creative in their play, and it doesn't require all kinds of special toys.  A small price to pay for a couple tense moments when I find myself having to climb over the pile of pillows to retrieve the spatula from the mountain home of the wilderness explorers.

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