October 12, 2023

Bring on the Mess!

I'm not afraid to admit my weaknesses. Such as not being great at self-motivation (hello, exercise!), or not following through with activities that initially express much excitement about (piano lessons, field hockey and a career in creative writing didn't really work out).

However, I do try to work on my weaknesses, and one thing I'm trying to get better about is messes.  I hate when my house is messy; it stresses me out, even if I'm actually not at home.  Yeah, it's borderline obsessive-compulsive, but I'm working on letting go of my attachment to a tidy house, especially when living with a 2 year old.
While we do engage in our share of messy activities like finger painting, it's usually outdoors or at the kitchen table and involves lots of wash cloths and cleaning rags--generally, a controlled mess.  I know that toddlers and pre-schoolers enjoy and thrive in playing in messes, whether it's food, paints, or mud.  So I'm trying to engage Soren in more messy play, and he loves it!
Our neighbor had given us an old Tonka cement mixer that his kids played with when they were young, and Soren and I had hours of fun over the weekend mixing "cement" and making mud pies.  We'd pour it down the chute (the mixer actually mixes!) and into the old dump truck that I got at a flea market earlier this year.
He played busily and with such concentration all afternoon.
He's just starting to engage in pretend play, so he was plastering mud on the clothes line pole and saying he was "smoothing out the road bed" and getting the bumps out of the road.  Mind you, word for word from one of the books we read to him nightly, upon request.
We also let him loose in our recently closed garden patch.  The weather was gorgeous yesterday, so we were soaking up the last of the warm outdoor air.
By the end, someone was tired, but pleasantly so.  And not too much to clean up, just hands, a bit of mud on his face, and shoes that needed to be shaken out.
And with the rains last night, the trucks were cleaned off without any effort from me. Bring on the oobleck and papier mache!

What kinds of messes are you up to? What do you tolerate in your home?


  1. Ooh, all the mud gives me the heebie jeebies! Bob's definitely in charge of the messy play in this house. I'm trying to be less mess-phobic, but it's hard…

  2. Ah, I remember the good ol' mudpie days. That is something a kid MUST do before he or she grows up-I mean it's literally tradition!!

    It looks like he had a wonderful time with his truck and mud on a beautiful day.

    I'm a little OCD when it comes to cleaning too, so don't worry :)

  3. Wow reading your post made me realize that there is really nothing like having "little kid" messes in the house. My kids are 9,9 and 15 so it seems now that all the messes are clutter, clutter and more clutter. Usually of the electronic kind. It's funny though because I have a rather high tolerance for messes out of and in the house - but omg keep me out of their bedrooms. I don't know if it's because they have small rooms or what but I cannot stand the messes in their rooms; and that's usually where the messes are more of the creative kind - cut up paper, glue, markers everywhere. I do miss the little kid messes though. That said, on a nice, warm rainy day, I'm still greeted by muddy hands at the door :)

  4. You are such a fun mom! It looks like he was loving every oooey gooey moment!!

    I'm not so in to messes...there are so many crazy little people around here, that I'm afraid to really turn them all loose!

    I do finger paint with the girls though, and we do messy projects one on one. :)

  5. the gals love making a mess in the kitchen, licking the bowl and spoon can get a bit messy

  6. Oh my gosh! how much fun! I know he was totally loving that! that's awesome. my sons both played with the same Tonka truck. A must for any boy. As far as tolerating mess in my home...well, there is always a mess in my home. I do clean up a lot but it is a mess again quickly. I am not happy about it. I wish I could clean up and that's it...have it stay that way. I cook a lot so my kitchen always has dishes to do! It does stress me out too, but I can't keep on top of it. If I did, I would never have time for blogs or my hobbies, I would just be cleaning and picking up all the time.


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