OK, so I guess a lot of people who know me might describe me as a type-A personality. I am the type of person that cringes at the thought of mixing Play-Doh colors. When I was teaching preschool, I would go so far as to assign different colors of Play-Doh to each table. My assistants knew better than to put two different colors at the same table. It also drove me a little insane when I would discover a puzzle with a missing piece. Upon discovery of such an atrocity, I would turn off the lights and yell "Everybody stop!". After finding the missing piece, and happily returning it to it's rightful place, I was then able to resume the daily activities.
Another source of stress for me was art time. Although I am a great lover of art, and used to do a lot of painting myself, doing an art project with thirteen 2 and 3-year-olds is a different story! Just the thought of the possible chaos that could ensue was enough to get my heart racing. I envisioned paint splatters everywhere, little hands covered with glue and glitter, little faces smeared with magic marker.....and the list goes on. So I would very carefully prepare everything ahead of time, taking special care to arrange all cleaning supplies within immediate reach. You get the picture.
I also used to go around the classroom constantly cleaning up after the kids because I couldn't stand when the toys would pile up all over the floor and table. I wouldn't say I'm a neat freak, far from it. I guess it is more a matter of having everything under control (because any one of my friends will tell you that my house is far from being immaculate!!!).
So, fast forward a few years, and I now have a little one of my own. If motherhood has taught me anything (which, in fact, it has taught me more than I ever thought possible) it's that life is too short to worry about insignificant messes, and that a little chaos once in a while is a good thing. I will admit, the change came slowly...the first few times I gave my son play-doh, I only gave him one color at a time. And then, one magical day, I decided to let him have not one, not two, but three different colors. And the first thing he did was mix them all together. As I watched the beautiful bright green, orange and pink slowly transform into a lovely shade of something the cat threw up, I noticed how much fun my son was having. I also noticed that nothing terrible happened.....the earth was still revolving, everyone was still breathing, there were no apocalyptic events!
So, I now have several puzzles in my home with more than one piece missing, the small Lego's mixed in with the big mega blocks, miles of train tracks spanning my living room, and lots of my son's artwork hanging on my walls, and I couldn't be happier!
Life is messy, so roll up your sleeves, get dirty and have fun!!!!
2 pads of finger paint paper.....8 dollars
cleaning supplies.........7 dollars
his first work of art.....PRICELESS!!!!!
(Just so you know, I did let him paint, but I made sure I had the hose ready to go in the back yard so I could hose him off after his painting session......I'm not quite ready to let him walk through the house covered in paint!!!!)