I’m a bit of a neat-freak, as my friends and family will attest. My desks at home and work are usually quite organized and laid out with their requisite ‘stuff’ in its requisite places. When we moved into our home in mid-2000, before the kids were born, I had the house quite well organized, with everything stored in its requisite, rational places. I knew kids were going to be an amusing assault on my organizational skills and borderline-neatness-OCD 😉 .
I do get occasionally annoyed with extensive messes when it literally looks like bombs went off and you can’t even walk from point A to point B in the house. But luckily, that’s not that common.
The everyday splatter of toys, books, clothing, blankets, computers, iPods, footwear, schoolwork, food – and who the hell knows what else – is comforting to me. It’s kids being kids. It tells me they’re having fun, they’re almost always learning something in their play (legos, books, math and writing workbooks, creative endeavors, etc.), and even if it’s annoying that the living room floor is 30% covered in lego constructs of various flavors, I’m proud of their ability to build cool stuff and enjoy the heck out of that exercise. Each little mess reminds me that they’re kids; that kids play; and that play is good.
This morning I was sitting in the living room, working on my laptop, surveying a crudload of legos, a pile of books, a mess of piano sheet music, and two laptops on one of the couches and on the ottoman. Nothing had been put away. I smiled though – instead of cursing. I love their messes! They signal what they’re up to, what they’re learning, and what’s making them happy. And all that makes me happy!
Besides, how can you get angry at a little monkey this damn cute – even if she is making a mess?!?! 🙂