My husband thinks I like to clean too much. And the truth is, I don’t like to clean. I like to straighten up, sure. But I actually hate cleaning itself. Which means I am a dirty neat freak. Which sounds dirty. But I digress.
Colin has a playroom. I call it his baby jail. He’s a lucky little dude. I mean, check this place out (in all it’s un-staged glory):
And that’s just one half of it. He has no fewer than three ride on toys. Which he rides on while facing backwards, naturally. There are the little cubby baskets which hold 1,435 cars, trains, and random other pieces of plastic, all less than 2 square inches big. He has three wooden piece puzzles and each is missing one piece. And then there is the train table with no fewer than 100 accompanying pieces. Which are scattered throughout the house but mostly under heating registers and furniture. They are not on the table itself. That would be silly.
My darling child loves to take things out, scatter them throughout the house (and under heating registers) and then promptly return to his play room and remove another toy and repeat this process. So the toy room is essentially one large toyBOX, where one simply does not play. That would be silly.
I’ve learned to embrace this mess. I’ve tamed my OCD enough to the point that I can tolerate this disaster for my son’s waking hours. At the end of the day, I straighten up, sure, but mostly I chuck things back in the playroom and call it a day, only to do it all over again in 12 hours or less.
One area I have not embraced as much? The mess of food. My child refuses to eat sitting down. He gets this from my husband, I think. And the crumblier, the messier, the stain-ier? The better. If it can be ground into carpet, that is really ideal. If it can leave a trail for me to find you in case you get lost in our oh-so-large three bedroom house? Perfect. So I find myself following either or both of them, exasperatedly sighing or more appropriately, growling. I should call them Hansel and Gretel. And I am the mean old witch.
The other day, Kase decided to partake in some leftover corn bread. In the middle of the kitchen. While talking to me. Which was disgusting. But I digress. Anyway, he successfully ate half of it. The other half? On the floor. I groaned, and told him he was trying to kill me. KILL ME! Then, I dramatically crawled around the floor and cleaned the crumbly mess up.
The other day, Colin dropped a bowl full of Kix on the floor. Floors, really, as he spanned rooms. Even more accurately, he threw the bowl across the floor, resulting in tiny little corn puff balls scattering to every end of not one, but two separate rooms. Kix may be the devil’s food. Remarkably tiny and extremely mobile. Usually, dropping anything results in a wide eyed “Uh-Oh!” from his sweet little mouth. And I usually laugh. He’s so cute, you see. But the other day, he roared like a lion. I absent mindedly praised him for his great lion impression. He looked confused.
As if to make himself clear, he dropped his Kix on the floor again, and proceeded to growl while picking them up. And it dawned on me. He wasn’t impersonating a lion.
He was impersonating me.
Sure, most kids his age start to repeat the less savory things their parents say, like curse words and other stuff that make us chuckle. But when my child has learned to groan and growl every time he makes a mess, I can’t laugh. I didn’t find it funny. Not even close.
It was like the worst dressing room mirror you have had to stand in front of while wearing a bathing suit. In December. With fluorescent lighting. That hurts. I’d almost rather he said a bad word. I’d almost rather he said “Mom, chill the f&ck out”.