As I sit here watching my 14 month-old doing an “Ozzie” by trying to bite the head off a plastic bat that has somehow found its way to the kitchen floor, my thoughts turn to “mess.” My life never used to be like this. My house never used to be like this. I was truly, AN ORGANIZED PERSON. Those days are gone.
A brief survey of my living room floor reveals: one clean sock, one dirty sock (Where are the mates? Who knows!), a cardboard box “rocket ship,” one of my shoes (Where is the other? Who knows!), an inflatable bouncy pony, a penguin backpack, one piece of a baby stackable toy, a miniature plastic airplane, and a “Sunset” magazine with most of the pages torn out.
Why can kids live so comfortably with mess? I used to be a slob as a child too. My mother constantly lamented the sorry state of my room. When did I turn into a neat freak? Why can’t I simply be at peace with clutter?
I suppose there is some false feeling of security or of having control of life if we have control of our clutter. If we control our clutter, we control our environment and thus our life. Right?? Probably not, but at least it feels good.
This post brings TV watching into the mix. What do kids do when they aren’t watching TV? Often, they are making a mess! The cardboard rocket ship in the living room, the seemingly random collected objects that are somehow absolutely essential for the “show” that they are producing, the “craft” project they have dreamed up, etc. It is much easier and tidier to plop them down in front of the tube for an afternoon. I love the discussion of mess and what to do (or not do) about it on Sandra Dodd’s site. It’s definitely worth a read.
If we are going to choose not to have TV in our lives, then I guess we must accept some degree of clutter. After all, those highly imaginative games that I love to see my children play often involve mess. So I’d better just get over it and be happy that there is a plastic bat on my kitchen floor and a “rocket ship” in my living room!
PS. Sorry to expose you all to that truly terrifying photo of our playroom closet. I think we shall be having a dreaded “Playroom Tidy” this weekend!
Also, a big THANK YOU to Toddler Planet for her endorsement of my blog. It is so exciting to finally have some readers find me!