Learning to Love the Mess
Toddlers and messes go hand in hand. It’s simply a part of life as a toddler! I could spend every waking minute chasing after Judah with a baby wipe in hand… Or, I could take a far more Zen approach to toddler messes.Dare I say it: I’ve even learned how to love the mess.AdvertisementI think that a messy toddler is the sign of a happy toddler who’s having fun!I try to look at it this way: Do I want to be scrubbing pasta sauce, avocado, or banana from Judah’s hair? Not really… but it’s not the end of the world. So long as he’s eaten most of that pasta, avocado, or banana, then what’s to worry about? And besides, Judah loves bath time, so it’s just another opportunity for us to have more fun together.Sometimes the messes are frustrating: I’m not denying that. Like when Judah will look me in the eye and toss a his food onto the floor. (We’re working on it.) Or the time that Judah found a Sharpie marker… and decided to test his artistic limits on the futon in my home office. I don’t necessarily want to spend the time scrubbing my furniture and floors.But in the grand scheme of things, there are worse things to deal with. So, in the currently-popular words of one Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, I just “let it go.”I don’t want Judah to grow up hearing nothing but “no!” and “don’t get messy!” – there’s a time and a place to teach neatness and personal hygiene,baby clothes
, of course – but for right now,baby car seats
, it’s all about exploration. And for every messy meal time or romp outdoors in the dirt, there’s always a bath to follow.Oh, and messy toddlers tend to be smarter, too. So if you want to raise a baby genius, say yes to the mess! No seriously – a recent study from the University of Iowa revealed that 16-month old toddlers who were messier while eating had a better grasp of food vocabulary than their neater peers.And there’s one other important thing I’ve discovered with this change in attitudes about toddler messiness: When we learn to love the mess,baby toys
, we let in a lot more laughter together.