A happy heart makes the face cheerful...Proverbs 15:13

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Its the messy, simple things...

When you have children under 3 at home, any project that would normally take 15 minutes of your time, takes closer to an hour. This happens to me the most right after dinner time. The time when I am trying to direct children in and out of showers, wash dishes and fill the dishwasher, sweep and mop the floors, wipe the counters and stove, and clean off the table. It is at times like that when your little ones do everything they can to get into everything they can while you are not looking. So, what are some good ways to keep your munchkins busy and in sight? One of my 2 year old's favorite after dinner activities is 'washing' dishes. I normally leave all the spoons and measuring cups, or add a few, for him to 'wash'.
"Ummmm, Do you know how much mess he's making?" My friend asked me while I wiped down the table. "Yep" I said in return. Her look of concern was amusing. This is a friend with children. Her response " I just can't allow my kids to make messes so freely like that". Her look deepened as I chuckled at her. (Luckily, we love each other). You know what, not only was he making a mess, he was in a continuous laughter as the water splashed and spilled. He was having a wonderful time. You know what else, I needed to clean the walls and floor anyway, right? He was playfully helping out. So what if he was getting soaked, he was about to get in the tub.
This stuff used to get to me. Why make the mess? We can play something else less messy. As my kids started to get older, I realized how petty this was.

So, I sucked it up. I piled up all the towels we used to clean up messes through out the day under the chair on the floor and one on the chair so he wouldn't slip, put a onesie on him and let him go at it. I will never forget the laughter that comes from this kind of play. Play time where my child can have some 'creative freedom' and have a blast doing it , without getting in trouble.

It wasn't until I started homeschooling them that I realized how much I enjoy them and how much I enjoy watching them grow and learn. It's so much more fun to just let them be kids. Now, there is always a time for play and a time for work. But when they can play and learn together, you have a perfect environment in my book. A child curiousity is one of the best teaching tools I have!

Let them be young!

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