For being so tiny, kids sure can make shockingly large messes. I mean, my toddler is on the smaller end of the size spectrum, but anytime there are blocks to be spread out on the carpet, or markers used to draw on one’s own legs, he is up for the challenge. Despite my best efforts to convince my partner that we should employ a live-in housekeeper (budget? Who needs a budget?), the fact remains that we don’t have anyone, except ourselves, to clean up the play area after hurricane two-year-old, the apple of our eyes.
If parenting has taught me anything, perhaps it’s the ability to find joy in the mundane. You know, the way a child lights up over simple things like popsicles, the "choo choo" of a train, and garbage trucks driving by, and just how glorious unabashed laughter can be when it's directed towards the little things.
Still, despite my newfound appreciation for the simple, I can’t bring this enthusiasm to chores. I just can’t. I wish I could, you guys. I wish I could find a way to enjoy the dirty dishes and clogged drains and piles of laundry and all the damn diapers and, well, you get the idea. However, I have found a few ways to make them less tortuous, which I suppose is half the battle. Allow me to share, what I suspect, is how many moms out there are doing the same:
If Her Kid Is Not There
Throws Away Expired Toys
I don't mean expired in the way that dairy expires. I mean it in the way that, after you've kept something for so long, like my son's super noisy farm thing, it kinda makes you feel sick. Actually, wait, maybe those aren't that different.
Puts Her Favorite Toys On Top Of The Toy Bin
Well, it's not like a kid will mind if all their best toys are easily accessible, right? Yes, it's just a coincidence that they're all soft and quiet toys that require no sound or movement to play with.
Stops To Play
All I'm saying is that you should try to put the magnet stamps back into a Magna Doodle without actually stamping it. Just try. I dare you.
Reminisces About Toys Of Her Past
Does it make me sound old if I say they just don't make toys like they used to? I mean, now they're generally safer, more technological advanced, and equally entertaining, but still. They're not the toys I know and love.
Contemplates Gender Norms
Why does my son have so many trucks? Why doesn't he have more dolls? Where do these generalizations even come from? What is life?!
Listens To Adult Material
I don't mean adult material of the sexy kind, I mean podcasts that my kid would never tolerate, or music with questionable lyrics. Personally, I like the dichotomy of keeping my head in grown-up spaces whilst sorting crayons and various plastic trucks.
Throws A Solo Dance Party
Speaking of songs with sketchy lyrics, you don't think I'm not moving rhythmically to their beats, are you? Because I'm definitely jamming while I sort.
I bet Spain is beautiful this time of year. I wonder how realistic it would be for me to go there on a solo vacation for an extended period of time. Or, you know, ever?
If Her Kid Is There
Bargains For Their Help
If you can manage to put just one block in the bin, son, I swear it will be worth your while. There's something frozen, and fruit-flavored and delicious, waiting for you at the end of this rainbow.
Creates Desperate Games
There's got to be a way to keep track of successes, even if we're just throwing things toward the closet, right?
And, Pretty Much, All Of The Above. At The Same Time.
No judgment from me, especially not to those moms with multiple children who clean and re-clean the same space multiple times a day. Not every hero wears a cape. Although, you may want to, because I think that'd make it more fun.