By Lauri Jon
Maricella is amazing. Earlier this week, after paging through five books, she put them all back in their proper place in the basket by the couch.
Her tidiness doesn't stop there -- when she eats, if a small fragment of food is stuck to her hand, she'll hold it up so I can clean it off.
And the thing that floors her father about the whole thing is, if there's a tiny piece of paper on the floor or a pebble tracked in from outside, she'll pick up the rogue material and hand it to one of us. (You think she could teach her father to notice errant pieces of paper?)
She seems to have caught my "a place for everything, and everything in its place" philosophy. It's a great thing, and I know she'll probably rebel against it as a teen. So I think I'll do a little "chaos training" to help prevent a major future rebellion.
I think I need to set aside a few "messy hours" each day where we play intensely and clean-free. A sort of "neat-freak" safety zone.
I'll spread our large sheets of paper and spill (did I just say spill?) spill all the Crayolas out of their box. Then we'll draw, doodle and color outside the lines, if you please.
After that, we'll go outside and try finger-painting -- and NOT care if we also paint our clothes in the process!
I want to make sure Maricella has as much fun getting dirty as she does getting clean. And show her that a little bit of mess can be a lot of fun. But for now, I'll enjoy my clean-up toddler.
What kind of messy activities do you do with your toddler?