Friday, November 30, 2007

Mess-making perfected

A few summers ago Wild, Unruly and I visited my mom in California. We had a blast, loved the mountains, loved the ocean, loved the weather. My mom and I did a lot of talking, as adults, and I left with a lot of good "child rearin'" and life advice from this seasoned veteran.

One little bit of wisdom I grabbed for myself wasn't part of any conversation between Mom and I. It was gleaned from a conversation between her and Unruly after a bath.

A preface: I have been accused of being OCD about my house. I notice when the knick-knacks on my shelves are out of whack by the slimmest margin and freak out at dust and dog hair. It's a losing battle most days. But my biggest battle has been with the young'uns about keeping the bathroom clean after bathing. Towels hung up, caps back on shampoo bottles and the bottles neatly placed back in their respective spots, toothpaste rinsed from the sink, drips wiped off the toilet seat, rugs flat, unwrinkled and unmarred by any bath-related substance of any kind. You get the idea. I'm a little OCD. And I'm okay with that.

Flashback once again to the conversation between Mom and Unruly. Mom hands a tub of baby powder and a duster-thingy to the then 3-year-old. Not a good combo in my humble opinion and just begging for a gigantic white, powdery mess. On the carpets. On the floor. On the shelves. On everything. But what do I know?

As predicted the kid starts covering her damp body with a smoky sheeth of white powder. The air is soon filled with clouds of the sweetly-scented stuff. I wait for Mom to quietly admonish her granddaughter about gently and neatly applying the powder.

And I wait. And wait.

Instead I hear this (Or close to, my memory can be a tad faulty after three years!): "Oh, that's okay, I make a big mess with the powder too! I just fling it everywhere. It gets on everything. I wasn't allowed to make a mess with the powder when I was a kid, so now that I'm all grown up, I just do what I want. I LOVE powder! Don't you?"

Of course, she made a mess. A big, white, powdery mess.

And Mom didn't flinch. Not a wince.

For the past three years Unruly has continued to make a powdery mess in the bathroom following nearly every bathing session. And I don't complain.

Because now I make a mess, too. And my head hasn't exploded yet.


Lynnette Labelle said...

Thanks for the legal info on my blog. :)

I remember the good old powder days. Yep. I made a mess too. Hopefully, I'll remember that when my kids start to "play" with the white stuff. So far, nobody has thought to show it to them. Hehehe

Wendy said...

powder is a lot better than paints on the walls!! enjoy the fluffy stuff!

this seems to skip generations. my mom was the "don't get that messy" one and i am rebelling, to a certain extent. until Kid goes TOOOOOO far!

Sona said...

I think everyone has a 'thing' when it comes to kids.

For me, it's noise. I don't know if I was required to be quiet or what, but the repetative noises some toys make just grate on my nerves. I'm always telling my daughter to turn things off or take them to her room because I can't stand the sound.

But husband just lets her be. He can put up with it.

Anonymous said...

the goat roper has returned.... I love your story. I myself, am OCD about animal droppings being drug into the house on shoes/boots.

MP said...

Great post... Grandma's are the best.. just goes to show you we all get smarter the older we get! The rate I'm going I'll be going all mensa on someone soon!!