little mister clean

a few weeks ago our preschool teacher gave us some awful news. our perfect (perfect!) child? well, he has a flaw. a tragic flaw. he is...

[Dun! Dun! Dun!]

... a mess-ophobe.

now honestly, who cares? right!!! right??? except... the more i thought about it the more I realized that a 2.333333 year old who doesn't let himself get messy is probably having a bit less fun than one who smears cheese in their ears, squishes playdoh between their toes, or stores mud pies in their pants. Those are fun times! 

then I thought if i smash cheese into his ears i am just going to horrify him and make this phobia concrete so instead, I thought we could start doing some fun-if-messy projects at home. actually his wonderful preschool teacher also told me, "start doing messy fun things at home." 

yesterday we took the sponge farm animals from this unmessy project and took you guys' advice (thank you to all of you who suggested this rad idea) and did a fingerpaint project.

I had FUN! Ottobot (carefully and oh so seriously) humored me for about five minutes, then realized his hands were DIRTY! Horrified...

I racked my tiny brain. I was saying, "it's ok to be dirty now because we're playing now. When we're done we can get all cleaned up." To which my analytical child didn't miss a beat, "ok, done now! done now!"

So of course I smeared paint on my face. See, no harm done. Look, this is fun!

Ot wasn't buying it. In truth, I felt a little silly. It was, in fact, not that exciting to have paint on my face. i thought Otto might love it though. Instead he looked at me like I was plagued (and an idiot).

the wins: Otto loves and is proud of his painting. we hung it on the fridge and he looks back on the painting experience fondly.

the to-work-ons: being OK with being messy (he did NOT get this phobia from his mama or her housekeeping example). being OK with imperfection (he DID get this one from me. i think i hold myself to too high a standard sometimes. probably i could work on myself in this department too)

And now it's Saturday morning and we're getting ready to pack up some gifts, cards, bottles of the hard stuff, nicer clothes, and swimsuits and head off to Phoenix for a wedding tonight and Mother's Day breakfasts and lunches tomorrow.

Happy Mother's Day to all my readers. We're all touched by motherhood and I sincerely believe that good moms make the world go round. Some of the best "mothers" I know do not or have not yet had children. But being a good mom is inherent in who you are: taking care of those around you, helping them to grow into their best selves, caring, loving, laughing, baking cookies. To those of you whose blogs I read, you inspire me as a mom every day --> To be a better mother. To take a shower. To get creative. To buy a belt! And to share my journey here. Thank you guys!


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