Extra-large white paper, the perfect palette of paints, and brand new brushes sat before my toddler. I had everything set up to take a picture (for Instagram) of course. In true Mom-balancing act fashion, I had to leave the room for a quick second to change baby girl’s diaper. I tell my little man to be patient and we will paint when I come back. I bet you can all guess where this is going!
Walking back to the kitchen, I hear his sweet little giggle from across the house. As I come around the corner, I see each of his little fingers covered in paint; then I notice it in his hair, all over the dining chair, and the table. He looks up at me with those big blue eyes and says, “Mommy, this is SO fun! Look what I painted for you, do you like it?!” I stopped for a second, taking in the entirety of the mess. Then I responded;
I just love it bud! Let’s hang it up to dry and paint another one, together this time!”
Now, full disclosure; NO part of me thought this mess was “ok.” I very much always wanted to be a “clean fun kinda Mom” if you know what I mean. But, having kids shattered that idea and has replaced it with a longing to prioritize memories over messes.
We spent the next 30 minutes painting and laughing as he mixed every color together to make this awful shade of brown. Soggy pictures lined our kitchen island, and by the end of it, I had paint up to my elbows, on my shirt, and even the baby.
I could have walked into the kitchen and unleashed the “clean Mom” wrath, gone off about how he was going to need a bath, or how I was going to have to spend the afternoon cleaning paint off the furniture. But, I didn’t and because of that, that day holds one of my most treasured memories.
Over the last four years, I have learned that some of my favorite times with my kids have also been some of the messiest! When my little man was learning to feed himself and more spaghetti ended up all over him and the floor than actually in his mouth, when we make homemade cookies and flour somehow covers what seems like every surface in the kitchen, when I add just a bit too many bubbles to the bath, when we pull out every sheet in the house to make an epic livingroom fort, or when I thought it was a good idea to teach him how to make scrambled eggs. These are the messiest moments, but they hold the sweetest memories!
As much as I may think I want a clean house or Instagram worthy pictures, the painted toddler is well worth it for the moments that tend to follow! Whenever you can, choose to sit in the mess, and remember that paint washes off!