I couldn’t have been gone more than 30 seconds.
In our apartment the bathrooms are in each of the bedrooms. The bathroom in my bedroom consists of the toilet and tub while the sink is in the room itself. I hate it. But that’s not the point of the story.
I sent the kids into my room to wash their hands after lunch. I turned the water on, gave the instructions I always give, and headed out to quickly put their dishes in the sink.
Upon my return, Levi had hoisted himself almost entirely up on the counter; the counter that was now flooded, water dripping off the edge. Both kids were soaked.
I’m a bit of a control freak. I like things to be planned out and make sense and be executed as I envision.
This does not jive well when you’re the mother of two toddlers.
There’s always a mess.
There’s always discord.
There’s always screaming.
There’s always crumbs and ripped papers and toys everywhere.
And it drives me crazy.
I’ve been trying to control the chaos. To make my home as orderly as possible. To calm the screams–even the joyous ones.
I’ve essentially been trying to squelch the fact that my toddlers are, well, toddlers.
While sometimes they do create chaos just for the fun of doing it, more often than not their messes and destruction are merely them learning.
The flood zone they create in the bathroom is them learning about hot and cold, cause and effect. It’s them responding to their curiosity of “what happens if I do this?”
Deconstructing their peanut butter sandwiches, eating it with their fingers, and rubbing their fingers on various surfaces is them learning tactile sensory stuff.
Unrolling and shredding a roll of toilet paper is them learning that not everything can be magically put back together by Mom.
Coloring on the walls is learning… well, I think that one is merely learning what happens when you color on the walls.
I, too, am learning.
I’m learning to embrace the chaos rather than crush it. My kids are curious. They want to know things. They’re not purposefully trying to drive me crazy or give me premature gray hairs. It’s just that this world is so big and filled with so many questions and this—this chaos—is how they gain information.
It’s not easy. In my gut, though, I think it’s better to embrace the way they learn on their level. It’s better for me to realize they’re (almost) 2 and 3 and it’s not like life is going to get quieter or calmer anytime soon. Why fight it? All that happens when I push back is we all get frustrated and that’s not good for anyone.
So I’m taking more deep breaths. I’m seizing the opportunity to teach them lessons about life and nature and answering their why’s and how’s as best I can. Sometimes I can’t tell if allowing this chaos to happen is making me a better mom or just a lazier one. I hope it’s making me a better mom. Or at least a calmer mom.
I’ll take a win any way I can get it and being a calmer, less angry, mom is a definite win.